15 January 2010

No to H8te

Wow, 2008 seems like such a long time ago. I try not to get too political here, but I am hopping mad.

In 2008, there were vicious campaigns -- presidential, congressional, and for propositions. One of the ugliest, to me at least, was Proposition 8, which essentially stripped tax-paying, law-abiding citizens of their right to be wed to the person they love, simply because that person happens to be of the same sex.

Yes, you read that right: rights were taken away.

The judicial branch of the government is there to protect the people from ourselves. It is there to decide on things like civil right issues that may violate the laws set forth in our Constitution. It was the judicial branch who found that separate was not equal, and that said interracial marriages were legal, two things we take for granted now as a given.

So when the Supreme Court of California said that the ban on same-sex marriages was against the Constitution, and that people in same-sex marriages had the right to marry the partner they love and thus be afforded the same rights as those who were in "opposite"-sex marriages, it was a win for civil rights, civil rights for all of us. But then a group based outside of California with money to spend introduced a proposition to strip people of their rights. Money was poured into the campaign, spewing misinformation and telling blatant lies, and it passed. (the only good news that came out of it is that it passed by the smaller margin than similar propositions had, showing a change in the attitudes of voters)

However, that the people decided on a civil rights issue like this was wrong. Back when interracial marriage was deemed legal by the courts, popular opinion would have shot it down, as well. It was a sad, sad day.

It is something that absolutely baffles me. How does same-sex marriage threaten opposite-sex marriage? How does giving my friends the right to marry hurt me in any way? It doesn't, at all. In fact, it gives me a chance to celebrate their love in a way that I hope they will someday be allowed to celebrate mine.

So why, you may wonder, am I bringing this up now? Why am I mad? Well...A court case started this week to rule on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, in hopes of reinstating the earlier decision by the Supreme Court, thus reinstating the right of all consenting adults in California to marry whomever they chose, regardless of sex (notice I said consenting adults, not children, dogs, or goats). What has be mad is the defense.

It is a "pro-children" defense, and essentially says that marriage is an institution created to create children, something which cannot happen naturally between same-sex partners. So...does this mean that couples that choose to adopt children should not be allowed to get married? Or the married couples that choose not to have children, should they get their rights taken away, too?

I am actually hoping that this hurts the defense. Because several expert witnesses have already said it doesn't harm children, or the institution of marriage. And that states that have legalized same-sex marriage have a lower divorce rate. Isn't that pro-children and pro-family?!

And it comes down to it being a slippery slope. If they take the rights away, this easily, of one group, who is to say they won't do it to other groups. Who is to say a group couldn't decide that women shouldn't work, be educated, vote, and take those rights away? Once rights are taken away once, it is not good for the future.

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