What a wondrous and sad day for Americans. It would seem that racial hate has finally lessened with the electing of President-elect Obama — or perhaps the hate has simply been transferred.
I am sorry to say that in a state noted to be one of the most liberal in the union, we still have such a horrible degree of hate and discrimination, as has been proven with the passing of proposition 8.
GLBT activists have made several comments on this disheartening occasion, and most accept that this is just another detour on the long road to true equal rights.
Like most of those who have opposed proposition 8, I find myself angry and depressed all at the same time. Why would anyone want to take away the rights of two taxpaying citizens who want nothing more than to be legally recognized and bonded for the rest of their natural lives?
Those who supported prop 8 acted as if the failure of the proposition would have forced acceptance of same-sex marriage. Nowhere was it written that religious groups or private citizens had to accept or condone same-sex couples — they are entitled to their personal opinions. However, personal opinions on situations dictated by religious morality should never be allowed to deprive citizens of constitutional rights. Why else would there be a separation between church and state if not to prevent a religious monopoly in this country?
Proponents of the proposition pushed the issue of protecting traditional marriage — what exactly is traditional marriage? Yes, they described it as merely between a man and a woman, but is that the complete definition? Are they also implying that the woman must be a virgin, or that the couple is not permitted to have sex until marriage? Additionally, in a traditional marriage, are the partners allowed to select each other? Traditionally speaking, marriages were arranged and the concept of love and choice has really only been around for a short period of time. Furthermore, if traditional marriage is supposed to be between a man and woman for reasons of procreation, what about couples who are sterile? Even couples who are fertile, does that mean they can only have sex if they are trying to procreate? If so, then that would mean that only vaginal penetration should be permitted — no oral sex or foreplay performed by either partner as that would be frivolous and self-indulgent. This, of course, would also mean that only the man was guaranteed an orgasm. Lastly, traditional marriage has implications towards ownership — i.e. the man owning the woman and the household. Are supporters of the proposition who support “traditional marriage” aware of this type of sexism they are reinforcing on our state?
Many heterosexual couples who are against the proposition being passed have discussed taking drastic measures. Among the ideas to make a political statement about this proposition, some heterosexual couples are considering divorcing and getting a domestic partnership. Although they recognize that a marriage and a domestic partnership are not the same thing, they would rather be associated with citizens fighting for equality than being a part of the marital institution of hate and oppression created by proposition 8.
I am reminded of the parallels between historical events; although ethnicity is far more physically obvious than one’s orientation, the fight for equality is a common ground. Whether people believe it or not, orientation, like ethnicity, is simply what you are. Yes, you can deny your true self, you can attempt to hide it, but you cannot do this forever. Eventually you will let your guard down and someone will see the truth. Is it so bad to be yourself?
While the passing of this proposition is definitely a setback for citizens who fight and strive for true equality regardless of ethnicity, religion, social status, gender, sexual orientation, or any other dividing factor, the battle is still raging and we will continue to fight until the citizens of our country can truly say that every member has equal and not separate rights.