I truly understand that the right of the citizenry to propose changes to the legal documents that guide their society is most certainly sacred. I also think that, as Americans, we have a duty to be active participants in our own government, and that we must never fail to make our voices heard on those issues that affect our very lives. I believe these things, and though it seems to me that too many of my fellow citizens are too often too ready to dig the heel of permanent second-class citizenship even deeper into my figurative throat, I still agree with what President Lincoln told Congress in 1862 in the very midst of the bloodiest war ever waged on American soil: even with "the fiery trial through which we pass", the United States of American remains the "last best hope of earth."
Having said that, anyone who has ever read anything I've written on LiveJournal or on my own blog
will not find it surprising that I am more than just a little displeased with the ruling yesterday from the California Supreme Court regarding equal marriage righgs
. As I stated before, I get the idea that free people have the right to change the laws when they feel a change is needed. Intellectually, I understand that right. What I don't understand is when it became acceptable to use the state's most sacred legal document to take rights away from ONE GROUP OF PEOPLE. What I have a problem with is why 52% (or whatever percentage it happens to be) of citizens believed they were imbued with right to decide that another group of citizens are not entitled to be treated fairly & equally under the law. And what neither the California Supreme Court nor any other entity or person can ever convince me of is that any of us are ever completely safe from the loss of liberty at the ballot box simply because most people want to take that liberty away.
Today it's GLBT people because we've made ourselves targets by refusing to abide our closets any longer & just sit in timid silence while ugly lies stand unchallenged, but if you believe that this brand of malicious "justice" ends with us, then you have no idea the genie that has been loosed from the bottle. The people who pushed & paid & prayed for Prop 8 have most certainly been heartened by their "triumph" in the highest court in the Golden State, to be sure, and they may feel that the enemy has been slain. Today these citizens celebrate what they have so proudly taken from their compatriots. I imagine that these scared little people must find a measure of safety & comfort now that GLBT people have been put in their place.
What they do not know & cannot understand is that what they have been allowed to take from us (and, though I live in Florida, it is my "family" in California who have been hurt, so I have been hurt) means infinitely more to those of us from whom it has been taken than to those who have taken it. They may never grasp that we cannot let it stop here, and that we cannot allow ourselves to be vanquished, and that while they fight for their "beliefs" & their "opinions", WE ARE FIGHTING FOR OUR VERY LIVES. There truly is no comparison.
We cannot afford the luxury of taking time to feel sorry for ourselves or to have a moment to mourn our loss; too much hangs in the balance--too much has already been lost. And, though I hate the idea of it, we will almost certainly lose again, if not in California, then in another place just like it, where fear & lies obviously speak louder than those of us same-sex-loving people who seek only to live our lives quietly yet openly, just like those citizens who somehow feel they are entitled to a little more equality than some other citizens.
If we "win" or if we "lose" these grand battles that must surely be fully engaged by GLBT people & our straight allies, I hope we will be driven by something else President Lincoln once said: “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have.”
Remember, it is only light of truth that can dispel the darkness of ignorance & fear...even ignorance & fear with an official government imprimatur on it.
Under the cut below, you will find a post about this subject by Rob Thomas on the Huffington Post (yes, he of Matchbox Twenty), which I found pretty enlightening for a mere musician ;-).
I love the title of his post, too, The Big Gay Chip on My Shoulder( Rob Thomas has a (gay) chip on his shoulder...Collapse )