And the skies are grey but I would not be safe and warm if I were in LA. After the elation of Tuesday night’s election results, which made me so proud of our country, came Wednesday morning’s slap in the face. Proposition 8 which eliminates the rights of people like me to marry was passed by California’s voters. I was gutted. Firstly because California is such a bell-weather state for the rest of the country. It would have been so great if in a referendum on marriage equality in a state where it was an on-going reality, people affirmed it at the ballot box. But that didn’t happen. The “No on 8” campaign is trying to stop people from noticing the demographic break down of bigoted votes in the state with this press release….
We achieve nothing if we isolate the people who did not stand with us in this fight. We only further divide our state if we attempt to blame people of faith, African American voters, rural communities and others for this loss. We know people of all faiths, races and backgrounds stand with us in our fight to end discrimination, and will continue to do so. Now more than ever it is critical that we work together and respect our differences that make us a diverse and unique society. Only with that understanding will we achieve justice and equality for all.
To my mind, this is all very nice and I agree with the last sentence, but really, can I ‘respect’ somebody more than they respect me? The Mormon Church funnelled millions of dollars into California; they are people of faith and I think I can blame them. And I can fight their tax-exempt status, and I urge you to do so too. They should be punished. Although I can’t tell which African-American or Hispanic voted for Proposition 8, I can’t pretend that most of them did.
And most sad of all, when most Californians voted to eliminate gay people’s right to marry, they eliminated any plans I had to return to the state.
Now, a lot of people may ask – why is this so different from any of the other states who passed such hate-filled ammendments? The difference is that marriage equality was a fact in California, unlike any in other state. The majority of Californian voters were prepared to eliminate the civil rights of a minority group. How could they? How could they go into a voting booth and decide to eliminate somebody else’s rights? That is politically and morally different from not extending rights in the first place. It’s saying, “look, our courts hold that you aren’t second class citizens, but we can fix that.” How on earth could I ever return to such a place?
This is very hard to me because ever since I was a child, California was to me the land of perfection, of coolness, where everything was better somehow than wherever I was. People were nicer, the weather was better, the scenery more beautiful, the life was a string of marvellous day after marvellous day. And when I went – on vacation of course – that’s pretty much how it felt. Californians were so nice and friendly as I pointed out – I was disoriented. Northern California is breathtaking. The weather was perfect. And having a Californian marriage certificate made me, in some way, a part of this promised land of the Western world. We were all set to buy a Bear Republic flag to fly over our house (something told me to wait until the election) – not now. We were going to return to see, oh, San Diego, or LA or San Francisco again – not now.
I guess you can tell I’m angry. This vote felt like an attack on me and my family. I don’t know if, in defense of marriage, California may be forced to dissolve my marriage. Ask yourself this – how would you like your marriage to be put up for popular vote? To have your neighbours decide if you could stay married or if your children could ever get married. Might you feel like three-fifths of a person?
No EC on this post. It doesn’t feel right today. 😦