Well, as much as I'd like to spend the remaining few days before the election analyzing every little detail of each campaign, I'm going to use up until election day to go over a few thoughts on some of the issues, both big and small, that are surrounding this election season. My apologies to those of you who wanted an analysis of Joe the Plumber, or Sarah Palin jokes (but here's one for the road: Knock knock. Who's there? Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin Who? That's a gotcha' question.) I heard that from a kid that couldn't have been more than 8. Either he heard it somewhere and repeated very well, or for an eight-year-old, he just has an advanced understanding of how politics and social humor have a naturally beautiful crossroads. Either way, whoever you were, kid outside the Ralph's Grocery Store, I liked your joke. But now, it's time to get down to some issues. I'm going to start locally, with the Gay Marriage issue that is a really big battle right now in California, and I believe also in Florida. In the 2006 elections, 7 different states made votes on similar propositions, all designed to ban gay marriage in the state. Here's my view:
We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men, except men who are attracted to other men, are created equal. If Californians, and the U.S. population in general want to continue to try and ban gay marriage, this is how I think we need to rewrite the Declaration of Independence, as that is essentially what we are saying.
California's network and cable television programming and air waves have been pummeled with ads for both sides of PROP 8, which is a proposition to repeal the previous decision to allow gay-marriage, and to make a ban on gay-marriage as part of the constitution. The major argument has been that if we don't ban gay-marriage that it's going to be taught to kids in schools, and it will destroy traditional marriage. There's a lot in this argument, so let me try to break it down.
To begin with, I'm a happily married man in a 'traditional' marriage, and since they started allowing gay marriage, I can safely say that my traditional marriage has not been torn apart by all the same sex newlyweds. These adds keep focusing on restoring traditional marriage, but as much as I've looked, I found nothing in the language of the legalization that says, "and thus with the establishment of the State of California to recognize same sex marriages, all traditional marriages shall be considered abolished and null". What needs to be restored? I wasn't even aware that anything had been taken away. The only potential problem I see is heavier competition for the services of the ordained to seal the deal. The couple with the traditional marriage may have to wait an extra day for their bouquet to be designed while the floral arranger is finishing up topiaries for George Takei.
As far as the issue of gay marriage being taught in schools - if this is the number one concern in our educational system, than the California public school system is in even greater despair than previously thought. I find it precious that some of these 'education groups' are spending millions of dollars fighting gay marriage while they complain that classrooms can't afford chalk, or new books. What difference does it make if you teach these kids about gay marriage if they can't read 'gay marriage'? But that is not the point. My main argument would be this: Is it more harmful for our children to learn about gay marriage, or for them to be told that it's ok to discriminate against certain people that aren't like them? Is it worse for them to approach a subject that they will certainly learn about later in life with knowledge and acceptance, or with ignorance and fear?
The entire idea that we would write in to our state constitution that certain people should be discriminated against, is fairly odious. If we're going to take that step, why not repeal the right for women to vote, because women aren't really people. Let's also repeal Brown Vs. Board of Education, and go back to 'separate but equal'. As long as we're in the habit of blocking life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for GLBT couples, let's just go back to the good old days and block those rights for everyone that's not a bible toting, woman loving, white guy.
This whole proposal to ban gay marriage is built on fear. People are always afraid of what they don't know and don't understand. That's a common theme I see in many of the social and political issues that we face today - fear of the unknown. Somehow, a large population of straight people have worked it up in their minds that homosexuals are just a dangerous hoard of perverted zombies that want to infect the rest of the world with their gayness. If we accept gay marriage, than all their children will be infected with the gay virus and turn gay. Then they won't be able to bare them grandchildren, unless they adopt. But even if they did adopt, the baby would be brought up in a gay household and turn gay themselves. Then all they'd want to do is go to art school, watch Oxygen, and sing show tunes, which might turn you gay. Gay!!!! GAY!!!!!!! GAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you scared yet?
Try getting a real fear, like heights, or Palin as President. And speaking of the president, let me say how disappointed I am in both candidates accepting civil unions, but not gay marriage. I understand that's just par for the course for the conservatives, so i guess my real disappointment here is with the Obama campaign. When can we get a candidate who fights for what is the right thing to do, rather than fighting for what will get them elected. This shouldn't be an issue of tolerance, but an issue of equality. I simply cannot understand how offering people happiness, as well as civil rights can be a bad thing. Nor can I understand how Ellen DeGeneres marrying Portia de Rossi instead of Joe the Plumber negatively affects my life. If I don't like it, fine, I won't send them a congratulatory fruit basket, but I at least feel they should have the same rights that I do. Who am I to go against the founding principles of this country, as set fourth in the Constitution and Bill of Rights? That's a W. thing. No on Prop 8.
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