Prop. 8

That’s kind of weird.  I woke up today and yet my arm remained asleep.  Apparently, it had hit a snooze button in my brain.  “Just ten more minutes.”

Can anyone explain to me why an MRI for a dog-sized animal cost thousands of dollars?  Heck, I can get a recreational MRI done for myself for about $800.  Stupid money.  Stupid medical establishment and their stupid expensive radiation.  Stupid aging.

My own fears

Are right-wing pundits trying to get Barack Obama killed?  Are they?  They are so intent on scaring the crap out of their fan base even before Obama takes office.  Not a peep from these asswipes when the Bush Administration was making a good run at Fascism: secret prisons, warrantless wire tapping, torture, outsourcing torture, viewing citizens’ private information (like library books) and habits, “enemy combatants” where you can be swept up and imprisoned forever with no recourse — disappeared forever at the whim of the government. with no trial and no proof and no nothing.  Not a peep!

Obama wants to give the middle class a tax break and increase the Peace Corps and that other organization and all of a sudden these guys are “afraid” to the point of comparing him to Hitler and saying that he wants a military uprising to overthrow the government.

I’m seriously concerned that someone is going to try to kill President Obama.  When this is going around on the internet: “All  you hunters gather ’round.  There’s a nigger trying to get into the White House.”

Not to mention all the other stuff, it’s not a good sign.  They’re being stoked by this right-wing fear mongering that is strictly for the sake of political manipulation.  Poisoning the well of good will.  Rush Limbaugh, the sack of assholes that he is, called our economic problems the “Obama recession”.  [scratching my head in confusion]

But anyway, I’ll do another blog about fear mongering, despair and how it’s so not kosher (anti-Christian) and how the various wings bearing the Republican moniker have become everything they once stood against.  Good luck turning that around.  Seriously.  The country will be better off for it.

(Gay) Mawwiage!

You know that whole Prop 8 thing?  Isn’t it strange, the interpretations of the vote?  I’m skeptical that blacks and hispanics were the reason it passed.  Not that a lot of black people aren’t socially conservative.  Or let’s just get real here.  Most people are homophobic.  There.  I said it.  I’ve seen some exit poll numbers but then heard of some statistics.  Minority vote vs. the new voters vote (which, of course, includes minorities).

But still, folks aren’t quite ready for gay marriage.  Some aren’t ready to acknowledge gayness, period.  So when it’s put out there, yea or nay, they go nay.

It’s a shift and it will take time.  Maybe another generation.  But it’s coming.

It’s amazing how many people who have little sense of personal morals or ethics become especially pious when it comes to homosexuality.   You know, people who go out, party, drink, maybe do a little drugs, little casual sex, maybe an affair.  People who, otherwise, have no sense of moral outrage when it comes to any larger social issues become holier than thou.  Moderate Christians will start quoting from Leviticus: abomination, put to death.  Nevermind that eating shellfish is also an abomination and rebellious children were also worthy of the death sentence.

Point being that people sure do like to pick and choose.  If it’s what I do, it’s okay.  If it’s what they do, society will die.  (I’ve got theories re: homophobia but I’ll save them for another time.)

As I’ve admitted before, I’m not 100% open minded.  I won’t pretend to be.  Gay marriage is … different.  It’s a change.  Change is generally threatening or stress inducing.  I’m upset every time “they” change the flavors in a pack of Sour Starbursts (I miss you, grape and orange).

But you know what?  The more people that want to commit and settle down and raise a family together, the more stable the basic unit of our society is.  There are Britney Spears Vegas weddings.  There are 50+ year marriages ’til death does them part.  The divorce rate is around 50%, last I heard, and that’s on YOU, heteros and even evangelical Christian heteros.

I suspect that gay marriages will be the same.  This just in:  gay people are human beings, too.  They’re not worse than you.  They’re not better than you.  They’re just like you.  Except gay.  Every time I say something like, “Well, the (stereotypical) gay lifestyle is unhealthy and promiscuous to an extreme and full of drugs and debauchery…”, I think of the Jerry Springer show.  I think of the time I went to a bar/club and one of the guys I was with walks away and shows up half hour later with a woman on his arm ready to go back to his place.

Unhealthy or risky behavior is unhealthy or risky whether it’s in the gay context or the straight context.  So my argument crumbles to dust.  That’s not to dismiss the totally crazy, often drug-addled, HIV/AIDS inducing lifestyle that is prevalent in some segments of the gay community but …  you know.  Specks in their eyes, motes in your own.

EPIPHANY

So the other day I was reading some comments from friends on Facebook.  Saw some articles in the news.  Heard some bloviating on the radio and I had a thought.

I’m 36 years old.  I’ve never really had a girlfriend.  Haven’t done much dating.  I didn’t go to any dances at school.  Very few parties.  Didn’t go to the prom.  I have never been in love, assuming that being in love requires reciprocation.  Physical affection is non-existent in my life.  All of this despite numerous, frequent or constant crushes and infatuations and adoration.  Not in a creepy way (I hope), but still.  On top of that, life pulls and tugs us away from each other: friends, family, acquaintances, colleagues.  Time puts distance between us.  I have a fear — and it grows like a cancer with every passing year — that I will grow old alone and I will die alone.  I want to have kids, like 4 or 5, and the thought of finding someone who’s so amazing that I want to spend the rest of my life with her is as inspiring as it is intimidating.

If/when I finally do find someone or someone finds me … how would I feel if people told me that it wasn’t real.  And that they refused to recognize that love as being legitimate or worthy.  (By the way, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, it’s no surprise that interracial marriage was once illegal.  But the law also stated that children who were interracial weren’t legitimate and would receive no benefits of the Commonwealth.)

If two people, two consenting adults, have found love and choose to commit to each other, there’s nothing more legitimate than that.  Life is short.  Time is merciless.  Death is imminent.  We live and we can only hope to live to the fullest, to share that with someone.  To share your life with someone.  Finding someone that you want to come home to, whose face you want to see when you wake up in the morning.  For the rest of your life.

There is no religion, no dogma, no scripture, edict, tenet or decree that is more meaningful or more powerful than that.

To strive for love, companionship, hope, comfort, affection, approval, nurturing in the face of the shit storm that life can be, what more is there.

That is not something to be voted on, much less to be voted against.

11 comments

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  1. Janna

    Thanks for making the point so eloquently and intimately.

    Regarding the first section: I’m worried too. People are talking about Obama’s similarities to JFK, and… well that’s exactly what makes me nervous. There’s a lot (a LOT) of hate in this country. My husband says its a good thing that we’re bringing it out in the open, making people deal with it, and yet…

  2. Tony

    With regards to the demographics of the passing of Prop 8… While it does appear that blacks and hispanics voted slightly disproportionately in favor of Prop 8, it’s not fair to lay the blame on them. This appears to have been an issue of age, not of race or gender. It’s generational. According to fivethirtyeight.com Prop 8 would have “failed by a point or two” had no one over 65 voted. (See http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/11/prop-8-myths.html )

    But the fact that this was even up for a vote is more troubling, IMHO. Doesn’t the notion of having the general population vote on the rights of a minority sound like something straight out of the 19th century? Isn’t this what we have the courts and legislatures for… to protect people’s rights?

    The good news is that I don’t see how this is ever actually going to become law. Even Governor Schwarzenegger is calling on the courts to strike it down. Today San Francisco was essentially brought to its knees by protests. (Gridlock all day.) People all over the world are marching in solidarity against it. Perhaps it isn’t ridiculous to hope that justice will actually be done here.

  3. Tony

    Hatemongering… Fearmongering… this is so upsetting that I can hardly even collect a coherent thought on the matter. The right wing needs to be taken to task for the ridiculous and irresponsible things they’re spewing. (And not just by Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow.) I join you in the hope that the Republican party can rebuild themselves into an entity more deserving of respect than the orgy of self-destruction we’re watching right now. Let us just hope that if they do it’s not just a facade over the same core values.

    Re: In the Line of Fire… (Okay, you didn’t call it that, but you know I’m a movie buff. 🙂 ) I too am fearful that there will be multiple assassination attempts on Mr. Obama. Fortunately the Secret Service is a lot better at protecting modern presidents than it used to be. I have some faith that they’ll keep him safe. I do think they have their work cut out for them, though.

  4. johnbisceglia

    The U.S. government crossed a VERY serious line with PROP 8. This “proposition” threatened children’s sense of safety and belongingness in California. Children’s safety. Regardless of THIS particular fight, there are way too many fights on way too many fronts for us to conquer piecemeal. The Time is Now – DRAW A NEW LINE in the sand and demand from President Obama and our representatives FULL EQUALITY.

    Equality Is Simple When You Simply Include Everybody. What? Not detailed enough for the lawyers?

    OK, we can list repealing DOMA, repealing DADT, include transgender in the ENDA Bill, allow adoption of abandoned children, equality in immigration issues, recognize our hate crimes as such, equal family/children rights……….whew! See what I mean?

    We are EQUAL SOULS in HUMAN BODIES. Could we please STOP discriminating due to the genitalia attached? Plumbing will determine each civil right?! Any separation from the pack is ultimately due to gender (and/or gender roles & stereotyping), and that is SEXISM. I cannot marry Bob because I am the “wrong” gender; if I were a woman I could marry Bob. SEXISM.

    And I cannot stress ENOUGH how my own suffering from Marriage Inequality is NOT the reason for wanting or needing equality. I am not something to focus on. But my story, and the stories of countless other Americans desperately need to be addressed in this civil rights struggle. Marriage laws were put in place many years ago in order to PROTECT individuals and their FAMILIES; if they were NOT necessary they would not exist (for heterosexuals). When these laws are NOT in place for ALL OF US, horrible, horrible suffering occurs. My WEBSITE has many examples.

    So Americans want to continue denying us what they have already deemed as essential. And many people want us to WAIT…2….5……10…….20……..30 YEARS, depending on the “civil right”, for what WAS and IS our birthright.

    I personally have a HUGE problem with that. I cannot wait. I will not wait.

    Will you join me on Wednesday, April 15th, 2009, and help me inform the government that WE are eager to be included in the federal tax base as soon as THEY include us in society’s laws? My 5-year-old students could understand this concept: EQUAL = EQUAL

    As Americans can’t we agree that there are MANY other important issues to address (like the Economy, Education, Health Care, Poverty & Homelessness, Iraq/Afghanistan…all of these are related), and solving THOSE problems is more urgent than having “Equality Issues” TIE UP THE COURTS for another 30+ years? We will NOT go away.

    You keep procreating; we keep popping out. Sorry.

    Our representatives have spent years inventing 4-letter words (DOMA, DADT) to restrict us, deny us, demoralize us, and harm our beloved families and children. Enough is enough.

    NO MORE. NO MORE.

    ==================================
    The National Equality Tax Protest
    – Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 –
    ==================================

  5. Sadie Flick

    I’m fairly law-stupid, but…

    It’s strange to me that we can have legislation that delineates between females and males in the first place. Are there parts of the law that use “she” and “he” instead of “one”? It seems like there would be very few gendered parts of the law… i guess child support and abortion legislation???? hm.

    What did the language look like for marriage before gay marriage was ever legal in CA? And — what language did we change to make it legal?

  6. garyarthuryoung

    Hey, everybody.

    Thank you very much for the comments. It’s good to hear your voices. John, I don’t know you but I appreciate the time you took for that comment.

    Aside from that, apparently you’re all a bunch of west coast hippies. 🙂

    Sadie, I never thought of it that way. As gender discrimination. I bought and recently read “The United States Constitution A Graphic Adaptation” and it’s interesting how language is used. And how amendments were written to say, Oh, and black people, too. Oh, and women. Don’t forget about women.”

    Seriously, though, Northern California is progressive, to say the least. If I went by my friends, who seem to be more liberal than I am … well, let’s just say that things don’t change as quickly, especially minds, in other parts of the country.

    If the Civil Rights era was any precedent to societal shifts, you’re going to have to fight like hell and then bit by bit laws change and morays change. Because minds have to be changed.

    I’ve been thinking about this and it seems like the only way to change people’s minds is … well, you can’t really. People change when they, like, have a gay friend or someone they know and respect comes out of the closet. Then they’re like, “Well, I guess you fags aren’t all bad.”

    Not catharsis as much as … exposure?

    It’s coming.

    I’m rambling.

  7. Paul D.

    You should send this to every newspaper in the country, or at least in California. I think this was an extremely moving and powerful piece. Well said.

    FWIW, I have been protesting the passage of Prop H8 and plan to participate in all the future events that I can.

  8. garyarthuryoung

    Thanks, Ginny and Paul, for the comments.

    Pablo, I don’t think I want every newspaper in the country, or just California even, to know what a loser I am. Not something I would want publicized nationally. 🙂

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