civil rights. human rights. inalienable rights. it’s what this great country was founded on, well, that and the graves of the natives we slaughtered so we’d have plenty of room to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. hey, our creator endowed us. US. not them.
it’s human nature to want human rights, and it is also human nature to deny those rights to other humans. how do those who struggle against the rights of others manage to reconcile this in their minds? not just a few stray assholes, mind you. we’re talking a massive coalition of churches pooling their considerable resources have their opinions written into the rule of law. “So far, Proposition 8 supporters have poured $19,778,208 to outlaw same-sex marriage, about $1.6 million more than opponents of the measure. Add the two sides together and that’s about $38 million. Imagine the good it could be doing elsewhere.”
so much good that could be done, but instead it’s just the same old evil, the latest in a long history of religious persecutors, fighting these battles along the increasingly blurry line between church and state, bleating about the need to protect the institution of marriage against the ‘wrong people’ getting into it. they do this in the same spirit we used to enforce similar protections against people of color sharing schools, bathrooms, and water fountains, insisting they were ‘separate but equal’. “California law already grants domestic partners all the rights that a state can grant to a married couple. Gays have a right to their private lives, but not to change the definition of marriage for everyone else.” i thought we covered the whole “separate is inherently unequal” thing way back in Brown v. Board of education, but perhaps not.
marriage can hardly be called a privilege. it’s as much a right as anything else that we’re entitled to do once we reach a certain age. you don’t have to pass a written exam or a road test, you simply present yourself at the courthouse with proper ID, a pulse, and $45, and they’ll issue you a license to wed. hell, death row inmates are allowed to marry, and they are considered property of the state — they don’t even have the right to their own lives, but they can be married in the eyes of god and the government.
my anger (and there is quite a lot of it) stems from the unimaginable arrogance inherent in excluding any minority from anything based solely on their status as a member of that minority. the religious reich, citing the bible, channeling mein kampf. not that i’m making comparisons between our modern godly persecutors and nazi germany! oh hell no! hitler had lousy P.R. people. ‘family values’ would have been a much more effective tagline than ‘master race’. ok, ok, calm down, i am not comparing discrimination to genocide. they are completely different things. totally unrelated. nothing to do with one another. except, you know, the hate. it takes a powerful amount of hate to operate under the set of presumptions necessary to conceive of, and campaign for, something as devastating as Prop 8. these people have nothing personal to be protected against, and no reason other than this hate to fight against the rights of others (it’s not like the law is trying to force churches to perform gay marriages, that’s actually quite unnecessary — there are plenty of churches that will willingly and joyfully officiate over these vows).
the truth is that there are many, many good christians who oppose Prop. 8. there are even organized religious groups who have spoken out against Prop 8. in fact, i feel ridiculously grateful to any and all who have taken a stand against this abomination against humanity and enlightenment and love, because historically, any time a determined group of individuals has dedicated itself to systematically denying the rights of another group of people, it’s been a hell of a fight to set things right.
even if you don’t live in california, you can still speak out against this. the struggle for civil rights affects us all. even if you don’t believe in gay marriage, you can still speak out against this, because it is not about gayness, or really even about marriage — it’s about rights.