I am so angry that I don't know where to begin. I mean, it's not as if I wasn't angry before this. But suddenly, I feel as if I could spit fire. I don't know what the breaking point was...no...wait...I do. I know exactly what it was. It was an email. It's a daily digest I recieve called The Gay and Lesbian Smartbrief. (http://www.glli.org/home) The news stories they share often raise my ire. But this one put me over the edge:
"Openly gay Campbell, California, City Councilman Evan Low reported receiving seven phone calls threatening him with a recall campaign unless he retracts his public opposition to Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that would amend the state constitution to restrict marriage. Low said, 'It is bad enough they want to eliminate rights for people. It is just ugly, plain and simple.'" Bay Area Reporter (San Francisco)
I don't understand. I sincerely don't understand. All I could think of when I saw this email was the wedding pictures from friends in California who I'll call D and E. Beautiful photos of a couple committing their love and their lives to one another. Faces beaming. Hands clasping. Friends cheering. They've been together forever. They are madly in love. They have a beautiful home. D is a writer and E is a doctor. They are homebodies. They are monogamous. They finally tied the knot a few months ago.
They are also both women. As far as I'm concerned, who cares? I mean, really, who does it affect barring the two of them? Not me. Not you. Okay, I take that back, their taxes - which there will now be more of will certainly help the roads we drive on and the hospitals we seek care in. So their marriage actually will help you and I. Besides, now they're coupled off. Two by two. Isn't this what the conservative right wants? They're solid. They're a couple. They love and respect each other. They're the American Dream.
So why are people out there fighting Prop Eight with such vehemence? There are children being abused, homeless citizens starving in the streets, countries struggling for survival. And people are spending their time and money and energy working to make sure that two people in love can't make that bond a legal one? Huh?
That's why I'm so confused and that's why I have such a grand problem with such careless hate. Despite the "God hates the sin, not the sinner" rhetoric. These folks are voting for and donating for hate. H-A-T-E. Hate. They are speaking out and protesting for hate.
They shroud it in religion, of course - though I challenge anyone who speaks and reads Greek to read to me from the original writings of God him or herself where s(he) says that homosexuality is a sin or wrong or dangerous or threatening. Where are these dangerous gays by the way? I also challenge anyone to hand over these predators who are teaching children their "queer" ways and subverting the pristine institution of marriage.
The institution with a 50% failure rate, by the way. The institution which drives anywhere from 10% - 80% (depending on which statistics you opt for) to lie and cheat. The institution that is stacked in favor of men no matter how you look at from life expectancy to housework. The heterosexual community isn't so great at marriage. What on earth makes people think the homosexual community will be any worse?
Studies show that legalizing gay marriage actually stands to improve the dastardly marriage stats - not hurt them. Besides, who gives a hoot? Why do people care who else can get married? How does that affect your marriage? Or, in the immortal words Wanda Sykes, "If you don't like gay marriage, don't have one."
What I'm saying is that there is no institution that needs protecting. There is no group that it needs to be protected from. And there are no cold, hard F-A-C-T-S that anyone can provide concluding that gays and lesbians should not have the same rights as anyone else.
It's like suggesting African Americans shouldn't be allowed to vote. It's like suggesting men and women shouldn't be allowed to use the same water fountains. It's like rounding up people who don't have blonde hair and blue eyes and sending them to death and work camps. It's arbitrary. It's ridiculous. It's based in nothing more than hatred and fear and ignorance. And it's driven by desperate power struggles (church and state, anyone?) and blatant abuse of resources (hello, struggling economy).
If Prop Eight passes, D and E will no longer be married. Their wedding photos will become a farce. And hate will actually be legalized. Legalized hate. Is that really the direction we want to take?
"In Germany, they came first for the Communists,
And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists,
And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews,
And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . .
And by that time there was no one left to speak up."
Pastor Martin Niemöller