Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What Happened to Civil Rights?

America is filled with bigots.

Yesterday California passed proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage. I feel sick to my stomach. What country do we live in? What year is it? Throughout the entire election we've heard a million times how America is the greatest country on earth. Really? Because not so much if you happen to be gay.

When I was in high school I was fascinated by the civil rights movement of the 60s. I watched so much news footage of college sit-ins and the march on Washington and Martin Luthor King Jr's speech, and I was simultaneously invigorated and disgusted. I was so happy that people were able to bring about change and give people what they deserved, but at the same time I was angry that they ever had to fight for those rights in the first place. I wanted so much to go back in time and join the march and the protests.

In this country's declaration of independence are the following words:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal"

What part of ALL and EQUAL is so hard to understand? How is it even possible that after all this country has fought for, that we are still denying basic rights to our citizens? Is it religious beliefs? I thought we were supposed to have a separation of church and state? I thought Jesus tought tolerance, respect, and love for all people? It doesn't seem, to me, to be very Christian to cast people aside and deny them equality.

My youngest brother has Down Syndrome. Nary a day goes by that he doesn't experience some kind of discrimination. Whether it's an unsavory glance at the mall, or a snide comment from an ignorant teen, he's the victim of bigotry. For 22 years my family has been dealing with this and hoping for a better America, one that doesn't mistreat its citizens. Yet some of the same people that would find it so dispicable to make fun of a retarded person, are the people that find it so easy to crack a joke about a gay person or are the people that are quick to cast a vote of inequality.

Today I should be elated by the election of a man the country sorely needs, but instead I am sick to my stomach. I cannot believe that in this day and age, in the United States of America, we are so unaccepting of our fellow Americans. I hope, with all my heart, that one day soon we can put this all behind us and start accepting everyone for who they are.


Rich said...

Basically there is no excuse for this. I don't care what your proclivities are folks should be able to commit to each other both literally and figuratively.

Layne said...

I read this article this morning: So it looks like there's still hope, not much, but it could still fail. I can't even believe such a proposition exists. Gay or straight, marriage should never be banned for anyone. Anywhere. Ever.

allaboutduncan said...

Well spoken Bryan - couldn't have said it better myself. I feel like standing up and giving you a slow clap moment (just like in the movies).

Raph said...

I know how you feel, especially with our SFoD bretheren on the forum, but the state Supreme Court ruled this prop unconstitutional when they tried this a few years ago, they might do it again. I sincerely hope they do.

Kat said...

Well said. I was very sad when I woke up and heard that the vote has remained 51 to 49 since last night. I want to hold out hope... but I think it's lost. Similar measures were passed in AZ and FL too.. Makes me sick.


Cory!! said...

Well said. Within a few years, we'll look back on this the same way we look back on the states that didn't allow interracial marriage and our kids will wonder what the big deal was.

Bryan Deemer said...

True, but it's too bad we'll have to look back. I want things to be changed right here and right now.

benjgol said...

I live in arizona, and we passed one of these constitutional measures also. We defeated this two years ago, but they came back better funded this time. One of the chief reasons we had it on the ballot this year is because they needed the die-hard conservatives to not stay home, and come out and vote for McCain. Seriously he would have lost his own state if this crap wasn't on the ballot! And while I do not support him I know that McCain hates these kind of laws; having lived in this state 31 years I know this stuff makes him cringe. He should have spoke out against this hate.

R.R. said...

Think of it as the battle continuing. The CA Supreme Court will probably throw it out again and then we get a new Proposition. Each time, Gay Marriage gains more acceptance.

Looking at a very good LA Times breakdown of the vote per county, the high population urban areas on the coast were more NO of 8. The YES on 8 came from the rural areas, the central valley, and even LA county.

I've heard some mention their disappointment over Black voters coming out to vote for Obama but Yes on 8. While I'm sure there are examples of that, I'm willing to bet the bigger concern is Hispanic voters who tend to be in high population in the Central Valley and LA. These voters tend to be Catholic and traditional in their vote.

And lets not forget the money funneling in from the Mormon Church on this either.

Gay and Lesbian people are not going away so Gay Marriage isn't either.

jturning said...

Lev 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Rom 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Rom 1:24-27 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error...I take it you're not Christians. God created the universe, you go against His Word and Him to your own peril and I guess you're willing to take the nation down with you. When did sexual orientation become civil rights? My black wife is outraged that the homosexuals are trying to make this about civil rights. BTW, the gays in California have Civil Unions that give the same rights as marriage.