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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Too good...we have come so far

To say that I am giddy over our election results on Tuesday is to be unable to find the right word for the level of excitement and pride I feel about this. Policy opinions aside...this was huge. I really feel like my generation finally did something we can say "Yes, I contributed to this really great event!" Obama is elegant, humble, very intelligent and our President elect!!! I feel like if I opt for children and they want to be president, I can say Yes You Can because look at President Obama (oh p.s. if Chris and I had kids they would be mixed racially).

On a sad note Proposition 8 passed in California. I am reposting a comment I sent to my friend who voted for it. It sums up exactly how I feel about this issue and how we should listen to each other. To put this into context - she posted a blog defending her vote and she was clearly feeling attacked by some friends of hers (not by yours truly; I did not know how she voted until she posted her blog):

Well my friend, how about a friendly dialogue then? I think if you only talk about issues with people who agree with you then there is really no point in talking about them. You absolutely have a right to your opinion and I applaud you for exercising your right to vote. In fact I send you a round of applause for being brave and asserting your view on this. It sets a great example for your family when you exercise your civil duty....and plus, we as women stand on the shoulders of many other women who fought for our right to vote. It was not that long ago when women were still considered chattel (fancy word for property for those who may not be familiar with it....a dog is considered chattel today on the law books).

So, let's talk. I know you don't hate gay people, because if you did then you would hate my family and I don't believe you to be a hateful person. I don't believe you hate Mel or my dad since you ask me how they are doing. But, to place this in context for those reading this who may not know me: I grew up with 2 gay dads who were together for 20 years. They raised me and did a pretty fucking good job. They raised me in a family. I was one of the few people who did not have to spend time between two homes due to divorce. I would say proudly that I am a fairly accomplished adult and this is due to my 2 dads. So, now that this is out of the way let me propose some food for thought for you and I invite you to throw it right back at me. I'm not trying to change your mind, but I want you to see where my belief comes from.

Not too long ago there was a case called Loving v. Virginia. It went to the Supreme Court to decide where states could make it illegal for whites to marry non-whites. The Supreme Court said that the states could not interfere with with a civil right to marry; specifically it cited the 14th Amendment. Additionally it is interesting to note that the church was backing the laws that remained in the state Virgina stating this was a moral issue that a white man should not be able to marry a black woman; they wanted to continue the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 (The Mormon Church funded Prop 8 - 20 million dollars worth which mostly came from out of state). Which was exactly what this case was about. This couple got married in another state, returned to their home in Virginia and their home was raided by police because they were sleeping in the same bed which was a crime. They went to jail. Had they not fought this, their children would have been considered bastards and socially undesirable under the social mores of the time. Additionally, I would not have the option to marry Chris if this had stayed on the books.

I believe that the right to marry is a civil rights issue and not one of morality. No one is trying to force the Church's' hand in marriage or even try to change the view of ones moral compass, we are only trying to state this: gay people are not second class citizens and to deny them the right to marry so that they have all of the legal rights under marriage is to say they do not matter. It sends a message that they are 2nd class citizens because they have less rights than others. Specifically it sends a message that a family who finds moral issues with their gay son or daughter can not only kick their partner out of a hospital room (and they do this) but they can also take over all of the property rights bequeathed to this partner. It also states that gay people cannot have a family under the protections of the law: rights for visitation, child support, etc. I could go on but for the sake of brevity I will leave it there.

On a personal note: why is my family less important than those of a straight couple? Why was it right that Mel feared having me taken away from him because our family was not legitimate under the eyes of the law? And further, why is it fair that I am not Mel's daughter under the eyes of the law to this day? Yes, there is a domestic partner law but it does not cover these basic areas that I have only touched on.

In short my friend, I have no problem agreeing to disagree with you on this issue and I do not think less of you for your opinions. But, we should all be able to speak civilly about our differences. It is an opportunity to grow from them. Anyone who is scolding you for your choices is not looking at this from the big picture that we all can grow from this experience. We just elected our first Black President...if that is not growth, I don't know what is.

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