Tom Hanks apologizes to Prop-8 Mormons, but shouldn't have

Last week, actor Tom Hanks called Mormons who supported California’s Proposition 8 “un-American.” Today Hanks apologized.

He shouldn’t have, because he’s right.

Anyone who would support curtailing the civil rights of a minority group is un-American. Codifying discrimination in a state constitution or in the U.S. Constitution is un-American. And supporting people who aim to curtail civil rights and codify discrimination, as the LDS Church did with regard to Prop-8, is un-American.

And I’ll say this to anyone who supported Prop-8 – you acted un-American too.

5 replies »

  1. I don’t think most people who voted for Porp-8 believe that you shouldn’t have equal rights if your gay. The big issue is in protecting the family unit and sanctity of marriage. If a man and man can marry or a woman and a woman can marry, then why not a man and a man and a man or a man and three women. Should not polygamist have the same right? And why stop there, what about an adult who wants to marry a young girl or boy?

  2. “Sanctity of marriage” – and how does my marriage to my wife get unsanctified in any way by the marriage of two men, two women, or even polyamorist folks?

    As for your slippery slope argument, it’s bullshit. We have entirely different court systems for children for a reason – they’re biologically immature (brain development) and unable to make informed decisions about consent, and people widely understand that. That’s why states generally require parental consent for kids younger than 18 to marry, and court approval for younger than that.

    In other words, adults entering into a planned lifetime loving commitment is marriage, an adult doing the same with a teen is child abuse and (likely) statutory rape. And children with children is already covered by existing law.

    If Prop-8 hadn’t been a state constitutional amendment, then supporting it wouldn’t have hit my “un-American” threshold. Misguided and ideological, sure, but not un-American. But writing discrimination into a constitution is a whole different level from legislation, and that level qualifies as un-American.

  3. snowoso:

    Brian has already done a good job of refuting you, but if I may:

    1. The issue is one of consent. Children can’t consent. Animals can’t consent. People in a coma can’t consent. There’s no danger of any of them being allowed by law to say “I do” (assuming they have vocal cords) for a legal contract when they’re not able to do that.

    2. Polygamy is generally prosecuted because it’s akin to child abuse. Polygamist societies, by their very nature, throw out young, relatively powerless men so that young, extremely powerless women will have to marry older (and in many cases, much older) men. But even if that weren’t the case, polygamy is generally destabilizing to society, and societies that want to be stable can’t tolerate it.

    The fact is, most violent crime is committed by unwed, young men. Polygamy drastically increases that pool of young men and, since polygamous societies allocate the women to the rich and powerful, most of the unwed young men would be from impoverished backgrounds — and poverty is another condition closely correlated with crime and other violence.

    Some societies have allowed polygamy, but only at great cost to themselves and human rights, usually in the forms of widespread slavery, castration, and even slave armies.

    3. There is absolutely no “sanctity of marriage,” and never has been. That’s an invention of the Church. Long before anyone had ever heard of “Hebrews” and “Yahweh,” marriage existed, as it has always existed in complex, property-owning societies, as a contract covering property, inheritance, and support rights. That’s the way it exists today when someone is married by a justice of the peace or a judge.

    Are you suggesting that those who are not married by an ordained clergyman do not enjoy the “sanctity” of marriage?

    4. Allowing a legal contract of support and property rights to gay men and women hurts no one, and those who oppose it are simply displaying their own bigotry, then trying to hide it behind specious arguments.

  4. You’re absolutely right that he should not have appologized.

    1) Prop 8 was UnAmerican.

    2) He didn’t say anything about “all mormons”, only about those who supported this UnAmerican Proposition.

  5. Tom Hanks has to protect the Tom Hanks “brand”–that beloved American icon who doesn’t want to rock anyone’s boat because, golly gee, he’s Tom Hanks. (“The United States has no credibility, so I’m lending it some of mine.”)