One week ago the people of this country began to party in the streets. I was actually driving down 16th St when I had to stop because the street had been spontaneously closed by joyful San Franciscans. Once I got on my way home I passed Market and Castro. Castro was blocked off for a formal street party, but the crowds seemed subdued. Upon arriving home I saw that Prop 8, repealing the right of people to marry a person of their own sex, was ahead.
Joy at electing a remarkable man to the White House. But a gut-punch to those of us who feel deeply about equal rights.
Just now I received a link to Keith Olbermann, and NBC commentator, who does an excellent job of expressing my dismay over Proposition 8:
The gist: marriage is about Love. At the time Barack Obama was born his parents’ marriage was illegal in 1/3 of the United States, and in the days of slavery, marriage between black people was illegal. There is no advantage to be had in opposing gay marriage, and in this culture where we feel uncomfortable about the impermanence of relationships, and the high rate of divorce, if two people can find love, we ought to allow them to enjoy it the same as anyone else.
While there are lawsuits out to restore same-sex marriage through the courts, my personal hope is that we can put it on the ballot again, and that next time it comes before the people of California, the people will have grown in their own hearts to accept that allowing lovers to marry is what we ought to do. We gained ten points since the last ballot proposition, and Prop 8 would likely have failed were it not for balls-out misinformation fear campaign by the Mormon Church and other cultural conservatives, who viewed popular support for same-sex marriage in California as the first step in a trend that would ultimately lead to acceptance of same-sex marriage throughout the United States.
We have work ahead to ensure the rights of a minority that has been tormented for too long.