At this time, California is beginning the countdown toward the vote on Proposition 8, a ballot item that seeks to remove the already-existing state supreme court-granted right of gays and lesbians to marry by changing the state’s constitution. In the news and in the aggressive advertising campaigns fueled by out-of-state money (the Mormon Church has provided huge financial backing for the Yes On 8 campaign), it seems that all of the opposition comes from organizations and individuals who are afraid that this right will somehow erode or diminish their own religious rights or the institution of marriage.
Not only is it a dangerous practice to allow voters and special-interest money to decide individual civil rights, but it’s got to be one of the biggest, most expensive, and most misanthropic campaigns ever conceived. Are there really that many people who believe that their God-given right to love and happiness is due to them at the expense of other people’s? Come on, folks, what kind of religion is that?
As painful as this campaign has been to lesbians and gays, I know I speak for a few when I say we’re (unfortunately) not always surprised by opposition. What is sad is how much money is being spent on both sides of this campaign. If hatred and prejudice could have been set down to rest, this is huge amounts of money and energy that could have been spent feeding the hungry, educating children, housing and clothing people, and providing vital health services, among so many other things.
I stumbled across this website a couple of years ago, and it’s every bit as valid now as it was then. It features the documentary stories of 10 gay and lesbian couples — couples who live and love together in various parts of the U.S — couples who work, serve their country, raise kids, and hope to be married. Their stories are engaging and tender. Send the link on to someone who thinks they don’t really know any gay or lesbian couples. If they watch any one of these 10 small films, they’ll feel like they do.