Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Bittersweet Day

I feel proud to be an American again, but ashamed for Arizona, where Proposition 102 passed.

(Marriage is defined by Arizona statutory law as "the union of one man and one woman." Proposition 102 would enshrine this definition in the constitution, making it difficult [if not impossible] for judges to strike it down.

I don't expect the Arizona Supreme Court to act so reasonably anytime soon, but homophobes are scared as usual. The Mormon church in particular has poured millions of dollars [70% of overall contributions] into this campaign, buying commercials, electronic billboards, yard signs, and huge banners on nearly every corner of Phoenix. Nice priorities.)

Every "Yes on 102" sign says so much more than the green and blue words printed on the paper;

You are not welcome here.
You are not the same as us.
You are less.
Your love is less.
You are less of a human being.
We don't want you in this state.
We don't want you in our lives, our communities.
We don't want you.

102 in Arizona passed, but far worse is No. 2 in Florida, which is deliberately worded to outlaw - not only same-sex marriage - but civil unions and domestic partnerships that afford basic human rights to gay couples. Rights like hospital visitation, power of attorney, tax breaks, right to shared property ownership, and insurance carryovers. Gay Arizonans never had those rights, but tomorrow gay Floridians will wake up to have their lives radically altered.

They don't even want us buried next to our loved ones when we're dead.

That is powerful hatred.

In Arkansas, a ban on same-sex adoption passed. Because an orphan raised by strangers is, apparently, better than gay parents.

Failure of Proposition 8 in California is our last hope. Right now, as we wait, it leads 53% to 47%, with one-third of precincts reporting. If Proposition 8 indeed fails to pass, this day will not be as bittersweet for me and millions of others.

One of the reasons I have supported Barack Obama is that he includes gay Americans. He empowers us, lets us know that we are citizens too. He didn't hesitate to mention us in his historic speech tonight, no matter how uncomfortable it makes some people. No matter how politically inconvenient it might be. He understands what it's like to be thought of as somehow "lesser."

We are Americans too.

Yes we can.

1 comment:

JN1034 said...

One of your most powerful and written-from-your-soul posts. Had to read it a few times to grasp the pain you felt to convey. Especially your line "They don't even want us buried next to our loved ones when we're dead." At least you know you are welcomed by us, same as us, not less than we.

The Church is so blessed to have you in its community, Eric.

Yes, we are.