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Evan Handler Headshot

I Am He as You Are He as You Are Me and We Are All Together

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I've heard a loud public outcry from prominent gay Americans about the passage of Proposition 8, but not as much from the so called "straight" community. I think it needs to be said as loudly as possible, by as many people as possible: the passage of Proposition 8 in California is an embarrassment to, and an indictment of, all Americans.

Let's get clarity right away: Denying any Americans any rights that other Americans hold is discrimination. Period. It doesn't matter whether the discrimination is motivated by morality, or religious beliefs, or a Ouija board, it's still discrimination. And that makes it illegal. (And that comes after the fact that it's wrong.) It should be clear to everyone (or made clear to them) that it puts us all in danger of the same kind of discrimination being pointed our way the moment someone decides we're on the wrong side of their moral or religious measurements.

So, what to do about a situation in which more than 50% of the voters choose to sanction discrimination? I don't think the answer is terribly exotic (I love you Michael Patrick King, and I loved your piece, but I don't think the cage bit will do the trick; they'd like to see you in a cage). Discrimination has been overcome before, and the route toward redemption this time, I'm guessing, will be the same.

First, everyone who finds this discrimination to be an outrage (and everyone should) needs to get on board in fighting it. And then, as a group, we need to impress upon the slightly larger group of voters how important we all are to them, and how much they'd miss us if we were gone. In other words, start withholding business from those who don't get it. From this moment forward, all anti-discrimination Americans should take their weddings out of California. No honeymoons in California, either. I'm sorry to suggest divvying up the world this way, but some research needs to be done in terms of which hotel chains, flower distributors, gift outlets, and departments stores (and which of their owners and board members) supported or resisted the passage of the measure, and steps need to be taken to punish those who fought against equal rights for all, or didn't fight hard enough in defense of them.

If you happen to know particular businesses in-state who stand on the right side of equal rights measures, then by all means, throw business their way. My point is that it's time for all enlightened citizens to stand beside, around, between, and in formation with those who are being denied the rights we've all earned, and are entitled to. A threat (and an insult) to one is an insult to all. It's time to push back hard. Not as a minority group fighting for equal rights, but as a massive spending block of multi-colored Americans, aware that any discrimination is an unacceptable infringement on all of our rights to live in a free -- and equal -- society.

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