Proposition 8: Afterwards

We lost.

We lost by a statistically significant amount. I don’t know how many swing votes there were, people who hadn’t already decided beforehand one way or another, but there were enough. The count stayed at 52%-48% for most of the night, never getting closer.

I believe.

I believe that on November 4th, 2008, California and several other states in the USA voted for discrimination. Not the greatest case of discrimination in history, and not the most limiting, but discrimination nonetheless. Two people who love each other cannot get married, may not be able to share health insurance or even see each other in a hospital. They are denied by society the rights of a (theoretically) lasting and stable relationship.

I know.

I know that this was the most expensive and probably the most publicized debate of the 2008 election, in the entire United States, second only to the race for president. I’ve heard that the No on 8 campaign started out cocky and didn’t really have its act together until the last few weeks. I know the debate has driven possibly permanent wedges between me and several of my friends, and at the same time solidified some of my core beliefs about homosexual equality. Whenever one of my YES-voting friends made a good argument, simply looking once more at the simple text of the proposition was enough to send me solidly back to the NO side.

Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California.

I’m afraid.

I’m afraid, that there will be a large battle over Prop 8, either now or in two years, and we will lose again, setting a precedent that may take so much longer to overcome. We’re in a dangerous situation right now. The fulcrum is tipping towards conservatism with regards to relationships, and if we’re not careful our efforts to pull it back might just push it over the point of no return.

What this means is that a Superior Court had better not overturn Prop 8, for when the issue was spelled out very explicitly people still voted for discrimination. It is wrong and it cannot last, but for now the people of California have chosen to hurt their fellow man. It won’t be until the majority actually believes in this equality that we can really make the change happen.

It is not.

Homosexuality is not a sin. There are arguments why the relevant Bible verses do not state it to be a sin, either the feelings or the sexual act. And there are counter-arguments to these arguments. Either way, though, until it is no longer considered a sin, we have a problem. This will take even longer to overcome, I’m sure, but it’s worth pointing out that besides Judeo-Christian cultures, homosexuality has been accepted in many other parts of the world. Of course, every believer knows their religion is right, so it’s up to you to decide why our brothers and sisters have been made to love, in as many senses of the word as you like, someone who happens to be of the same sex.

One of my friends, in a discussion on a Facebook note, declared that another commenter (who I do not know) obviously did not pray enough for God to “heal” her homosexuality (her word, not his), because people prayed harder for much lesser things. I believe, as I think the original commenter believes, that my friend (the replyer) missed the point. The response to her prayers was that she stopped hating herself. I don’t even know this person, but I believe that this is the right way to look at the relationship between homosexuality and God.

I would…

I would really like to suggest, and many of my friends agree, that California eliminate “marriage” altogether, and require that any companies and such do the same. As the supporters of Prop 8 point out, “marriage” is a sacred rite performed by a man (or woman?) of God. The State has no right to interfere in matters of the Church, so the state should not be able to declare two people married. Instead, the State should provide “civil unions” to any two consenting individuals who fulfill the requirements for a “civil union license”. This would separate from any ceremony and any religious rite. Unfortunately, though I would support such an institutional change wholeheartedly, I doubt there’s any serious chance of it being passed—with opposition from both sides of the Prop 8 debate.

I hope.

I hope, inspired by my friend Candace, that there someday comes a day when there is no default sexuality. Now, biologically speaking this will probably never happen, because heterosexuality is more common. But if bisexuality is the norm, the world will no longer be surprised to see that two men, two women, can love each other just as much as a man and a woman, or a woman and a man. I would be happy if someday it was strange if someone had never considered relationships with both a man and a woman at some point in their life. I hope that, much sooner, men and women who like men or women will all be treated as equal members of society.

I decide.

I decide that from now on, I am not homosexual. I am not heterosexual. I am not bisexual. I am a man, who may or may not be in a relationship, who has the ability to care deeply about anyone, even if I may not ever be physically attracted to them. I’m a little ashamed to say my subconscious has disagreed with me on issues before, including this one; I know my consciousness will win because that’s who I choose to be.

I quote.

I quote others to conclude this post, which rather depressingly states that I hope Prop 8 is not overturned in the courts and that an effort in 2010 doesn’t have a great chance of winning.

Why is it wrong to have people who will save otherwise hopeless children, because they can’t have their own children? isn’t it possible that God wants homosexuals to exist so that they can nurture children as their own, because they can’t have children of their own? Isn’t it possible that God knows that too many people in the world will cause pain for the people who are left in poverty so that others can eat? -KH

Think of the children, they shout. We SHOULD be thinking of the children. We should be thinking of the message we’re sending them. We’re telling them that it’s okay to descriminate a certain group of people if their actions differ from our beliefs. -RV

“…the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” -MLK
Even if it passes, it will undergo scrutiny, and inevitably things will be set aright. -SC

It’s a little late in the game to be talking about this now, but we’re not done yet. If Proposition 8 passes in California, it’s not the end. It’s only the beginning. And I know that I’ll be there fighting for equality of love in every way that I can for years to come, until everyone everywhere is in possession of this one fundamental right: the ability to walk down a street anywhere from Berkeley to Mission Viejo, in red states and in blue states, in America and out, holding hands with their loved ones without fear of sneers or retribution or heckling, without fear that any harm might come their way, with nothing in their hearts but the simple joy of feeling another’s touch and knowing that this is it, this is what we’ve all been waiting for, this is love. -CC