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.

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