Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's A Sad Day in America

I went in to work yesterday with the assumption that everyone would be as excited about Obama's victory as I was, and they were. But, more importantly, there was a sadness that hung over everybody. The passage of Prop 8 in California devastated the 3rd floor of BAL, which houses the Institute of Humanities, the Women's Studies Department and the Communications Department. There are several faculty members who are gay or lesbian, but it didn't just affect them. I was disheartened by the inability of Californians to look past their individual bigotry to do what is best for humanity.

I am saddened that we, as a nation, were able to break through one type of bigotry by electing an African-American president, while reinforcing another, by telling homosexual couples that their love and devotion is less authentic than heterosexual couples. The fear of some rallied into a new kind of hatred of many. It deeply saddens me that my friends will not get the chance to marry; I don't think their love is any less true than mine and Roger's. Nor do I think they are wrong for loving whomever they love.

Back when I still attended church, we were taught that God made all people in his image. We sang a goofy song celebrating the different "colors" of God's peoples. By telling a group of people that God hates them, religious fanatics are playing God, which I believe contradicts the first commandment of not having any other God before me. So, rather than celebrating ALL people, religious leaders are taking it upon themselves to damn those that are different. Shameful.

It is time in this country to banish all hatred and bigotry, not pick and choose which type of hatred and bigotry to focus on now. We have a long way to go as Americans. I am extremely proud to be an American, an open-minded American.


Jessica said...

I don't think banning Prop 8 indicates that anyone believes one love is more authentic than the other. The question at hand is not whether two people love each other and share their life together. The question is whether those who don't support religious ideals should be married. I've been raised Catholic, where marriage is considered a sacrament and many preconditions must be met before a priest will marry you. I jumped through several hoops as part of a heterosexual couple. While I do not support gay marriage at the church level, I do support civil unions and allowing these couples to be officially recognized in that way. Just because someone's morals and upbringing drive them to believe a certain way does not mean they are full of hatred or bigotry. Would you think it was a sad day in America if abortion was banned, too? Likely not, but in some instances that is a form of hatred to our future generations.

Kate and Roger said...

By passing Prop 8, the religious leaders in California (and the Mormon church, I believe) have asserted that "My values are more important than your values." I do not believe anyone's rights trump anyone else's rights. There are a lot of ideologies I disagree with, including those of the Catholic church, but I will never say that my belief's rights can stop yours. It is unfair for anybody's beliefs to be forced up me. Right now, gays and lesbians cannot fulfill the constitutional promise to the pursuit of happiness, and that is wrong.

Also, I do forcefully believe that if abortion was banned, I would be even angrier and possibly leave the country. That is not American. Anti-choice people feel so strongly for giving life, but what if that child were gay...give them life but deny them any chance at a happy future, with rights and privileges afforded to others. That seems about as anti-American as you can get. The two issues are inherently different and very personal, which is why I think that we should have LESS government when it comes to our personal freedoms.

These are beliefs that you and I differ on, and likely always will. This country should celebrate these differences and our ability to have differing opinions. I truly believe there would be no harm to non-gay people if gays could marry. I just want my friends and family to enjoy the perks of marriage that I enjoy, such as benefits and property and many more, in the same manner I enjoy them. I truly believe that all people are created equal, and should, therefore, have equal rights. And my opinion is that Prop 8 denies those equal rights to United States citizens.

Anonymous said...

Religious organizations have been marrying gay and lesbian couples for decades--those life commitments have not been recognized by the states as having legal status. To say that there are certain religious ideals needed for marriage is prohibited by our constitution. By this way of thinking, Kate and I are not married. This is not a religious argument. It is a matter of whether or not we are willing to legally recognize life commitments (marriage) of gay and lesbians in the same way we do for heterosexuals. It has not been that many years since inter-racial marriages were not recognized in some states. There were those that truly believed in a religious basis for those laws. They essentially justified their bigotry with their miss-guided religious beliefs.