I’ve never made a political foray onto my blog before, and I don’t plan on making it a regular practice. But there is a proposition on the California ballot this November election that I feel so very connected to, and I must speak. I have been in two long-term relationships with women, and have many, many gay and lesbian friends who will be very directly impacted by this ballot initiative. This is not one of those ballot check boxes that is filled out and will be forgotten next year. This is an unprecedented and permanent reversal of rights for a substantial population of people.
I’ve submitted the following letter to the editor to six different regional papers and so far I’ve heard from the Carmel Pine Cone, who will be featuring it in tomorrow’s paper. If it is useful to you, please feel free to copy and distribute it to anyone you know who might not be fully educated on the issue.
In love, Lisa
Supporters of Proposition 8, those that seek to permanently eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry by changing the California Constitution, are fond of holding “activist judges” responsible for the fact that California is currently one of three states in the U.S. where same-sex marriage is legal. The law was indeed a result of a judicial ruling by a Republican-dominated court, citing “equal respect and dignity of marriage is a basic civil right”. The majority opinion went on to say, “An individual’s sexual orientation — like a person’s race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.” But supporters of Prop. 8 say the definition of marriage is a legislative issue, not to be determined by the courts.
The fact is that the legislative process, and in fact the American majority, will never be the source of advocacy for the minority. It will always be the courts, it will always be acts of defiance like the San Francisco marriages, and it will always be our Constitution. If we took a vote for “same-ethnicity marriage” in 1958 when 93 percent of white Americans opposed inter-racial marriage, or heaven forbid, that majority amended the Constitution to define it as “two people of the same ethnic background,” the civil-rights movement would have been much longer in the making.
Our founding fathers created the judicial system to protect the Constitution, but who will protect the Constitution from us?
What’s true is that the vast majority of Proposition 8 supporters are conservative religious leaders who, as directly quoted from their website, are “fighting to preserve God’s design” and who believe somehow that same-sex marriage “threatens to forever muzzle Bible believing Christians.” It’s understandable then why so many Republicans and Democrats alike, including the Governor, oppose this constitutional amendment. It’s a dangerous precedent that caters to those most invested in perpetuating a culture war.
Voting NO on Proposition 8 takes nothing away from anyone, and in fact will likely be a huge fiscal boon to the state. Voting yes invalidates the legal marriages of tens of thousands of loving couples.
It is my hope that anyone who feels threatened by this look closely at these marriages, at these families, and then look closely at themselves and ask – “Who am I to discourage love?”
A similar, earlier version of this letter was published in the Boulder Daily Camera in 2004: