Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Two steps forward, one step back

40 years after the civil rights movement, America yesterday elected an African American President. That Barack Obama's candidacy could transcend the issue of race showed how far this country has come yet, at the same time, the fact that it took 40 years to get here showed how long it can take for Americans to live-up to the promise of the constitution.

Sadly, as one man stood on a stage before hundreds of thousands and realized the rights many had fought for before him, Americans were snatching rights away from another minority here in California.

Proposition 8, the ballot measure that eliminates the right for gay people to marry, seems to have won-out by a close majority - 52% to 48% - victory for narrowmindedness and discrimination that taints the strides made in these last 40 years.

Unfortunately, it appears that many people who voted "yes" on prop 8, thought they were voting against gay marriage being taught to their children in school. Proposition 8's misleading ads made the proposition about just this, parading sad-faced children and frowning parents across our screens in their campaign of fear and mistruth. Exit polls show that many people leaving voting booths and voting "yes", voted this way primarily because of the school issue.

So, instead of passing a law that prevents gay marriage from being taught in schools, we instead pass a constitutional ammendment stripped rights from a segment of our population. It sickens me and makes me mad.

I understand that many people, some of which I know, votes Yes because of their religious beliefs. This was a vote at least based upon conscience rather than fear, so I understand this more, but still don't understand how you justify removing rights based upon your beliefs. What happens if Muslims now decide that we should make alcohol illegal?

In their "victory" speech last night, the prop 8 supporters asked us all to come together, supporters and dissenters alike, to respect the "will" of the people. Unfortunately, I fail to see their point. To expect that you can take a segment of the population, turn them into 2nd class citizens with only 50% of the vote, and then expect your opponents to say "fair game" (especially given the way the prop 8 campaign was run) is ridiculous and, I hope, just aint gonna happen. I couldn't even make coffee and work out before I got on this computer and blogged my feelings about this - and I'm not gay!

I, for one, won't be sitting on the sidelines the next time we have the opportunity to return our state constitution to fairness and equality for all.


caw said...

You've captured the way I also feel about Prop 8 in a much more erudite fashion than I ever could. The fact that the "Yes" vote won out makes me feel sick to my stomach and breaks my heart for all those people who married their loves because THEY LOVE THEM. To be denied this fundamental human right makes me feel extremely sad.

Urban Koda said...

Couldn't have said it better myself, and I too am not gay, and unfortunately not a Californian either.

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