Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Forgive Them, They Know Not What They Do

Still recovering from my emotional moment last night, having been holding and feeding a bottle to my week-old daughter the moment the election was called for Obama. I'm not ashamed to say the tears came flowing down my face. Somehow my wife giving birth has made me hormonal.

All those thoughts of what it will mean to have my daughter growing up in an America where a black man has won the presidency.....well, it's going to take a lot more time for me to figure out how to put those into words.

Today my mood is somewhat tempered. Though not officially declared yet, with 99% of precincts reporting it looks like Proposition 8 in California is headed toward passage.

On the same day we elected a black man to the highest office in the land, bigotry against homosexuals potentially wins a battle in one of the more liberal states in the country.

Putting aside the equality argument for a minute, do Californians realize what they've just done to themselves? With the economy going down the shitter and California basically broke, did they even consider what this would cost them if Prop 8 passed?

This isn't a case of just stopping gay marriage from happening, like several states did after the Massachusetts ruling. This is taking away a right that has already been granted to the gay citizens of California. It would be like kicking the black kids out of a public school after Brown v. Board of Education already put them there.

Not only will there no longer be legal gay marriage in the state, but what of the status of those who have already been married under the current law? What is the constitutionality of a state forcing divorces or annulments on legally married couples?

This is a question that will eventually be answered after lawsuits are filed and appealed. And appealed and appealed and appealed. More than likely this will end up in the U.S. Supreme Court eventually.

The Attorney General of California will be forced to defend this state constitutional amendment, spending millions of taxpayer dollars. Is stopping gay marriage really worth that much to the haters? Do they really believe they can stop this forever anyway?

And it's not even just the money being drained from the state coffers to defend this stupid amendment that is being lost. Do they realize how many gay people have been making plans to go to California to get married and spend a ton of their expendable income? In these economic times do you really want to alienate what might be the only demographic to still have an expendable income?

On the personal side, I already wrote about my two friends that this will affect. That's the immediate. In the long term I think abut my little girl.

I'm not that worried about what kind of attitude she'll have about homosexuality. She'll grow up having gay people in her life and hopefully will attend some gay weddings. My wife's and my attitudes about this will have a bigger influence on her than any ranting bigot ever will.

But we will be trying to teach her these things when in the majority of our country bigotry against gays is the law. That's going to be something we have to try to explain to her.

Imagine how much easier it was for a white liberal couple to raise their kids to believe that black people were our equals after the civil rights movement than it was before the Civil Rights Act.

That's the world I want to raise my kid in.


anna said...

THANK YOU for acknowledging the cost of such ridiculous ballot measures. It is, on the surface, craptastic and inhuman to think of this only as an economic issue. But it does prove the point that so many will cut off noses to spite faces.

Honestly, if this God fellow exists, can't we just let him decide who ends up where in the afterlife?

Anonymous said...

The financial slant is perhaps the only way most people can comprehend this issue. If you point out how much it might hurt THEM financially, they may re-visit their decision. Sad, but money has always motivated and moved people. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Will be interesting to see how this unfolds:

The Coming Legal Battle II