Once again, I am shocked by the California voters’ seemingly multiple personalities. We’re clearly seen and act as a liberal state. Our state was called for Obama without any data, because it’s just obvious that we would vote Democratic. But when it comes to our own propositions, California cannot seem to make up its collective mind!
While I seemed to vote opposite to the results of nearly every proposition, the one that just kills me is Proposition 8. For those of you who live out of state, or for those that had their head under a rock for the last year, let me explain Proposition 8 to you.
Prop 8 was designed to add an amendment to the State Constitution that states that marriage must be between a man and a woman. If that doesn’t sound preposterous to you, please go read another blog, because the rest of this one will probably piss you off!!
The fact that this passed only shows one clear thing…too many people are voting their religion. This is ONLY a religious issue. There is no group of people that should be denied the most basic human right of marriage. The people who were involved in the Yes on 8 campaign were mostly Catholic (specifically the Knights of Columbus – FROM MINNESOTA by the way) and they fought an evil campaign filled with vicious lies in their ads. They continually stated that if the proposition was denied that children would be taught about gay marriages in school. What??? Let’s be really clear about this, a NO vote means nothing changes….nothing! We don’t teach that now, why would we suddenly start! They wrapped these lies in comments about “saving the children” like there was some dangerous psychopath on the loose by the name of Homosexuality….oh dear. Oh my, if we don’t protect the children, they’ll be turned GAY!!! What are these people smoking???
If you think homosexuality is a sin, that’s your prerogative. I would like to point out that there are A LOT of other mentions of things that are sins in the bible that I’m sure you partake in, but hey, if you want to be a hypocrite, that’s your choice. See, I try to keep an open mind to even those with closed minds, but sometimes, on some topics, it is nearly impossible. I was substituting at my old high school this week and the kids were really involved in the election. Since it was clear that absolutely nothing was to be accomplished on Tuesday, most of the teachers turned on CNN in the classrooms and made it all about open discussions. We ended up focusing on the Presidential election and Prop 8 because they were all concerned about those issues. I was thrilled that so many students had been really listening to the information and positioning themselves based on an intellectual choice. However, when asked why they wanted Yes on 8 – most gave one of two responses, “Being gay is against my religion” or “They’ll start teaching about gay marriage in school” – UGH!! I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs for them to give me a reasoned opinion rather than rhetoric. But they couldn’t!
So this was clear to me, I asked both sides to give me reasons why to vote a certain direction on this issue:
Yes on 8 – why? Because my pastor told me so. Because being gay is against God. Because they’ll change what we learn in school if they have their way.
No on 8 – why? Because no group of people should have their rights refused by anyone, especially the government. Because it’s their life, they should be able to do what they want as long as it doesn’t impose on someone else’s rights. Because they should have the same rights as anyone else in this state.
Hmmm…..see the difference? Look, I’ll clearly state, I do not identify myself as a Christian. In my most basic, I’m a deist. I believe in a higher power and call it “God” for simplicity. I would never, ever, never decide that others should believe like me. That is a deeply personal decision and something that all people should wrestle with in their time. At the same time, don’t you dare put your Christian ‘family values’ on a damn ballot!! I hate it when people state that we’re a country formed on Christianity. NO! Read your history book, we are a country formed on “freedom of and freedom from religion!.” Granted, many of the Pilgrims actually came over to escape taxes or bad financial situations and not seeking freedom at all. But generally, they came over to get away from the overwhelming presence of the Church of England. Why? Because they believed it wasn’t right for a church to make the rules for the people! Hmmmm….that sounds like good advice!!
Now, this fight is FAR from over! Yesterday papers were filed by the ACLU to block the amendment. These suits stated that this is a revision, not an amendment, so it must first pass with a 2/3 majority in the congress. Finally, there is always the challenge that a state constitution can not deny rights that the Federal Constitution does not restrict. So there are many legal battles up ahead. I just wish it had been resoundingly defeated instead, as it should have been. I don’t want this decision made by judges and courts – I want Californians to scream at the top of their lungs that this is ludicrous and we will not stand by while people are denied this basic right.
So once again, I’m disappointed by the Californians. I was born in this state and have lived here for most of my life. I was raised to treat all people equally and thought that most Californians felt the same. I was sadly mistaken.
So to all you who voted No, well, it’s not over yet damnit! And if anyone who voted Yes is still reading at this point. Think, really examine yourself, and decide whether your choice is being made on a logical or purely religious level? I am married to a wonderful man and I feel truly blessed that we are allowed to marry, to be joined in a state recognized marriage, to obtain those rights granted to all married people in California and in the Country. I just cry at the fact that others are keeping that right from so many incredible couples who just happen to be same-sex. I really thought you were better than that California, apparently, I was wrong.