Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Will of the People.

I just had a discussion with a coworker regarding Prop Hate. (Prop 8 to those who supported it) While I may not have totally changed his mind, I know I at least got him thinking a bit. Education is a wonderful thing. Too bad there wasn't enough of this before the election.

His position on Prop Hate is that he really doesn't care if gays get married. HOWEVER, he was angry that the Gay Community "went around" democracy to change the "will of the people" from the vote against Gay Marriage back in 2000, (when 61% of California voters approved a ballot measure, Proposition 22, that said "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California").

I had to put it to him in different terms. The will of the people for one.

Is the will of the people ALWAYS what our country should follow to make our laws?

If that were the case, we would still have slavery. If that were the case, his right to be Agnostic (or Athiest, I am not sure which he is, but I KNOW he isn't Christian), but his right to be something OTHER than Christian could be taken away, because the will of the people would push Evangelic Christianity and related religions into our government, thus taking away "freedom of religion" (This is already happening to some degree).

If the will of the people were always right, blacks would still sit at the back of the bus, have different water fountains, and SURELY not have the right to be our President! The will of the people is fine, providing our rights are not being violated. Taking away FEDERAL benefits and protections from any group of people within our United States is discrimination and should NOT be subject to the will of the people.

James Madison wrote in Federalist Paper 51: "It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part."

Religious beliefs should be kept in the church, not our government. I have no problem with a religion not allowing a gay couple to have their ceremony in their church if they are so inclined– but DO NOT intertwine federal and state benefits with religious beliefs. Don't quote the Bible to me and insist that laws should be written based on your religious convictions. (Besides the fact that the Bible has MANY other passages they choose to omit or no longer hold sacred as they cling to their homophobia.)

Civil Unions are NOT the same as Marriage AND are only offered in 7 states. Outside of those 7 states, their unions aren't even recognized. There are over 1,138 federal laws that deal with the benefits and protections linked to marriage (including Social Security and tax benefits) that civil unions do not confer. If you don't allow everyone the right to benefit from these federal laws – it is discrimination.

I felt the burn of discrimination while walking around town with my "No on 8" sticker applied to my shirt. I received glares and dirty looks by those who clearly didn't agree with my position. It was then that I realized – THIS is what my son and others feel everyday. Everyday there is someone who looks at them with anger, curses at them or calls them derogatory names. Every day.

It is SO sad that this still exists in our country. As far as we've come, we are still backwards in so many ways.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Prop Hate has passed.

This is not an issue that I can "agree to disagree" on.

I am deeply saddened that what I once thought of as the great state of California - appears to have voted to write in bigoted discrimination into our state constitution.

Additionally, I have to add that I never ever would have imagined that people (friends, coworkers and acquaintances) I once respected and admired - vehemently supported this amendment. My opinions of these people have changed forever.

We as a country despise Al Queda and the Taliban for imposing their religious beliefs on their people and the world - yet we are doing the same in our own country.I understand that this is an EXTREME comparison, and we are not killing those who disagree with Christian beliefs (except for those who bomb abortion clinics...but they don't count, they are extremists) however, while the Taliban's discrimination against woman (based on their religious beliefs) is abhorred by Americans...our own (religiously based) discrimination against our gay community is acceptable.

Do any of these Pro - Prop Hate (Prop 8) folks think it would be OK if we no longer allow THEIR social security and veteran’s benefits be passed on to their spouses?How about if their inlaws didn't like them?

How would they (Prop Hate Supporters) like to be REQUIRED to hire and pay for an attorney to spell out and guarantee their right to make decisions for their incompetent or disabled husband or wife. Without it, their “inlaws” and spouses immediate family have more rights to make those decisions and could leave them out of the picture. A civil union in CALIFORNIA may offer this protection, but if the couple happens to be outside the state, these rights go away unless they hire an attorney to guarantee it. Straight couples need not spend a dime to guarantee this.

Would these Pro- Prop Hate straight married couples agree to be taxed on transfers and gifts to each other? How about inheritance? They should now be REQUIRED to hire an attorney to spell out their inheritance. Married straight couples are guaranteed to inherit their spouse’s estate without a will and are not required to spend a dime to make it happen – it’s automatic. Many CHOOSE to write wills and trusts, but their spouse gets it all if they don’t.I

I think these Pro-Pop Hate straight married couple’s inheritance passed on to their spouses should now be fully taxed at the federal level. That’s what gay couples are subject to. (Inheritance’s to spouses of straight “marriages” are not taxed at the federal level – “civil unions” are.)

While being married hasn’t helped my tax status, filing jointly CAN reduce taxes for some. Let’s just take that away from straight couples too. Gay couples cannot file federal tax returns jointly.

So DON’T tell me this isn’t discrimination. Giving straight couples specific FEDERAL benefits and denying them to gay couples is discrimination.Just pray for forgiveness and you Prop Hate Supporters will all be OK. Forget how you supposed Christian’s have judged, hurt and discriminated against so many of God’s children. He’ll forgive you. They may still be deprived of the benefits you have, but you’ll be forgiven.

And to the woman who asked me in Ralph’s if anchovies are considered shell fish, no my dear, I am pretty sure they have fins and scales, so you can eat them all you want and not go to hell. But heck, go ahead and have some shrimp..have some lobster too. If you ask, you’ll be forgiven. God's good that way.

At least we got Obama.