Thursday, October 9, 2008

It Is TIme

There comes a time in the life of every red blooded American girl where she just needs to stand up and say something.

Fortunately, I do so quite often and not always necessarily about particularly weighty things.

However, right now, I am going to attempt to be serious.

I want to believe that I can change the world. I want to believe that I can help somebody and stand for something and make a difference. I want to think that I matter, that what I think matters; that I might be able to share and defend the things in my life that have brought me happiness. That I can stand in good company with my parents and ancestors who got to fight for what they wanted and what they believed. I don’t want to die without any scars.

As the American girl, daughter of a hippy and a lawyer that I am, I feel that flexing my influence as voter and conscientious citizen lets me do that, to a degree at least.

We’re in a pivotal election year. If you don’t know that you’ve been meditating under a rock somewhere in Katmandu for the last 18 months and should probably go back. It’s nothing but a stress joint over here and its lovely there.

There are A LOT of things to weigh, study, consider, and carefully make decisions about in this upcoming election.

There is a whole novel I could write and tell about the Presidential side of things but what I want to speak to now is something on California’s State ballot that I feel strongly about.

Prop 8 is getting a lot of attention and for good reason. It’s addressing a pivotal issue by asking us to define a social head space about Marriage and Family.

Its 14 words long;

“Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

I think that there are two legs to this issue that are imperative.

One is the legal precedence that is at stake.

In 2000 this exact set of wording was ratified and put into the constitution with a 61% majority.

Earlier this year 4 of the 7 California Supreme Court judges decided that they didn’t agree and that the 61% of California voters who said yes didn’t know what they were talking about and overturned it.

The last time I cracked an econ book, the courts’ responsibility was to interpret the law, not write it. Writing law lies with voters and their elected representatives in the State Senate. I don’t think that it’s OK for non-elected officials to think that they can speak on an issue voters have already spoken on, especially as recently as this one. It sets a gross precedent and one I’m not comfortable with. That’s too much unchecked power. There are only two states in the US right now who allow same sex marriages and that is CA and MA and both of those laws have come about because of the courts, not the voters.

Food for thought….

Secondly is the moral issue that’s in question.

Making the legal definition of marriage to be only between a man and a woman the charged and intense issue of Gay Marriage comes out of this almost instantly. It gets even hairier because what’s really going on is its asking people to reflect and make a call on how they feel about homosexuality in general. We are blessed with a significant homosexual population here in California and even now, despite our familiarity with it, there is still a lot of fear and hatred on the matter. There are still a lot of thinly disguised bigots out there that have jumped on this, some even in my own ranks, and scream their support for Prop 8 off of that box.

I don’t support that. It pains me to think that this issue is being so misunderstood and people are just using it to air out and justify their own prejudices. I can’t even begin to apologize for such ridiculous displays. That’s not how the election process is supposed to work.

I have close friends that are gay and I love them very much, so much so that I want them to be happy. It's all but an emotional mine field believing so strongly one way and loving so many people that choose to live their lives differently, but I will try to explain myself as respectfully as I can.

Like I said before, homosexuality is something we all live with. It isn’t the monster that a lot of the Christian world has cast it to be.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am a passionate Christian. I’ve served an 18 month full time mission for my faith, regularly attend my meetings, do daily study from our written scriptures and teachings, attend the temple and honor the covenants I have made with God in those places. My ballot is sculpted by that belief system because I try to live my life according to what I know to be right and wrong not popular and unpopular.

I know that God loves his all children and I do my best to too. For me, this is all about love and always has been. That has never changed.

I know that God wants his children to be happy, and I know that He has designed a plan for us to be so and the centerpiece of that plan is Families.

Marriage and families are sacred to me. I rank it up there with prayer, revelation, scripture, and love. I don’t like it being treated like a political football but that is exactly what I see happening.

There isn’t a single civil right that same sex partnerships would win or lose with this proposition. What is in question and what is important to me is how we are collectively declaring our DEFINITION of Marriage.

Marriage is between a man and a woman. It always has been, and it always will be. It’s a divine design and no court or ballot will change that. So in an effort to live what I know to be true, I would want my civil constitution to reflect those truths as closely as possible.

It may seem like a trivial thing, but what we all decide in a few weeks will lay a groundwork for serious swings in public opinion, public education, parents rights, and start a nasty ball rolling towards any institution that only sustains marriage between a man a woman.

If it doesn’t pass and California’s anti-discrimination laws are abused, there could be a tyrannical proverbial kicking in the door of these places in the name of Tolerance. Tolerance seems to have taken on the horrible tendency to only go one way. “Tolerant” people seem to excuse themselves of being tolerant of supposed “Intolerant” people. It’s a nasty culture of hypocrisy, and again, I don’t think happiness lies anywhere where there is any kind of bigotry; whether it’s going right to left or left to right.

We’re all in this together and I think it’s imperative to examine WHAT is right not WHO is right. We will all be raising our families here eventually. We have to figure out how to live together and to do it well and with love. We drive on the same roads, shop at the same stores, laugh at the same movies, appreciate the same sunsets and pray that our kids will love California as much as we do.

I support Prop 8 because I choose Families with Mothers and Fathers that are married because they’re doing their best to live as closely to God and his plan as they can and I think it’s important for that definition of Marriage and Family to endure. Popular or unpopular as it may seem right now, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s true and will continue to be.

I love you and wouldn’t speak so plainly if I didn’t.

Examine your conscience, register to vote and I’ll see you on Nov 4th.


Me: said...

Well stated. Shame the 9th circuit is so full of themselves; shame it's indicative of Washington and the current state of politics as a whole.

There's a really great set of posts by one of my favorite contemporary authors. I think you'd appreciate it (or more appropriately, others reading this might appreciate it).

Sitting here in KS, I hope all my CA friends get out there and vote to keep marriage defined as man & woman. I hope it speaks loudly across the country and affirms the voices of what's likely much more than 61% of our nation.

Kim said...

Re: "There isn’t a single civil right that same sex partnerships would win or lose with this proposition."

I've been agonizing about this proposition... trying to figure out what bothering me so much about it.

One of the hugest issues to me is rights. And the fact of the matter is, there are 1,138 Federal rights that people who are "married" get and people who are in "civil unions" or "domestic partnerships" do not. 1,138. So, no, no one would "lose" any rights, per se. They would just be denied all together.

I can't support putting language in our constitution that is primarily able to be clearly seen through the eyes of someone with a Judeo-Christian worldview, and I can't support leveraging a constitution in order to prevent a small group of people from having civil rights.

I'm not talking about religious rights, because I definitely think my marriage is different, it is one under God... but I am talking about taxes, social security, visitation, that good ol' security blanket that is our country.

(I wish there was a better way to go about this, I really really do)