It’s hard for me to write about Proposition 8 without going into lengthy diatribes. I have friends who are voting for McCain next Tuesday and while I feel strongly that McCain/Palin is a terrible choice for this country, I’m able to disagree with these people without it affecting our friendship. Okay, to be honest, my Republican friends are few and far between, but they do exist. We sometimes get into heated exchanges about our differing views—I may think they’re wrong, they may think I’m wrong, but it’s refreshing to have dialogues with these folks and break out of the liberal ghetto I live in most of the time.
Still, I’m having a much harder time agreeing to disagree with people who are supporting Proposition 8, the initiative on the California ballot that, if passed, will rescind the California Supreme Court’s recent decision that same-sex couples have a right to marry. The goal of the proposition is to change the wording of the California Constitution so that only marriages between a man and a woman are recognized. Yes, they want to change the Constitution, not an everyday occurrence or one to be taken lightly, in order to openly and blatantly discriminate against a specific group of people. Same-sex marriages have been taking place at a brisk clip in this state since they became legal on June 17th. At our synagogue alone, over dozens of weddings have taken place, including one between our beloved rabbi and rebbitzin, Lisa Edwards and Tracy Moore.
Instead of blathering on again about how such unions are helping, not hurting, the institution of marriage, how these families have every right to be legally protected the same way other families are, and how the Yes on 8 campaign is built almost entirely on a web of preposterous fear-mongering lies, I will instead show you a video put together by one of our recently married congregants.
In this video, Pam Postrel includes photos from almost all of the weddings that have occurred at our synagogue, Beth Chayim Chadashim, since June, including hers to partner Mindy. Kendall, Leah, and I know all of these couples and their children. Take a look:
I wish people supporting Prop 8 could meet these families. They are just normal, loving people, of course, with the same issues, joys, and challenges as everyone else. Thousands of same-sex couples in California are now married. Even if this hateful piece of legislation passes, scholars agree that nobody will be able to retroactively invalidate their legal marriages. But, if passed, no other couples will be able to get married and enjoy the legal and psychological benefits (and headaches!) of that status.
If you are supporting Prop 8, this is the type of person you are aligning yourself with. This Yes on 8 video popped up at the end of the video I just showed, I swear I didn’t search through the YouTube files looking for the worst one. But the comments of this bigoted moron perfectly express the views of the people who would take away from same-sex couples the right they now have to get married. I won’t review the many lies being promoted by the Yes on 8 campaign since I’ve covered that in other posts but here’s a link to a video refuting some of them.
Don’t like gay people? Here’s an idea: if you can't support your gay friends or relatives getting married, why not just stay far away from their weddings? Your loss. But change the constitution? Spend your time, money, and energy to deny loving couples and families the rights that other people have? Hey, while we're at it, maybe we should go back to the time not so long ago when black and white people couldn’t get married. How about instituting a California version of the Nuremburg Laws that would prohibit Jews and Gentiles from being legally wed?
I urge all Californians to take a stand against hate, fear, and intolerance and Vote No on Proposition 8.