Californians Need To Vote No on Proposition 8 To Protect Civil Liberties and Freedom.
I had thought that we lived in a free society, where we are all entitled by the constitution to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" in a country founded upon the separation of church and state and the promise of freedom of religion, or lack thereof. As I was making a trip to the hardware store 2 days ago, I saw two young men in front of the entrance to the strip mall with signs saying "Save Marriage : Vote Yes on Prop 8" (a proposition to outlaw same-sex marriages for you non-Californians out there). Well, in the usual S.E.E.P. fashion, I felt the need to have a discussion with one of them to try figure out why someone would want to stomp on someone else's civil liberties like that. I asked, "Why are you campaigning for the suppression of freedom? I don't understand why anyone would do such a thing."
In the 20 minute conversation that ensued, his main defense was that gay marraige undermines the institution of marraige and that "we believe" that it's not right. I said, "There you go - when you say, "we believe," you mean that it's your opinion and your personal and religious beliefs that you are trying to impose on other people." You are certainly entitled to your opinion, that's the wonderful thing about our country - for the most part you have freedom to do and say what you like as long as you're not hurting anyone else. But just because you don't personally approve of what someone else is doing, that does not give you the right to take away their rights. If you want to teach your children hate, intolerance, and bigotry within the confines of your own home, so be it. That's your right, but it's not a decision that should even be brought up for a vote! It doesn't matter that your bible says that being gay is a sin - you might need to remember that not everyone believes in the same religious text that you do. It doesn't matter that it makes you feel uncomfortable (possibly because of your latent homosexual urges?), people have the right to have relationships with whomever they please and they should have the rights that any other couple have.
On the ridiculous argument of "undermining the institution of marriage" - please people. If you really think that two homosexual people getting married takes away from the meaning of the concept, then you clearly have no idea what marriage is and what it means. It is a word. A word describing an incredible bond between two people that is impossible to put into words. A connection for which you would do anything for the other person, sacrifice everything for their happiness, and go to the ends of the earth to be with them. It's the bond that I proudly share with my heterosexual partner Laura, and it's a bond that homosexual partners share as well.
I find it incredulous that the same right-wing, bible-wielding Republicans that proudly fly the American flag and claim to value so highly the freedom that we share, feel such a need to take freedoms and liberties away from other people (I apologize to all of the bible-wielding Republicans who understand the place of government, value civil liberties, and will be voting against Prop 8). You can't pick and choose what freedoms you grant - you are either free or you are not. End of story. Stop mixing your personal hangups and religious "morality" (don't get me started on the hypocrisy of religion and morality throughout history) and come to terms with the fact that the United States of America is (was?) the greatest country in the world because it was founded on freedom and justice for all. And that true freedom is what we should all continue to fight for, regardless of our race, creed, religion, color, or sexual orientation.