Thursday, November 6, 2008

Proposition 8 Passes in California

As we bask in the glow of the election of our first president of color, clearly a momentous occasion and a victory against discrimination in our great nation, I find myself saddened by the events in California and other states in regards to gay rights. As most of you know, Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in the state of California, has passed by a fairly narrow margin. This bill, primarily financed by religious rights groups, including the Mormon church, is championed by these religious groups as a necessary move in "defending the institution of traditional marriage," which is being eroded by gay people getting married.
Please! Why do these people care? Because this country is ruled by the religious right. We are supposed to be a democracy that practices a clear separation of church and state, as clearly specified in our constitution.
In addition to creating a bond of love and commitment, most of these gay couples seek marriage primarily to protect their rights legally and medically. If I were to get sick in the state of Texas, somewhere besides liberal Austin, would my partner be allowed to make the necessary legal and medical decisions? If we did bring a child into this world, would the non-biological parent be able to make decisions regarding their own child? If we wanted to adopt a child, considering that there are millions of unwanted children in the world, could we? Not in Arkansas, where they just passed an amendment banning non-married couples from fostering or adopting a child. Bans on gay marriage were also passed in Florida and Arizona.
I personally think religion, especially the intolerant evangelical Christian version, practiced by a large number of Americans, is eroding the national fiber of our country. We live in a country where even our liberal politicians have to profess a religion, a Western religion that is, in order to be elected. Proposition 8 and countless other acts of intolerance and injustice, are making the United States a laughingstock around the world.

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