Proposition 8 has been overturned! Unless you live in a cave, have no access to TV, radio, the Internet, or print media, you know that last week, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that Prop. 8 violates the U.S. Constitution, saying,”… Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.” In his 136-page decision, Walker repeatedly shows that he understands the ridiculous nature of the ban against same-sex marriage, likening it to “race restrictions on marital partners [which] were once common in most states but are now seen as archaic, shameful, or even bizarre.”
Although my wife and I are celebrating the decision (we are one of 18,000 gay/lesbian couples that were married between June 2008 and November 2008) we know that it is also cause for supporters of Prop. 8 to once again begin their campaign of fear based on religious principles. After all, doesn’t the entire issue of homosexuality come down to religion? Charles Cooper, the lead counsel for Prop. 8 supporters says that lifting the ban on same-sex marriage causes California to “embark on a novel experiment with the fundamental institution of marriage.” Ask any Prop. 8 supporter and he/she will undoubtedly talk about this “fundamental institution of marriage,” quoting chapter and verse from some religious text that seems to suggest that marriage is reserved for heterosexual couples only. Most will say that marriage has been defined “since the beginning of time” as a union between a man and a woman. Really? Do any of us know when the “beginning of time” really is? When was marriage “defined” and who came up with the definition?
Here’s what I know… gay/lesbian couples love one another just like heterosexual couples do. We pay bills, have families, kiss one another goodnight, worry about one another, buy groceries, put gas in our cars, do laundry, and engage in countless other activities that opposite sex couples do. G-d created us in G-d’s image and G-d loves us just like G-d loves everything that G-d created. To suggest otherwise is to claim to know the mind of G-d – which is virtually impossible.
Proposition 8 was created out of fear – fear that the “institution” of marriage will cease to exist if same-sex couples are allowed to marry. Fear that chaos will ensue and soon, people will marry their cats or dogs (really?). Fear that children exposed to same-sex marriage will think it’s “okay” to be a homosexual and fear that allowing same-sex couples to wed will encourage others to engage in this “deviant lifestyle.” Allow me to help eliviate the fear:
- The “institution” of marriage has been marred by divorce, separation, domestic violence, and men/women trapped in love-less unions.
- Same-sex couples aren’t animals and the notion that allowing same-sex couples to marry will result in people being allowed to marry their pets is ridiculous.
- Children that see same-sex couples should be taught that everyone is different and being different is okay.
- Despite the rumors and suggestions, homosexuality is not a disease and it is not something that one can “catch.” I am a lesbian because I was born a lesbian and being a homosexual is only a small part of who I am.
The bottom line is this – my spouse and I want to be afforded the right to marry and celebrate our love like most heterosexual couples do. Think for a moment how it would feel to be told that it is wrong to love who you love and you can’t get married because a select group of people think it cheapens the “institution.” Imagine being told that your relationship doesn’t really count because it’s not “real,” then imagine hearing this sentiment on a daily basis. Once you get a clear picture, you’ll get an idea of what it’s like to be one-half of a same-sex couple.
My spouse and I are legally married… at least for the time being. Hopefully some day we’ll be legally married once and for all.