I am not a particularly political person, and have never before used this blog as a platform from which to expound my views on matters other than hedonistic ones, but let's just say this issue is a teensy bit important to me. You see, thanks to recent changes in California law, I was finally able to marry my fiancé of 15 years, and that was a very good thing indeed. Literally dozens of our coupled friends have done the same in the past few weeks. And gee, it would be great if others could continue doing so after November 4.
Proposition 8 is a particularly hateful ballot initiative that would amend the California constitution to eliminate the now-given right for same-sex couples to marry. That's right. A constitutional amendment to discriminate against a specific segment of the population. Fun!
Of course the fundies are all over this shit, whining and moaning to "protect traditional marriage," whatever that means. Cuz you know, upstanding citizens like Britney Spears and Elizabeth Taylor and John McCain have unimpeachable records when it comes to marriage. Heck, even my father, heaven rest his soul, married four times. I'm pretty sure this falls outside the parameters of "traditional," but somehow the Mormons didn't get their panties in a twist about it.
No, this is different, because the Bible, which was obviously written by God himself on the universe's first IBM Selectric, supposedly had a few things to say about homosexuality. Sure, those same words have been mutated through a few millennia of translation across multiple languages, but whatev.
A favorite supporting verse in Leviticus says "men shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, that's an abomination." So, by that logic, we should amend the constitution only to ban marriage between men; lesbian marriages are perfectly OK according to the bible. Look it up! And anyway, if they want men to stop having sex with each other, shouldn't marriage be the solution?
Pro-8 ads have also been pulling the old pearl-clutching "Won't someone think of the children???" trope, saying that schools will be teaching grade-schoolers about gay marriage. Aside from the fact that, according to the State Superintendent of Schools, that's a lie, here's what I think: Good! Teach children the virtues of equality. This is about human rights, not sexuality.
I am far from alone on this position. My work buddy Kristy, herself newly affianced (to a man, but I'll let that slide), admonishes:
If you think the scary gays should have one set of rules and the straight folks should have another, I will remind you that "separate but equal...is inherently unequal." Seriously. I am not even making that up.
Her friend Beth has her own extremely articulate plea, debunking the arguments:
Marriage Between a Man and a Woman is “Traditional.” ... You know what else is traditional? Slavery. Also? Subservient women, racial separatism, spousal abuse, peeing outdoors, and sitting in the dark once the sun goes down. Happily, along with tradition, there’s also progress, both in technical inventions and in societal understanding and conventions.
Lesbian comedienne Heather Gold wants you to save her marriage:
There's nothing in the law that forces any religion to recognize my marriage. I'm Jewish, and you don't need to share my beliefs. I don't need to share yours. But we need to share the same Constitution. Seriously, we have so many bigger problems in California we could be spending our time solving together. Recession anyone? I am married right now. Is it hurting you or your marriage?
Melissa Ford at BlogHer (where I work) chimes in as well:
Frankly, this vote in California scares me.
Because once you start down that slippery slope of saying a group isn't protected under the Constitution, it opens the door for other groups to be discriminated against. And people have fought too long and too hard to have equal rights given to all citizens in America to move backwards towards restricting rights.
Mombian has organized a blog event to get the word out, urging bloggers to speak out against Prop 8 on or by October 29. I'm just doing my part here. [Update: As of 7:30 October 30, there are 413 posts on the list. Yay!!]
So if you are registered to vote in the State of California, please vote No on Prop 8. Vote for equality. Vote for civil rights. Vote to keep the government out of all our bedrooms. Vote because we shouldn't have to do this in the first place. And vote so my mother's new business, A Little to the Left, selling greeting cards to friends and family of gays and lesbians, can flourish.
(You hear that, Republicans? I am promoting small business and reduction of governmental involvement. Think about it.)