November 3rd, 2008


The Proposition 8 Rant...

Election Day is tomorrow, and this issue worries me almost as much as who our next president will be. Both are close races, and while I think (hope) Obama is likely to come out on top, I fear that Prop 8 is going to pass instead of fail.

Proposition 8 is a California initiative seeking to amend the state constitution to prohibit marriage between anyone other than a man and a woman. We had a similar initiative, Prop 22, which passed years ago, but the California Supreme Court narrowly overturned it on the basis of discrimination. Opponents immediately sought a ballot measure to reverse the decision.

You all know I'm in favor of gay rights-- that's no surprise. But even if you oppose homosexuality, this is why you should vote against this proposition (or its equivalent in your local state).

* Civil rights should not be subject to popular vote. Our country was founded on equality for all, and also with the idea of rejecting the "tyranny of the majority." Had the Civil Rights Act of 1964 been subject to popular vote, we would likely still have segregation and Jim Crow laws in effect in parts of this country today.

* The right to marry is a civil contract pertaining to civil laws. If your church opposes the right of gays to marry, then your church will never be forced to offer church weddings to gay people. However, YOUR religion should not govern the rights of other people who do not hold your beliefs. That's what separation of church and state is all about. It is designed to prevent religion from unduly influencing the state (particular a handful of religions), and the state from unduly influencing religion. Separation of church and state is one of the most powerful and important parts of our country; it is the thing that is missing in places like Ireland and Iraq and Pakistan that allow opposing factions to wage continual war over what the country's official religion "should" be.

* The legal rights of domestic partnerships are NOT equivalent to those of married people. Rights of child custody, inheritance, power-of-attorney, and spousal benefits are NOT guaranteed to domestic partners. So many voters who think "separate but equal" is a reasonable position are forgetting once again that separate is NOT equal. Gay couples SHOULD NOT have to hire attorneys in the hopes of ensuring rights and privileges that straight people can acquire simply by getting married. Moreover, there is no guarantee that even with an attorney and the appropriate documents that those rights will not be overturned if challenged:
- A parent who has raised a child since birth should not have to adopt that child simply because they are not the biological parent. Biology makes NO difference to parent or child.

- When a gay partner dies, the surviving partner should be eligible for Social Security and death benefits.

- By the same token, any children (even if biologically related to the other parent) should also be eligible for Social Security and death benefits.

- If the biological parent in a gay union dies, the children should not be vulnerable to seizure by that partner's parents/siblings rather than remaining with the surviving partner.

* Gay marriage protects the rights of the children of gay couples. It provides them with the rights afforded to any other children of married parents.

My neighborhood has a proliferation of "Yes On 8" signs and only a handful of "No On 8" signs. One family has their "Yes On 8" sign facing the house of a lesbian family with children. It infuriates me every time I see it-- I don't know whether the one family is being deliberately hateful or if they're clueless, but the thing is, you don't know whom you're offending when you promote your hatred of gay people. It's not something people wear like skin color or religious symbols or clothing.

The Mormon Church has asked its members to do all that they can to help Prop 8 pass, which means that we've had lots of money streaming in from out-of-state to promote the agenda of a specific church against the rights of individuals who actually live in our state. The quantity of Mormon funding into Prop 8 is hugely out of proportion to the Mormon population of this state. That makes me angry as well. This is a church whose idea of "traditional marriage" was one man and multiple women, until that was discarded in exchange for granting statehood to Utah. Black people were barred from the Temple, because their skin color was considered to be the mark of Cain. Black men were denied the church priesthood until 1978, and women attain the priesthood only through their fathers or husbands.

By contrast, I found an amazing website a few days ago, LDS For Gay Marriage. This site features well-reasoned essays on why the church should not interfere in the civil rights of gay people, and details the harm to gay people and their children that comes from opposing gay marriage. It is written by people who are not themselves homosexual and do not support homosexuality, but who make a distinction between their personal beliefs and the rights of others, as well as why gay marriage is important for gay people and their children.

Opposing gay marriage will not eliminate homosexuality. It has always been with us and always will - even in the animal kingdom. It's a naturally-occuring variation, much like handedness. The argument that gay marriage threatens straight marriage is unfounded. The biggest threats to marriage of any kind are incompatibility and immaturity, which come from within ourselves.

I spoke to the receptionist at my dentist's office last week, who said that as a Christian she "loves gay people but opposes gay marriage." She'd already voted for Prop 8 absentee, but she was NOT aware that domestic partnerships do not come with the same rights as marriage.

This post is for anyone who opposes the right of gay people to marry. Please take a moment to understand that you are denying rights to people AND their children which you take for granted, and to consider what your life would be like if the rights of YOUR race or gender or religion could be eliminated by popular vote.


The Weekend That Was...

Halloween was fun— a little rain, but nothing the umbrellas couldn't handle. Lauren went off with her friends to trick-or-treat elsewhere (*cries*), so we just had Darth Vader Christopher. Mr. Life-of-the-Party was surprisingly subdued without his sister. We went down our immediate street (the neighbors we know), which was as quiet as our house. Then we went farther down the neighborhood to where everyone else was, the blocked-off streets that go berserk. The Pirates of the Carribean house, with the cannons in the dormer windows and animated pirates and treasure displays, was fantastic. \o/ Done shortly after 8pm, though, because Christopher always poops out right around his bedtime.

Saturday was Christopher's soccer game (theoretically). It was raining, and after going to the wrong place, having the car drive away to fetch Christopher's sports goggles, and then going to the right place... we found out our game was cancelled because the school that owned the property didn't want the field destroyed. Other games went on as scheduled. Too bad we all got up early for that game. :(

Then I took over assembling Lauren's new desk from HalfshellHusband, which was a lengthy project. Our family movie was The Game Plan (featuring The Rock— funnier than we expected), and then our date movie was Starter For Ten (James McAvoy, also better than expected).

Sunday I took Lauren to the mall to redeem her birthday gift of a shopping spree. Buying clothes for her is a challenge— she hates things that are too "busy" (me too), hates lace and ruffles/gathers (itchy), and turtlenecks. What suits her 'sportswear casual' style is things like polo shirts and henleys, BUT she hates buttons (I keep telling her not to lean on them, but the issue remains). She brought home a Keroppi and a Pandapple from the Sanrio store. There is also a new creature, Kuromi, who wants to be bad but is too cute to succeed (I have no idea what kind of animal she's supposed to be). Thanks to the current Keroppi, Kuromi and Chococat craze, there was almost no Badtz Maru stuff. :(
(Keroppi, Pandaple, Kuromi, and Badtz)

The trip was great, but 4 hours on my feet ate our daylight and ruined my plans to run later. I biked in the garage instead (my knees!) and ran tonight— in the rain. Yay me! And yick!

Tomorrow, I vote. I'm a little concerned because it's my usual polling place— I sure hope they've opened more for this election! Nonetheless, I'll bring a book. And if it takes a really long time, I may be working at home to save the 70-minute roundtrip commute time. :0