This morning was a very bittersweet awakening for me. Last night I went to bed with the news that we, as a nation, had elected our first black president. Words can not begin to describe what an amazing feeling this news left me with. I did not vote for President Elect Obama. That being said, I am perfectly capable of seeing just how historic and extraordinary a moment this is.
My children will be able to remember the day that our country took a huge step forward.... a step into a new era. The day that Jim Crow laws and their legacy were placed in the shadow of love, acceptance and hope.
Then I woke up and turned on the news.
This morning I was reminded that we, as a nation, have NOT taken such huge leaps. We just redirected our energies and hatred.
And my children got to see me weep, instead of rejoice.
Behold the homosexual. The new, politically correct target for our hatred and discrimination.
I live in California. I have been a very vocal opponent of Proposition 8 and make no apologies for such. Part of me already knew that Prop 8 would pass. This "blue" state is not so "blue" as many would believe. Yet......part of me held on to some sliver of hope and so I fell alseep with my fingers crossed and hope and justice on my mind. It was short lived. Californians passed Prop 8 by a narrow majority and, thus, set us forth on a path of hatred, discrimination and UNconstitutional conduct.
A "no" vote on Prop 8 would have set us on a path towards being truly civic and justice minded citizens of this so-called "blue" state.
ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME–SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.
- Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California.
- Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
A "no" vote on 8 would've guaranteed equal rights for an entire group of citizens of our 'fine' state. It would have signaled that we choose to follow our constitution and that we place our fellow human beings above what we consider "icky". It would have said "Okay, I don't agree with your "choices" but I won't demonize you based on MY feelings/choices/beliefs." (disclaimer: I do not feel that homosexuality is a choice. However, this is a regular argument agains homosexuality)
Let's define irony, shall we?
Yesterday we, as a nation, voted a man into the most powerful office in the free world. This same man, at one point in recent history, would not have been able to marry another human being that was not the same race/color that he is. He would have been restrained by unconstitutional laws that were put in place and upheld for decades solely through the support of people who didn't mind placing THEIR beliefs above another human beings.... laws that were supported and upheld, in many instances, based on religious bigotry.
On that same day, several states throughout our great nation passed laws/amendments to place those very same restraints on a whole new minority group by suggesting that THEIR religious dogma somehow has a place in OUR constitution. On that same day, several states laughed in the face of the change that many Americans hoped for and demanded.
Yesterday we made the decision to set our Constitution on fire and throw it out the window.
Welcome to the new and improved Jim Crow era.
I am heartsick.