I may have mentioned this before, but I hate politics. I hate politicians and I hate all of the bullshit that goes along with campaigning. That being said, I ALWAYS vote.
To be honest, I probably wouldn’t be much of a voter if my mom didn’t push me so much. She made sure I was registered to vote when I was 18 and all the times when I’m like “mom, I do NOT care about this”, she’s always told me that it’s my right and it’s important. So, every election, I get out my blue book (or find it online) and I research the amendments and I vote. And over time, I’ve realized that it IS important and I actually like to vote.
This election, I still hate politics. I can’t wait for this day to be over so that I can stop hearing and seeing all the dirty campaigning and the underhandedness and the stupidity. I’m totally interested in the outcome, because either way, it’s historic.
The difference with this election is that I actually care about something presented on the ballot – and it’s something that isn’t even on MY ballot – I can’t vote NO on Proposition 8 because it’s a ballot issue in California and obviously I don’t live there.
The reason I care so much about it is because it concerns the rights of someone I love very much. Beth (who’ve I’ve mentioned many times before) has been my friend since we were six years old. She’s been my moral compass, the person I ask advice from, the person I know will always protect my secrets, and the person who knows me the absolute best. She has supported me and loved me through the many MANY questionable decisions I’ve made, and been happy with me for all the great things that have happened. She never fails to send flowers on special days – birthdays, Christmas, even Mother’s Day – and she recently sent me something really special for my wedding. She is certainly one of the most caring and loyal friends anyone could ever ask for.
Seven years ago, our group also gained Merideth, when she and Beth had a lovely commitment ceremony in Sonoma. Meri and Beth complement each other beautifully, whether it be in home repairs or the kitchen or personality. Meri has become a friend, not just because she’s Beth’s wife, but because she is a genuinely cool person who I probably would have picked for a friend anyway. Together, they have a marriage that is a great example of a loving and caring partnership.
In June, California began to allow gay marriage, so after seven years of being “committed” to each other, Beth and Meri were finally able to get legally married. Now, five months later, California wants to revoke their rights. After reading about this issue, I have to say that it’s really the stupidest thing EVER. Seriously, the law makes it so easy for straight couples to get married – in Colorado, you can marry your cousin! If you need a green card, all you have to do is marry someone who’s a citizen, and boom! Citizenship and insurance and everything! Please.
You know what? Gay marriage isn’t going to destroy the (already questionable) moral fabric of the U.S. It's not the beginning of a slippery slope into horribly deviant behavior. If you don’t want to marry someone of the same gender, it’s your decision not to. If you don’t want to be around people of the same gender who are married, well, find new friends. If you want to propagate inequality, maybe you should do that on your own time and not use the Bible and the law to back you up. If you want to teach your children that denying rights to people is ok, I sure hope they grow up to never need that right.
I mean really – look at history – women couldn’t vote, interracial marriages were forbidden, abortion was illegal. All things that were (and still are) frightening and foreign to some people. But instead of accepting the status quo, people fought for their rights. Not to be cliché, but isn’t that what America was founded on? Rights were being denied in England and so people stood up and said no. They kept saying no - no to slavery, no to segregation, no to Hitler and communists and terrorists. No to ignorant people who couldn't look past their own issues and realize that this is about doing what is right and what is humane and what is decent.
So today, I want California to say NO. Say no to bigotry. Say no to fear disguised as legislation. Say no to hateful people claiming to represent God and the church when the truth is, God and the church DO NOT represent them. Say no for your gay friends and family. Say no for Beth and Meri and my aunt and her partner – say no for our kids, who need to be taught that love isn’t something to be ashamed of and that strong, loving marriages should be celebrated and honored.
And to Beth and Meri – it may be small comfort and it may be none at all, but know that I love you both and to me, no matter what, you will always be married and you will always be part of my family.