It took two years of hard campaigning, lots of FUD-debunking, and countless sacrifices of time and labor, but we did it. Here at last, Barack Obama is officially the president-elect to serve as this country's 44th leader. This election brings to the White House the first African-American leader. As his victory has thusly overturned one aspect of our traditional government, my hope is that he as a leader can overturn the setbacks and failures of the past several years and bring this once-great nation back on the road to prosperity and civil freedom.
This victory for Senator (now President-elect) Obama comes only decades after various civil rights laws were enacted to enhance the civil and legal equalities for African American people. That said, many leading polls for Prop. 8 are not looking good: It's likely to pass with about a 52-55% “Yes” vote. Just when I thought we had learned from the mistakes of our history, we go and restrict one of the most basic civil rights of people: to marry the person they love. How is it then, that we as a society emphasize tolerance when we cannot even show such a fundamental right to our own citizens?
Up until this point, signs and ads for Prop. 8 have held a myriad of slogans, such as “Prop 8 = Protects Marriage,” “Prop 8 = Free Speech,” and “Prop 8 Protects Our Children.” These are all absolute hogwash, except for one, which reads: “Prop 8 = Civil Rights” - and that is exactly what this is. While current civil union and domestic partnership laws do give these couples most of the benefits of normally given to a marriage between a man and a woman, it lacks many important aspects of marriage, such as proper employment and insurance benefits for one's spouse (among other things).
One of the main arguments for it was that it passed in 2000 and was wrongly overturned by the State Supreme Court. But just because people agree to it does not make it fundamentally a correct idea. Was slavery wrongfully outlawed? Were the Jim Crow laws wrongly overturned, too? Were the laws denying women suffrage also wrongly overturned? I know what you're thinking, probably: “Oh, but that was different. That was racism and sexism and stuff.” Oh, come now; don't give me that load of crap. This is exactly the same thing, only against another group of people. I, for one, am ashamed at how closed-minded we can be as a society, and even moreso at how dumbfounded we can be to believe the outright lies and scare tactics that were used in advocacy of this proposition. Are we as a people so apathetic that we can simply be spoon-fed this nonsense and believe it so unquestioningly? Can we not think logically for our own selves and realize the idiocy of this?
One thing that strikes me as odd with it is the Judeo-Christian (and similarly-believing) religious groups who advocate against gay marriage and this proposition, but then proceed to preach about tolerance and love to they neighbor. Many (such as the Mormon Church) even went so far as to raise several millions of dollars in support of the “Yes on 8” groups...Why did they not spend that amount on, I don't know, things like feeding and housing more homeless? Hah!
As a final sentiment, to those of you who voted “Yes” on Proposition 8: I pray that you can one day forgive yourself for such irreverence. Until then, live forever with the guilt that you helped directly restrict so many loving couples and their families the happiness of taking their love just a bit further in the eyes of the law. It was you who helped directly remove the simple right of so many millions of people to marry their beloved. And it is you who keep them separate but equal.
(And now that the rant is done...) Fedora 10 (Cambridge) Preview was released today! Go try it out and help make it rock-solid for its full release ! :)
- We did it...kinda!