Monday, November 10, 2008

Californians vote to deny Gay Marriage

In a pretty shocking side-bar to the US Elections, Californians voted in support (just - 52% to 48%) of the so-called "Proposition 8", to restrict Marriage to be between a Man and woman. Same thing happened in Florida and Arizona. The Mormon 'Church' apparently spent $20 million campaigning to get Prop 8 passed. I think it's a great shame that this ballot initiative passed. There is still a chance that the vote will be overturned on constitutional grounds, as the ACLU have filed an appeal challenging the legality of the measure.

But at a time when 1 huge step against prejudice has been made there, by America voting in Obama, there are still huge forces of bigotry and prejudice out there.

See CNN Election Results summary

Proposition 8: This measure would amend the state constitution to specify that only marriages between one man and one woman would be recognized as valid in the state. If passed, the measure would trump a May 2008 ruling by the California Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriage.

I wonder how Omani homosexuals feel about living here? Do they want to leave asap and head for greener pastures, like Holland, London, Manila or San Francisco? The chances of homosexuality simply being made legal in Oman, let alone getting equal rights or even the right to marry, is almost impossible to contemplate.

For a small sample measure of how good Obama is, see his response to the Gay activists on this politically extremely sensitive issue.

What a star.


  1. I'm one of your regulars, UD, going undercover myself to give my frank take on local conditions.

    Oman actually has a fairly thriving gay scene, albeit not much of a cohesive gay community.

    First of all, anybody who's been to any of the local watering holes know that gay cruising is as much a part of the goings-on as any other kind of pickup. Some places have more of a reputation than others, I suppose, but it's not uncommon anywhere I've been.

    Even in the mostly all-Omani bars (the dancing girl/bead places, for example) - of which there are a lot, and many of which are packed most nights - you'll see some startling goings up, up to and including full drag.

    But beyond pickups and one-night stands, instead of one community, I think the more common social model is small networks, various groups of Omanis along with other Arab and Western expats who hang out together, go to coffee shops, and know vaguely about other such groups, some of which interact from time to time at larger social events.

    Many Omani gay men are married (typical throughout the Middle East), but some younger ones I know do indeed mind all the restrictions on their lives and hope to head somewhere more welcoming. I know some who travel regularly to the big events in Europe and elsewhere (what they call the Circuit Parties in the States), and even more who are very active online and regularly meet up with tourists coming here they've been chatting with on the net.

    So - it's not the worst place in the world to be gay, but it's far from the best. And I'm sure it's waaaaay better in Muscat, and if you're middle class or better, than it is anyplace else.

  2. I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU and I agree with the claims that Proposition 8 infringes on the rights of minorities, as guaranteed by the California charter.

    The story of the counter-suits is here

    In the USA we've seen the same fervor among those opposing racial minorities' and women's rights in the past. History duly calls such people bigots and racists.

    As for Oman, I imagine the amount of homosexuals here is as anywhere else in the Gulf (except for Iran and Bahrain), if not more (for reasons that we are all aware of but don't openly discuss even in the blogosphere).

    So yes, Muscat is probably a better place to be gay; and yes, the homosexual's comfort level is directly related to his social/financial standing.

    In other election news, voters in Massachusetts have decriminalized Marijuana. I wonder how many more of this blog's followers would go anon to comment on the War on Drugs :)

  3. Anon,

    Thanks for the frank and honest comment. (you could still pick a cool handle... sigh)...

    Glad the system is more 'don't ask, don't tell, and as long as its not overt, ignore'. That's great.

    But where are the hottest spots? Personally, while I'm confident in my heterosexuality, I love the buzz of gay clubs. Better music, more fantastic dancing, better drugs, and yet so chilled.

    ACLU? Great!
    Numbers? Naturally, it'll be about the same as anywhere else. Despite the rabid opinions of bigots, no one in their right mind, especially here, would 'choose' to be gay.

    But I think they'll decrim Marijuana before homosexuality...

    Despite common sense, religious bigotry will publicly dominate a sensible pragmatism and true appreciation of what human rights really means.

    But I'm glad there is less harassment here in Oman than in most places in the so-called civilised & liberal West...

  4. Your previous anon here, UD, to apologize! I clearly was lacking in the creativity that is supposed to be a part of My People. I hope this handle is appropriate; I also considered "Mutrah Mary", "Sassy in Seeb", and "GhalaGay".

    But anyway - I'm afraid there's no where I've found that really has a "gay vibe". I don't wanna name names, but pretty much any Western spot with alcohol (and more a few coffee shops, too)) is apt to have more than a few of The Tribe around...

  5. oh man, laughing my ass off re: the possible nicknames :)

  6. QIQ
    Like it. But the nick-name options are a topic of their own!!!

    Bent in Barka?

    Name names in email - I won't tell.

    please demonstrate your internal creativity...

  7. Boxster! Thank God!!
    gay places in Oman! stand! I think it is the best! Sex dans la voiture! Bon adventure!

  8. hahah my friends and I play "porn names" all the time, it all started on a ten hour road trip last and after the normal car games ran out we came up with this. I've got a couple Kay= kitty kay, kinky kiki, kinks. I wasnt as nice with my friends. haha good times.

    On a more serious note, lesbians are plenty too, just ask high school girls. The send each other love letters, hold hands(and more) and are really really possessive of each other.

    What's a lesser evil to the general Omani public? Segregated highschools with a higher percentage of homosexual relationships between its students OR co-ed schools where boy likes girl stares at her hair in class for hours girl smiles back .... to whatever may happen? or as long as its not your brother/sister or child just put everything under the rug and pretended it never happens?


If you wish to post anonymously, please pick a nickname by selecting the Name/URL option, or at least sign off your comment with one! I will delete comments I find objectionable or needlessly inflammatory. Sorry for the word verification.... OMG the spam has gotten BAD these past 12 months... trying to avoid making one log in...