Monday, November 03, 2008

Open Letter on Prop 8

From a Friend:

There is a proposition on the California ballot this year that directly impacts my life and I feel the need to do something about it before it is too late. It is very personal, and in my opinion, not something that should even be decided by a popular vote, as it is a matter of constitutional law (you know, the thing this country is supposed to be based on- all of us are created equal...). It is Prop 8. Voting yes on 8 will take away my rights as a citizen, and potential mother and wife. If this passes I will be denied rights that will protect me and my future family.

California, (like Massachusetts, Connecticut and many other countries) came to its proverbial senses on same-sex marriage and thus it was finally legalized this year. I personally know many happy couples who had been together for years, have children together, own houses together, and who's relationships were finally legitimized by the state for the first time. I can't tell you what it's like to live in a country that looks at who I am and the group of people like me, and says separate is equal. Do you know what it's like to be denied a basic human right because you are considered not 'normal' and not worthy of equal treatment?

Many people in this country think domestic partnership is good enough (though in many cases the rights it comes with are in fact, not equal). Does this remind you of anything else in our history? Are we really so un-evolved as a society that we need to repeat state-condoned segregation and go through a whole civil-rights battle, just to realize we could have made it easier on ourselves from the beginning by making the same laws and regulations applicable to all our citizens, rather than having separate rules for separate people?

Harvey Milk, the first gay elected official in this country said: If we look back on history, we see that our society is slowly moving toward its own founding principals of equality. What we have here is a chance to speed that process along.

Before voting this year, PLEASE consider:

1. That you know and love gays and lesbians. We have been around since the beginning of time, and we are 10-20% of the population.

2. We are not going away. It is not curable, whether we are born this way or not. We will continue to style hair, play softball and generally be underrepresented in sitcoms and media. Will you have us all be unmarried? Forever?

3. Prop 8 is about hating. You know at least one of "us" - whether or not we are comfortable enough to let you know that we are gay. Unfortunately, in "socially conservative" areas, we keep our sexuality a secret and often turn to drugs, suicide, and enter unhappy/unhealthy/abusive relationships at a much higher rate....acceptance and equal rights for all will be the first step to combating the bigotry that causes these problems.

4. Throughout history, we are poets, writers, inventors, musicians, teachers (lots of teachers), politicians, etc, yet treated as second class citizens.

5. Same-sex marriage was legalized all around the world (in SPAIN even) and has been legal in California for over 5 months now and no lightning has struck from above. In fact, everything is just normal and OK in all of the places that have legalized marriage. More people are happy and secure in stable families.

6. Same-sex marriage is good for the economy! One UCLA study projects that same-sex unions could provide a $370-million shot in the arm to the state economy over the next three years.

7. If for some reason, Prop 8 passes this November, it will not, I repeat not nullify all the same-sex marriages that have already taken place here. Over 11,000 couples have already tied the knot and many more are rushing to do it before the election. So basically, the only thing Prop 8 would be doing is taking away the right to marry for those of us that are not ready to get married right now. How unfair is that? California will still have plenty of gay and lesbian married couples running around.

8. Out of state marriages are valid. So all California will be doing is forcing gay couples to have their weddings elsewhere (spending money this state could surely use) and they'll return home to good ole California just as married as their straight counterparts.

9. Don't think for a second if Prop 8 passes a huge legal battle won't ensue. It's already been proven by the State Supreme Court that denying same-sex couples the right to marry is unconstitutional. Even if it passes, it will be overturned using a lot of (in my opinion) unnecessary time and money.

If you are a "yes" or "undecided" on this issue, I would consider it a personal favor if you took some time to read a few of the responses about misconceptions and fear tactics that the "yes" campaign is putting out.

Click here to read these.

Please spread the word about this human rights inequity issue. Forward this to everyone you know that is undecided (in CA). This isn't about politics or religion. This is about *me* and my life AND (chances are) about the life of someone else that you know and love. Both born and unborn; both "out of the closet", and "in the closet."

I should have mentioned, from a brilliant, wonderful, deserving of human rights friend.