Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Prop 8's Passage and a Small Request

California's proposition 8 passed:

A measure to once again ban gay marriage in California was passed by voters in Tuesday's election, throwing into doubt the unions of an estimated 18,000 same-sex couples who wed during the last 4 1/2 months.
I make a simple request of the people who voted for this measure, and this request applies to the people of other states who passed similar measures, e.g., Oregon's measure 36 of 2004.

Document your vote -- take a photograph of yourself, or write yourself a brief e-mail, or mail yourself a post card, or something of the sort. On the document, affirm that you voted to ban gay marriage in your state, and if you wish, write down the reasons for having done so. Put the document in a scrapbook, photo album, family archive, or some other safe place. Note that I am not asking you to show the document to anyone else, now or ever. Keep it as private as you wish.

The following is my prediction.

At some point in the future -- maybe a year, maybe three years, maybe ten years -- you will regret having voted this way. You will find yourself less and less willing to openly admit that you took this stand. You will look over your stated reasons and find them embarrassing. You will come around to the realization that being gay is simply a way of being human, and you will see the injustice in canceling and preventing the marriages of consenting adults, every bit as much as you presently see the injustice of banning interracial marriage or voting against someone on the basis of sex or race.

When that realization comes to you, I want the document to be there to remind you that you participated in and furthered injustice and inequality of the grossest sort.

I hope you enjoy the victory you've scored for bigotry today, because I honestly believe you'll be ashamed of it later.

(image source)


Bpaul said...

Excellent, excellent post.



babs said...

I'll second that "excellent" - and add to the hope that "some point in the future" is soon in coming.

(I'm from Bp's linkage, by the way)

Dale said...

Babs, thanks for that. And for stopping by.

Domestically Challenged said...

Yet again, you have far more faith in the eventual rational of our fellow man, than do I. I doubt they will ever comprehend the injustice of their act. Fuck them, that's all I have to say.

What gets me even more is the demographic break down of who voted for this measure. I forget the actual #s, but something like 70% of the African American vote went "Yes" on prop 8. I would have thought being viewed as unequal for soooo long, that particular demographic would have demanded a vote for equality.

Dale said...

DC, I saw the same stats. It's extremely dispiriting.

I do think a lot of these people -- black, white, whatever -- will come around. I think that because I have long observed the oddity in which, within my lifetime (or close to it), people have come to distance themselves from the sort of racism that was once commonplace.

Somehow, there were people blocking doors to schools to keep black people out. There were people picketing against desegregation, writing angry letters against civil rights expansions, voting for George Wallace, etc. It's simply not possible that all of these people have died. Some have, but not all. Many are alive and well -- it's a demographic necessity.

But where are they now? They're either shutting up about it or they've honestly come to see how wrong they were.

No, not everyone will come around on gay rights before they die. Many won't. Many will hang on for years and years. But I really believe that a great many people voting for and advancing anti-gay bigotry today will come around to see how wrong it is.

I think they'll come around because sooner or later, their life experience will show them it's wrong, misguided, baseless, petty, and so on. It's that simple. Gay people are out of the closet more and more, and this means they're visible -- visible at being their normal, everyday, functional, even boring selves -- not in a crazy night club, not in a seedy pick-up bar, not in a parade, not even "larger than life" on Will & Grace or some other TV show. They're just getting their mail out of the mailbox or standing in line at the grocery store or complaining about the weather. In the case of lesbians, they're keeping Home Depot in business. (rim shot)

I have seen it turn in the last several years and for that matter I saw it turn in my own life. What turned it for me is just this -- plain old everyday interaction.

I think the bigots are on the losing end of yet one more struggle.