Friday, November 14, 2008

More words from California

I am a life long resident of California and I have always loved my state. Loved my state. As in I went to bed on November 3rd believing that the great state of California wouldn't vote Yes on Proposition 8. How could they? I mean, we're a really progressive and amazing place to live, how could people knowingly go out and vote to remove a basic civil right from one of their fellow Californians? How could any one living here walk into a voting booth and check "Yes on 8! Because my fellow tax paying Californian neighbors aren't equal to me!" It didn't seem like it could happen.
But then I woke up on November 5th and while the rest of the world was patting America on the back for electing our first African American President, half of the state of California was in mourning. Half of the state of California had gone to the polls and spit in their neighbors faces. And if that can happen here in the big blue state of California, it can happen anywhere. Yes, even in Maine.
This isn't about gay rights. This is about how easily any one's civil rights can be taken away. It wasn't that long ago that interracial marriage was illegal. Think about that, in our parents lifetimes it was legal to keep a man and a woman from different racial backgrounds from getting married. Not only does that seem absurd now, it's embarrassing. And thankfully some people fought very hard and very long to get those bans lifted, to restore human dignity to fellow human beings. To give them their basic civil rights.
Years from now, I hope my friend's children will be looking back on this time the same way. A time of embarrassing absurdity when a bunch of loud, well funded people were able to wrap their hatred in a shiny little package of "protecting the children" and ram it through into law. And they will remember California, and Arizona, and Florida and all the other places that had these absurd bans on love. Don't let them remember that Maine was there too. Say no to hate. Don't let what happened here in California happen where you are. Because if you ignore what's going on out here now, it could. It will.
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