Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Proposition 8 - the verdict

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" How ironic - a quote from Charles Dickens - his name was the name by which my high school class was known Here in America in the present day, a Latina is nominated to be on the Supreme Court and California's Supreme Court has upheld Proposition 8. Talk about dichotomies!

I have been trying to decide what I could put into words for over an hour. There was no text message to apprise me of the outcome, so when the verdict came in over lunch, I had to wait to get home and find out via my inbox on my email, thanks to Equality Utah and the NY Times.

I truly cannot comprehend what those justices were thinking as they deliberated. Do they not realize that we live in the United States of America? Have they not seen that 4 more states have passed gay marriage legislation since their Proposition 8 fiasco? What of the LDS Church and the millions of dollars that they poured into the Proposition 8 campaign - this from a church that should understand persecution - the Governor of Missouri issued an extermination order - an order to kill all Mormon men unless they left that state - all this in the not so recent past of this great nation. And now they use their considerable resources to persecute yet another group.

I am heartsick for my gay brothers and sisters who have agonized over whether to come out to friends, coworkers and family.....those who remain closeted because of the stigmas attached to homosexuality - for some - those who cannot be married to someone whom they love because a court has told them in the same way they told Brown v Board of Education and Loving v Virginia that blacks could not go to school, nor intermarry with whites - this cannot and should not stand. Those who risk discrimination in employment, healthcare, housing and others because they happen to be gay - yes, that might be a small 5% of the population by some figures, but that matters not - just to be a minority should not automatically indicate discrimination!

I hope that states all around the country will continue to see the light and follow in the footsteps of CT, IA, VT, ME and NH - 5 states where clearly one is not judged by their sexual orientation, but not judged at all - not by their sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, sex or any other protected class.

This is the United States of America and I hope that all Americans will begin to see the bigger picture here - this is a civil rights issue - just as whites stood with blacks in order for them to get equality, just as men stood with women in order for them to get suffrage, just as straights such as myself stand up to get equality for everyone - it is time for Americans to stand up and demand equality for their gay brothers and sisters. Those who hide behind the guise of gay marriage being a threat to straight marriage are driven by fear and this should not be - they should come out of the shadows and have honest, crucial and candid conversations with those whom they know to be gay - let's be honest - we all know someone who is gay - a friend, coworker, family member, loved one - or in my case - former spouse. They need and deserve our love and support, not to be condemned and treated like second class citizens.

I encourage you to write to your senators, legislators, congressmen and governors, participate in rallies - support GLBT causes, businesses who support gays and offer domestic partner benefits - we can do this.

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