A week ago this nation did a historic thing– it elected its first black president. Simultaneously, various states decided to deny people equal rights and one state, California took away a civil right. I have been mulling over what I want to say and have yet to find my words. But I did find out that massive peaceful protests are taking place all over the country and I am inviting you to take part in one.
Join the Impact is helping to organize protests all around the country– not just in the states directly effected. Please go to the website, find your closest city protest, and join them Saturday morning at 10:30 PST. Honestly, I do not believe that only gay people should be part of this. As a nation we need to think about what equal for all means; and what separation of church and state means.
Go HERE to find a location nearest you. Or, see if you happen to be on my list: Alabama – Birmingham | Mobile | Dothan Alaska – Sullivan Arena | Fairbanks City Hall Arizona – Phoenix Arkansas – Little Rock California – San Diego | Los Angeles | Bakersfield | Sacramento | San Francisco | San Jose | Moreno Valley Colorado – Denver Connecticut – Hartford Delaware – Dover Washington D.C. Florida – Jacksonville | Miami Orlando Georgia – Atlanta Hawaii – Honolulu Idaho – Boise Illinois – Chicago Indiana – Indianapolis Iowa – Des Moines | Iowa City Kansas – Kansas City | Wichita Kentucky – Louisville | Lexington Louisiana – New Orleans Maine – Portland Maryland – Baltimore Massachusetts – Boston | Northampton Michigan – Detroit Minnesota – Minneapolis/St. Paul Mississippi – Jackson Missouri – Kansas City | St. Louis Montana – Billings | Missoula Nebraska – Omaha Nevada – Las Vegas | Reno New Hampshire – Manchester New Jersey – Newark New Mexico – Albuquerque New York – Syracuse | Albany | New York City North Carolina – Charlotte | Raleigh (check the page) North Dakota – Grand Forks Ohio – Cleveland | Columbus | Cincinnati Oklahoma – Oklahoma City Oregon – Eugene | Portland Pennsylvania – Philadelphia | Pittsburgh Rhode Island – Providence South Carolina – Charleston South Dakota – Sioux Falls | Rapid City Tennessee – Memphis | Nashville Texas – Houston | Austin | Dallas Utah – Salt Lake City Vermont – Montpelier | Burlington Virginia – Richmond Washington – Spokane | Seattle West Virginia – Charleston Wisconsin – Milwaukee Wyoming – Cody | Laramie
Some people have been able to explain the impact of Prop 8 (in CA) and other similar measures more eloquently then I have. I would invite you to visit their posts. What you see below is just a tiny snippet:
But that is where the argument falls apart for me. Regardless of personal or religious beliefs- an amendment taking my rights away is wrong. Pure and simple. Yes on 8 was, and is, wrong. And I know I’ve said it before, but I cannot get over people in my community, in our school circle, people who know me, know my family, had Käri as their child’s first grade teacher, who voted yes. I can forgive it- slowly. I can buy their religious excuses as the reason behind their vote. I can’t or, admittedly, won’t forget.
But listen, 52% of California: Back when gay marriage was legal, your days didn’t change, either. When there was marriage equality in your state, your mornings transpired exactly the way they had before. Your head probably hurt before your morning coffee. Your kids probably protested getting dressed. It’s even possible that your daughter also hid your keys in your glove box, and when gay marriage was legal, she still squealed with joy when you found them.
A friend from New Jersey calls, desperate to know any Prop 8 news: his Internet is down, and he’s stuck with local network news. He, like many other people far more heterosexual and far less Californian than I am, cared deeply about this. For the first time, my own voice cracks when I tell him that I don’t believe my father will live to see the day that this fight is over. My kids will for sure; I probably will. But my dad: no.
Prop 8 is a piece of religious legislation denying homosexual couples the right to marry. Last time I checked, we had a little thing called separation of church and state in the good old US of A. Living in a country where the Catholic church has a huge influence has made me really aware of how lucky we are to live in a secular society. Much as I love the abundance of long weekends (thank you, random saints), I do not love things like the fact that divorce only recently became legal, abortion is still illegal and the morning after pill, despite being legal, is almost impossible to buy since the old fashioned owners of the three main pharmacy chains don’t happen to agree with it. So how could I possibly support a piece of legislation that has no effect whatsoever on my personal life yet denies civil rights to some people, simply because some god somewhere said “thou shalt not kiss someone of the same sex?”
I was thinking about how it would be dealt with if someone said the same thing about biracial marriage. Or a single mother by choice. And how it would most certainly not be allowed, not respected as a mere difference of opinion or teaching of different values in the home. It would be called out as the bigotry that it is. It would be the Topic of A Parent Teacher Conference or something. You can’t run around these days saying, “Well, I just believe biracial marriage is WRONG” or “A woman having a baby on her own is WRONG.”
California’s social conservatives thought they’d be clever and claim gay marriage would require schools to teach youngsters all about same-sex nuptials, fanning the bigoted flames of fear. They urge voters to vote “Yes” on Proposition 8, which would overturn the state Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling.
Proposition 8 does not protect religious expression at all but rather threatens the legitimate diversity of opinion on this issue among people of faith in the name of a narrow, fundamentalist orthodoxy. Legal recognition and protection of same-sex unions threatens no one and enhances freedom of religious expression in the State of California.
Well, those claims are simply not true, and California superintendent of schools Jack O’Connell (pictured, with two California schoolchildren) comes right out and says so and calls such claims “shameful,” for their exploitation of children.