Read the fine print of Prop. 8

By J. Garcia

I don’t have a personal investment in this, opposing Prop. 8. I’m not gay, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives.

And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn’t about yelling, and this isn’t about politics. This is about the human heart. If you voted for this proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not  understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time when men and a women can marry as many times as they want, cheat on their husbands and wives and marry and divorce many times like they are in a high school relationship,  “these people” over here want the same chance at happiness that is your option.

They don’t want to deny you yours. They don’t want to take anything away from you. They want what you want — a chance to be a little less alone in the world. Only now you are saying to them — no. You can’t have it on these terms. Maybe something similar.  

What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn’t marry? We have turned marriage into mockery. Let them have a chance. Maybe they will be better at it than one man and one women. I keep hearing this term “re-defining” marriage. If this country hadn’t re-defined marriage, black people still couldn’t marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal — in 1967. The parents of the president-elect of the United States couldn’t have married in nearly one-third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead.

But it’s worse than that. If this country had not “re-defined” marriage, some black people still couldn’t marry black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child.  Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are  gay.The California Supreme Court  was the first court in the country to  constitutionally mandate equality for all and the courage to reject political and social pressure to strike down race discrimination in marriage.(see the parallels) To Mrs. Spencer, Just because we vote on something, does not make it right. The majority of people wanted segregation in the 1960s. Was it right? That is why we have the State and U.S. Supreme Court. And to Mr. Jarvis, Pilgrims came to America because they wanted religious freedoms. While our founding fathers were writing our constitution, they did not want the government interfering with religion. That is called the separation of church and state. It should be separate. And as an educator, I assure you that homosexuality is not being taught in your school.That is why you have to read the fine print of Prop. 8 and not the Reader’s Digest version.

J. Garcia is a Ramona resident.

   
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