Thursday, October 16, 2008

An Emphatic NO on Prop 8

For those not in the know, Proposition 8 is a proposed amendment to the California state constitution. It states that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman. It would make gay marriage illegal. That he does not support gay marriage is my one problem with Senator Obama. I sincerely hope that one day he will see the light.

Thomas Merton wrote, “We owe a definite homage to the reality around us and we are obliged, at certain times, to say what things are and to give them their right names.” He was right and there is to be no more sidestepping the issue. Proposition 8 is about prejudice against gays and lesbians. There, I said it. How else to explain why straight people even care why someone else gets married? It is not about preserving the “sanctity of marriage”. If that were the case, then these same people would be against allowing divorce. Why aren’t they picketing the offices of divorce lawyers? Wouldn’t that make more sense than telling someone that they can’t get married in order to preserve marriage? Where does that make sense? It is because they are not trying to preserve marriage, they are just trying to prevent same sex marriage. Paint it any color you want, call it anything you want, it’s prejudice.
The second reason I hear about is that if Prop 8 does not pass, teachers will have to teach that homosexuality is okay. Do some people really think that just because a teacher does or does not teach this that their child will never come across a gay person? Do they really think their child will never be in a class with a child who has same-sex parents? Do they really believe that none of them will have a child that is homosexual? Again, let’s give this thing its right name: prejudice. They are advocating the teaching of prejudice by forcing these teachers into a curriculum that marginalizes people by not recognizing them as human beings the same as the rest of us. I believe that is what Hitler did with the Jewish people. Do you really want your kids learning this? Or do you want them to learn that people come in all shapes, colors, and sizes and that we can have different lives, lifestyles and opinions, and that we can respect those differences without having to agree with them. I say this firmly: People who do not want their child to learn an opposing viewpoint realize that their own viewpoint cannot take a hit. It will crumble and fall. Because the only thing that holds prejudice up is ignorance.
Proposition 8 is about prejudice, ignorance and fear. Those who are for Proposition 8 are trying to make others afraid of what will happen if they don’t vote for it. I say be afraid of what will happen if you do. Think about it. You will be voting for an amendment to the state constitution to take away someone’s civil rights. That is as Anti-American as it gets. Americans vote for freedom, not against.

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out -
because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out -
because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out -
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me.”-Pastor Martin Niemöller