"It's the Economy, Stupid!" - Why Every CMC Capitalist Should Say No to 8

Editor's Note - Although the Forum does not normally delve into politics, we reserve the right to publish political pieces that have that ... extra CMC touch to them. As always, students interested in submitting original content can email their stories and ideas to forum@ascmc.org. While many of us were elated Tuesday night by the election of Barack Obama as our 44th president, there was one glaring piece of irrational legislation that also passed. No, it was not Proposition 2 (damn that animal lobby!) I lament, but Proposition 8, which Constitutionally banned gay marriage in the state of California. I could use this space to discuss the horribly misleading campaign launched by “Yes on Prop 8” — which included wantonly lying to voters about kindergarten and the California Education Code, purposely confusing voters, and in some instances even using automated phone calls that said, “If you support gay marriage vote YES on Proposition 8” — but I am too lazy to write such a long piece.

I could also use this space to discuss the moral argument for gay marriage. A friend explained to me that she feared the cultural damage of dramatically changing “an old institution” such as marriage, but she never answered my lingering questions on precisely how. Would gay marriage make the gay lifestyle decision so much more appealing to impressionable youths that they would forsake heterosexuality? Shouldn’t moral authorities prefer encouraging monogamy in the gay community? And wouldn’t loving, long-term relationships discourage the cocaine-induced orgies complete with greased up Adonises — or would it be Adonii? — in Malibu mansions that people in middle-America — and I guess middle California — envision as the most offensive, or maybe secretly alluring, part of the “gay agenda.”Furthermore, the afore-mentioned young lady and many like her claim to support “civil unions” that would be identical to marriage in everything but name. Separate but equal — I seem to recall that working pretty well in the past, didn’t it? Honestly though, I just do not understand how anyone can think that gay marriage will have any true moral bearing on society.

However, I do not mean to insult you all with notions of morality and justice. This is, after all, Claremont McKenna, whose patron saint is Mammon. We all hope to be titans of industry one day so naturally our first love is money — not justice. This is the real reason gay marriage was good for California, it was economically profitable. Civilization prospers through commerce, bitches, and the gays were bringing us that glorious commerce.

A big stink was made about Apple donating money to “No on Prop 8,” but frankly, I’d rather have Steve Jobs – a successful businessman –  influencing my state than the creepy Mormon cabal that pumped $20 million into the “Yes on 8”campaign. I read one view-point that argued it was bad business for Mac to donate that money because it would discourage conservatives from buying their product. But I think it was brilliant business! Gays statistically have more discretionary income than any other social group. Sleek Apple designs go perfectly with chic modernist WeHo homes. Mac was just pandering to a more lucrative base, although I guess I can’t completely dispel the notion that they may actually believe in universal civil rights.

Back to my main point, though: gay marriage was good for business in California. Having a reputation as a progressive gay-friendly state helped the tourism industry. Think about it: pretend for a minute you are a well-toned, sun-loving, narcissistic dandy –  or for that matter, a middle-aged school teacher, retired corporate lawyer, small business owner etc. –  from the Midwest. Would you rather vacation with your life partner in A) creepy Jed-Bush electing Florida or B) gay-marriage allowing California? Two weeks ago the obvious chance would be B, but following the November 4th election, there’s hardly as much appeal. You might as well go someplace else to spend tons of money buying antiques, investing in property, shopping at high-end boutiques, and visiting theme parks since California now seems a tad more hostile and a lot more expensive. Those Midwest dandies don’t want to walk down the street knowing that every other person they see voted against their happiness in the November election! Even if the gay pilgrimage to California is not completely decimated the gay marriage ban will still disrupt the free-spending. Instead of a lot of frivolous impulse buys – “Well of course this Erté would go magnificently in the foyer Karl!”— they’ll be fixated on guessing who voted for and who voted against Proposition 8. Everywhere they look they will either see a supportive local or cartoonish villain. This would obviously detract from their purchasing power.

My point is this, people. Sure there are moral arguments for gay marriage. Sure we may have a conscience deep inside of us trying to tell us, “Gay people have feelings too,” and we may even have a sense genuinely telling us to believe that equality is guaranteed by our Constitution. But forget all that “tyranny of the majority” crap. The real reason to support gay marriage in the state of California is because it’s good for business. It helps the clothing industry, the cake industry, the miniature figurine industry, department stores wedding registries, and, of course, the tourism industry. So please, to all of you reading this out there: work to bring gay marriage back to California to help boost our state’s economy and bring money in for all of us to enjoy, it’s what Milton Friedman would want you to do!