Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Not Good Enough

I'm happy with the results of the presidential election last night. America showed that most of us have moved past the bigotry of earlier generations against black people in our society.

We did, however, strongly affirm that we have not moved past all bigotry. In California, Proposition 8, an initiative to ban gay marriage in the state once again, passed by about 4%. The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization known for beginning the movement to add the phrase "Under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Mormon Church both donated millions of dollars to the campaign to once again breach the wall of separation between church and state and violate the rights of a reviled class of citizens.

In Arizona, Proposition 102 passed by 13%. Proposition 102 adds to Arizona's state constitution a definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. This follows a 2006 initiative, which was defeated, seeking to outlaw both marriage and civil unions for same sex couples. Apparently, my state believes in the separate but equal principle. I've read history, so I do not. Gay marriage was already illegal in Arizona, the fear was that the law could be challenged and struck down as unconstitutional by the courts. This was a preemptive movement to stop that from happening. It succeeded and set back the next great civil rights movement by years.

Amendment 2 in Florida passed with a 62% approval, two percent more than needed to clear the margin required to amend the state's constitution.

In Arkansas, a Initiative Act 1 was passed preventing unwed couples from adopting children. Same sex couples are unable to wed in Arkansas, but in this particular state they decided to alienate unwed straight couples as well. Regardless, the intent was to prevent gay couples from raising children. They have the gall to claim that it is about the welfare of the children, not the rights of adults. Nevermind that no study has ever indicated that being raised by a same sex couple is in any way harmful or inferior to a "traditional" childhood.

Gay marriage isn't like abortion. There is no argument to be made for banning it except on a religious basis. There can be no discussion that does not appeal to religion or tradition. Every one of these examples is a violation of your rights. Whether you are gay or straight, religious or not, you have an interest in maintaining a clear line of separation between church and state.

Last night was a good night. However, our nation is still not delivering on its promises. The next four to eight years might make our work easier, but do not let yourself be fooled into thinking that we don't still have a great deal of work to do.


Q said...

My state elected a convicted felon to the senate.

Top that!

At least my governor got sent back home instead of proceeding on to a position of greater authority where she could do even more damage.

Lirri said...

We were VERY happy that our governor was sent back home!! However, I will also point out that the fat lady hasn't sung yet, and that I'm ever optimistic that the roughly 76,000 votes that haven't been counted yet will show that we didn't elect a felon.