Out of the mouths of babes--and Canadians....I read this today at Ronniecat's blog. Click the link, and you can read it there your own self.
Some of you may be aware of a Proposition that will be on the ballot in California next week which, if passed, will repeal that state's current allowance of marriages between two men or two women. As a Canadian who has witnessed first-hand the longer-term effects of legalizing gay marriage on a society, I thought it was very important to reprint this list of 12 Important Reasons Why Gay Marriage Will Ruin Society before California voters go to the polls.
1. Homosexuality is not natural, much like eyeglasses, polyester, and birth control are not natural.
2. Heterosexual marriages are valid because they produce children. Infertile couples and old people cannot get legally married because the world needs more children.
3. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children because straight parents only raise straight children.
4. Straight marriage will be less meaningful, since Britney Spears's 55-hour just-for-fun marriage was meaningful.
5. Heterosexual marriage has been around for a long time, and it hasn't changed at all: women are property, Blacks can't marry Whites, and divorce is illegal. [Note to Ronnie and the author of these 12 reasons: maybe that last is true in Canada, but anybody can marry anybody else down here, no matter what color they are, and we can get divorced just by, well, divorcing.]
6. Gay marriage should be decided by the people, not the courts, because the majority-elected legislatures, not courts, have historically protected the rights of minorities.
7. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are always imposed on the entire country. That's why we only have one religion in America. [Which one would THAT be?]
8. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people makes you tall.
9. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage license.
10. Children can never succeed without both male and female role models at home. That's why single parents are forbidden to raise children.
11. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society. Heterosexual marriage has been around for a long time, and we could never adapt to new social norms because we haven't adapted to cars or longer lifespans.
12. Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better, because a "separate but equal" institution is always constitutional. Separate schools for African-Americans worked just as well as separate marriages will for gays & lesbians.
The above list was compiled by GatorGSA , a group of people who clearly have their heads screwed on straight, no pun intended.
[Ronnie's note] [In all seriousness, marriage rights for gay men and women in California are seriously threatened by this proposition. The greatest outrage in my opinion is the pouring of millions of dollars into anti-gay-marriage propaganda ads by evangelical groups outside the state who presume to tell Californians what their values are. I can't even imagine the gutted feelings of married gay Californians who may be told for the second time that their lifelong commitment before their family, friends, any Higher Power they believe in, and the world is, sorry, invalidated. The Proposition 8 vote will be an important test of whether the US has made the leap with this election into the 21st century, or has not quite shaken off the yoke of theocracy. After the Presidential contest, Prop 8 will be my second-most-closely-worried-and-watched contest of this election.]
And, appropriately, here's #2:
It's an email from the director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Anthony Romero.
Dear ACLU Supporter,
I'm angry and heartsick about what may happen in California on November 4th.
In the most personal way possible, I'm writing to ask you for a favor: help us ensure that gay couples all across California keep their fundamental right to marriage -- the basic right to be treated just like anybody else.
I hope you will forgive the indulgence when I speak from the heart and tell you my personal story.
You see, I grew up in a loving and supportive household, where my family believed I could be anything I chose -- anything except being an openly gay man. Neither of my parents finished high school, and yet, they believed I could accomplish all I set out to do as I went off to Princeton University and Stanford Law School.
They got me through the toughest of times, scrimped and saved, and always believed that failure wasn't in the cards for me. They had more faith in me than I often had in myself. Whenever my parents visited me at Princeton, my Dad would slip a $20 bill in my pocket when my Mom wasn't looking. I never had the courage to tell him that the $20 wouldn't go very far towards my bills, books and tuition. But, it was his support and belief in me that sustained me more than the tens of thousands of dollars I received in scholarships.
When I finished college, they were hugely proud of my -- and their -- accomplishments. That was until I told them I was gay and wanted to live life as an openly gay man.
Though I always knew I was gay, I didn't come out to them for many years, as I was afraid of losing the love and support that had allowed me to succeed against all odds. When I did tell them, they cried and even shouted. I ended up leaving their home that night to spend a sleepless night on a friend's sofa. We were all heartbroken.
When my Mom and I spoke later, my Mom said, "But, Antonio (that's the name she uses with me), hasn't your life been hard enough? People will hurt you and hate you because of this." She, of course, was right -- as gay and lesbian people didn't only suffer discrimination from working class, Puerto Rican Catholics, but from the broader society. She felt that I had escaped the public housing projects in the Bronx, only to suffer another prejudice -- one that might be harder to beat -- as the law wasn't on my side. At the time, it felt like her own homophobia. Now I see there was also a mother's love and a real desire to protect her son. She was not wrong at a very fundamental level. She knew that treating gay and lesbian people like second class citizens -- people who may be worthy of "tolerance, " as Sarah Palin asserts, but not of equality -- was and still is the last socially-acceptable prejudice.
Even before I came out to them, I struggled to accept myself as a gay man. I didn't want to lose the love of my family, and I wanted a family of my own -- however I defined it. I ultimately chose to find my own way in life as a gay man. This wasn't as easy as it sounds even though it was the mid-1980s. I watched loved ones and friends die of AIDS. I was convinced I would never see my 40th birthday, much less find a partner whom I could marry.
As years passed, my Mom, Dad and I came to a peace, and they came to love and respect me for who I am. They even came to defend my right to live with equality and dignity -- often fighting against the homophobia they heard among their family and friends and in church.
The right to be equal citizens and to marry whomever we wish -- unimaginable to me when I first came out -- is now ours to lose in California unless we stand up for what's right. All of us must fight against what's wrong. In my 43 short years of life, I have seen gay and lesbian people go from pariahs and objects of legally-sanctioned discrimination to being on the cusp of full equality. The unimaginable comes true in our America if we make it happen. But, it requires effort and struggle.
One of the things I love about the ACLU is that it's an organization that understands we are all in this together. We recognize that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Given what's at stake in the outcome of this election, I am personally appealing to you for help to fight the forces of intolerance from carrying the day in California next Tuesday.
If you have friends and family in California, please contact them right now, and ask them to vote NO on Proposition 8. You can send them a message here.
We need to make sure people keep in mind that gay people are part of every family and every community -- that like everyone else, gay people want the same rights to commit to their partners, to take care of each other and to take responsibility for each other. We shouldn’t deny that, and we shouldn’t write discrimination into any constitution in any state. Certainly, we can't let that happen in California after the highest court in the state granted gay and lesbian people their full equality.
Unfortunately, due to a vicious, deceitful $30 million advertising blitz, the supporters of Prop 8 may be within days of taking that fundamental right away.
To stop the forces of discrimination from succeeding, we have to win over conflicted voters who aren't sure they're ready for gay marriage but who are also uncomfortable going into a voting booth and stripping away people's rights. With the ACLU contributing time, energy and millions of dollars to the effort, we're working hard to reach those key voters before next Tuesday.
If you have friends and family in California, please contact them right now, and ask them to vote NO on Proposition 8. Share this email with them. Call them. Direct them to our website for more information.
Don't let other young people grow up to be afraid to be who they are because of the discrimination and prejudice they might face. Let them see a future that the generation before them couldn't even dream of -- a future as full and equal citizens of the greatest democracy on earth.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." As we strive to defeat Prop 8 and the injustice it represents, the ACLU is trying to make that arc a little shorter.
On behalf of my Mom and family, and on behalf of all the people who will never face legally-sanctioned discrimination, I thank you for being part of this struggle and for doing everything you can to help.
It is a privilege and honor to have you as allies in this fight for dignity and equality.
With enormous appreciation,
Anthony D. Romero
And here's a good P.S., which just happens to be on my blog today, too: the meditation from Daily Om:
We Are All Connected
There are times when we may feel disconnected from the world. Our actions can seem like they are of no major consequence, and we may feel like we exist in our own vacuum. Yet, the truth is that our simplest thought or action - the decisions we make each day, and how we see and relate to the world - can be incredibly significant and have a profound impact on the lives of those around us, as well as the world at large. The earth and everything on it is bound by an invisible connection between people, animals, plants, the air, the water, and the soil. Insignificant actions on your part, whether positive or negative, can have an impact on people and the environment that seem entirely separate from your personal realm of existence. Staying conscious of the interconnection between all things can help you think of your choices and your life in terms of the broader effect you may be creating.
Think of buying a wooden stool. The wood was once part of a tree which is part of a forest. A person was paid to fell the tree, another to cut the wood, and yet another to build the stool. Their income may have had a positive effect on their families, just as the loss of the tree may have had a negative impact on the forest or the animals that made that tree their home. An encouraging word to a young child about their special talent can influence this person to develop their gift so that one day their inventions can change the lives of millions. A poem written “merely” to express oneself can make a stranger reading it online from thousands of miles away feel less alone because there is someone else out there who feels exactly the way they do.
Staying conscious of your connection to all things can help you think of your choices in terms of their impact. We are powerful enough that what we do and say can reverberate through the lives of people we may never meet. Understanding that you are intimately connected with all things and understanding your power to affect our world can be the first step on the road to living more consciously.