(That was to the tune of Olivia Newton John's "Physical". Did you get it??)
I'm going to take a bit of a detour from my usual commentary today, so if you're simply looking for whimsy world observations, come back another day. Usually, I avoid political-type blogging because I don't want to polarize my audience and I don't really feel the need to broadcast my opinions on the Web (even though I'm happy to share if you ask). I'm making an exception today because I feel so strongly about this issue, I need to speak up. ("It is a sin to be silent when it is your duty to protest" -Abraham Lincoln)
California's Proposition 8 - A Civil Rights Issue - Vote NO
Next month, as many of you know, the California ballot will contain initiative Proposition 8, titled "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry" - a measure to AMEND the California state constitution to state:
Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
If passed, the constitution will be amended, and all Californians (particularly thousands of same-sex couples) will STRIPPED of the right to equality under the law.
I understand and respect that there are varying opinions on gay marriage, especially those coming from a religious standpoint. Let me assure you, the marriage practices of religious institutions (aka your church) have not and will not change based on state law. If your church opposes same-sex marriage, they are under no obligation by law to perform those marriage ceremonies.
This is NOT specifically a gay rights issue. This is a CIVIL RIGHTS issue. Presently, in California, ALL couples (homo- and hetero-sexual couples alike) are afforded the equal right to marriage. By passing Prop 8, we will be ELIMINATING that right - as the title says. In the almost 250 years of our country's history (and 160 of California's), our constitutions have been amended several times -- and those amendments were used to EXPAND and PROTECT the rights of the individual. You are familiar with so many of them - including the first ten, aptly named The Bill of Rights - the right for non-whites to vote; the right for women to vote; the right for blacks and Native Americans to be counted as whole people; etc. We have expanded the rights of the individual to protect and defend minorities. That is what America is about, is it not?
Regardless how you feel about homosexuality, how do you feel about being treated equally under the law? How do you feel about discrimination? What if, next year, there was a proposition to Eliminate the Right for Interracial Marriage? Would you vote for that? Would you TAKE AWAY the right for a couple to get married purely because they happen to be of different races or ethnicity? Would you not care because you're not an interracial couple?
This is about basic civil and human rights. All people should receive the same treatment by the law. Discrimination is simply wrong. Separate is NOT equal.
It is so important that we vote "no" on Prop 8 and protect the civil rights of ALL Californians. We should never disregard the rights of the minority for the whims of the majority. There's this saying (spuriously attributed to Thomas Jefferson), "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%"
Let's not be that mob. Let's be real, patriotic Americans and do our duty to protect the rights of the individual.
Protect civil rights. Vote No on Prop 8.