While we were getting our minds blown over Barack Obama becoming president-elect, in California others were getting their minds blown in the worst way.
Proposition 8, a measure amending the state constitution to ban gay marriage, passed.
Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows I'm a Liberal proponent for civil rights issues and I consider the acceptance and tolerance of homosexuals a civil rights issue. I'm pro-gay rights. What two consenting adults do is of no business of mine.
I was happy that gays were finally allowed to legally marry in my old state of residence. A pair of my good friends there, two Lesbians were getting "divorced" at the same time the court granted gays the right to marry and we joked about the irony. But now it isn't funny. This is a constitutional amendment taking away someone's rights to legally be bound to the person they love, to join as one family and all the state/federal rights that come with it.
I realize that not every one shares my views on homosexuality, especially within the black community which is amazingly intolerant when it comes to gays and lesbians. Many black ministers were looming figures during the Prop 8 fight. It's sadly ironic when black people start talking about infringing upon the rights of others. It was not too long ago when it was a regular debate as to whether or not the Negro had a soul. If we were more than three-fifths of a person. If we could drink from the same water fountain. If we could marry outside our race without fear of lynching. If we were more than beasts of burden meant to serve our white masters. If we were the living contradictions of being too dumb, violent and docile to survive.
And you can pull out the Bible and turn to Leviticus, but I will feel nothing. There is so much in Leviticus we pick and choose to follow. Never mind that historically many used the same Bible to justify our enslavement. I believe the references and allusions to homosexuality in the Bible should be taken into context. They are a reaction to the Romans and Greeks of the time. Their elite, politicians, wealthy, philosophers and military leaders were notorious fornicators with everything, from young boys to animals. If you were a Jewish philosopher/religious leader being oppressed by the hedonists of the empire, you'd write rules against their behavior too. But there are gay people on this earth because God created gay people. Allowing them to marry doesn't destroy marriage. Divorce is the number one and sole killer of marriage. All gay marriage does is further normalize and equalize homosexuality and that is what this is about.
Much as letting me drink from the same fountain or have a hamburger at the counter meant there was no difference between myself and the white woman sitting next to me. Letting gays marry means that homosexuality is not some one-dimensional, hedonistic, sinful rot based on nothing but illicit choices and prurient desires. No. It is so glaringly ordinary people courted each other, fell in love and and wanted to solidify that bond.
No church has to marry anyone they don't want to marry, but the state has NO RIGHT to infringe on the rights of homosexuals and I don't buy the false argument that this will open up some Pandora's Box of men marrying their Doberman Pinschers and horses or polygamy. This is still marriage between two consenting adults. But I know that doesn't matter to those who don't want the normalization of homosexuality in the same way those did not want (and still don't want) the equalization and normalization of black people.
Basically, "we" have a lot of nerve when we call for the limiting of someone else's rights. Especially when there are so many black people who are gays and lesbian who don't feel the love and support of our community. All because we are so wrapped up in one passage in Leviticus and not the numerous others we ignore (shellfish, anyone?), not the other parts of the Bible we ignore, not acknowledging that we cherry pick and interpret as we choose in an effort to do to others what was done to us.
Make us not human.
I'm not gay, but I know that it's going to take straight people and others like me to shove this country into that "more perfect union" promise. I'm human, we're human and homosexuals are humans and they're not going anywhere. Proposition 8 was a setback, but change is coming. Like it or not. The AIDS crisis brought homosexuality out of the shadows and into the mainstream as a life or death matter. Now the movement continues as a matter of acceptance and dignity. I'm sorry. I can never identify with the regulator, the conservative, "the morality sex police" when it comes to a majority-minority fight. My heart is always with people being oppressed. It's always with the underdog.
Change is coming and I have a feeling the tidal wave will not start with the states or the courts, but with the US military. We're fighting two wars and suddenly leaders find themselves dancing around "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" because they can't afford to lose a soldier or Marine. Despite the status quo fighting it, I don't see that rule surviving the Obama Administration. And just as when Harry S. Truman integrated the military it eventually lead to the integration of the country.
Change is coming. Tuesday night was just another case of two steps forward.
One step back.