you’ve got to let love rule

So the law just passed that allows the re-writing of the California Constitution to ban gay marriage. the “yes” campaign said they were “protecting family” and the church; but i think they were wrong. the church was not going to be legally affected by gay marriage. they claimed they’d be sued if they refused to perform marriage ceremonies for single-sex couples, but those are just laws we already have in place against discrimination; they claimed that kids would be taught gay marriage in school, but this Proposition had nothing to do with schools or education either, and i’m saddened to think that children being taught equality and tolerance is such a threat to the moral fabric of our society. they even went so far as to claim that two men getting married or two women getting married would be a threat to marriage as an institution. This means that men who beat their wives, parents who neglect or abused their children, or men who ordered brides over the internet would have more rights, their bond considered more sacred, than two men who have been together for over twenty years. to me, marriage wasn’t at stake here; humanity and equality was. Last night, in California, both of them lost.

There is a separation between church and state in this country, and i’m disappointed that people couldn’t make that distinction in the voting booth yesterday. i could take a man to a church. we could have a wedding ceremony with a priest presiding over us, we could drink the wine and eat the bread, say our vows and look out to see our friends and family watching; but that still wouldn’t make us married. nope, not until we went to city hall and signed that marriage certificate. that’s the law.

maybe i’m just jaded. i live in the tiny microcosm of san francisco where there are so many gay people and straight people that no one seems an outcast and no one seems unnatural. sure, there are the assless leather chaps that roam my streets, and my favorite stationary store has now become a dildo vendor; but that’s just an over-sexualized response to a society that tries to tell gay people that who they are and what they do is not “natural” (don’t underestimate the pervasiveness of straight sex in our culture either). In my community, there are also couples who are committed to each other, who have fallen in love with each other, share similar values and dreams with each other, met each other’s families and have even been together for almost as long as my parents. the fact that we will now be writing into the california constitution words that say that their love is unnatural and ILLEGAL is just so many steps in the wrong direction.

we have just made history by voting a black man as president. he won the popular vote by a landslide. in fact, he *lapped* McCain. while no one knows for sure whether barack obama can fulfill any or all of his promises, we are clearly more than willing to let him try, and god bless america for that. but for as far as we’ve come, we still have a long way to go as a society. 40 years ago, a black man and a white woman could not marry. to me, preventing a man from marrying a man he loves is the same kind of discrimination. i know that is a controversial statement for some, and i have heard the rebuttal “you can’t choose your race”. well, in my book, you can’t choose who you love either. love chooses you.

but we have to believe in the change that obama has inspired. we have to believe that we have the power to “bend the arc of justice” in our favor. so while we may have lost the fight now, i hope that we may never lose our faith and our hope. so please, stay strong and keep your hope alive. we will get there eventually. yes. we. can.

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