Thursday, October 23, 2008

With a Heavy Heart...

Today I have a very heavy heart. One of my good friends, somebody I truly love, just called me up out of the blue to tell me that she plans to vote yes on Prop 8 and that she needed to address it with me. She went on to tell me that not only must she honor her religious faith by voting "yes," but also that she has done a lot of research on the issue and she has concerns about what legalizing same-sex marriage will mean to her children (children, is must be noted, that she doesn't have yet). She spoke of the ramifications of same-sex marriage without giving specifics, and stressed to me that her vote to eliminate my right to enjoy the same kind of legally recognized relationship that she is entitled to does not mean that she loves me any less. Well, golly gee.

I have to admit, I was floored by this conversation, but I should not be surprised. I knew my friend was getting more and more involved with her religious faith (those damned Mormons!), and in fact, I saw this coming, but it didn't make facing the inevitable any easier. I didn't want to get into a huge debate (or worse), so I politely told her that she is entitled to her opinion and that I still love her, then excused myself from the phone call. But now... just moments later, I'm torn. I was just sitting at work the other day telling my co-worker that I didn't think I would be able to maintain a relationship with anyone who voted in favor of Proposition 8, and now I'm forced to put my money where my mouth is. But here's the thing: I don't know that I can do that. How can I look at someone who voted to deny me the right to equality and not feel like they've told me that I am lesser in their eyes? How can I not feel judged? Telling someone that is gay, "I love you, but I don't think you should enjoy the same legal rights as me" is the same as telling a black person, "I love you, but I don't think you should be allowed to drink out of the same fountain as me." And yet my friend maintains that she loves me and thinks no less of me. How can this be true if she doesn't think I should be allowed to the most basic of rights?

As I said, the reason that my friend gave me for voting in favor of Proposition 8 is that she is worried what same-sex marriage would mean for her children (the ones she hasn't even had yet). She said there would be very serious ramifications on her kids if gay people could marry. She didn't elaborate, but earlier she did say she didn't want her kids learning that same-sex couples could marry in school. And my answer is, "WHY?"

This kind of reasoning annoys me more than anything, because essentially she's blaming her decision to treat me unfairly on kids she doesn't even have yet, and absolving herself of the responsibility of her own bigotry. And I just have to ask: WHAT ARE WE PROTECTING THE CHILDREN FROM???

What ramifications are the Prop 8 people talking about? The ramifications that their kids will grow up in a world where people are recognized as equals under the law? Those ramifications??? GOD, NOT THOSE! God knows we don't want our kids thinking that it's OK to people to be who they are and to feel like they are entitled to the same rights as everyone else. Because that would just be too horrible for words.

Why is it so horrible if kids learn about same-sex love at an early age? Isn't that when they SHOULD learn about it, so that they don't grow up with the same prejudices that their parents harbor? If you want to save the children, then save them from the people who are voting yes on Prop 8. Seriously, THESE are the people who are destroying this country.

Maybe it's because I'm gay that I think we all should be equal, but I don't know... wasn't this country founded on the idea that all men are created equal? How is voting to amend our Constitution and eliminate the rights of a certain faction of people honoring those founding principals? How is this justifiable under ANY circumstances? The truth is, it's NOT. It's just plain WRONG, and I'm having a very hard time figuring out how I can still call someone my friend when they don't even think that any relationship I have is worthy enough to be protected under the law because such a thing might hurt her unborn children!

My friend said she spent a lot of time praying for her answer and that she got a very spiritual sign to vote yes for Prop 8. Since I do not share her belief in God (yet again, I am seeing how organized religion prevents otherwise intelligent people from making rational decisions), I can't look to the heavens for my answer. I'm going to have to search my heart on this one and see where it leads me. What would YOU do???


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