Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Prop Hate Supporters Get Their Wish

In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to uphold Prop 8, I decided to pull out this old post and dust it off. I'm truly saddened about today's news and frankly embarrassed to live in California. Whether you agree or disagree that "marriage" should be for everyone, just know that now, because of this ruling, people who are 100% committed to each other will not receive the same rights as you or I, given the message that they're freedoms and rights are not as important because they love someone of the same sex. And for that, I'm sorry.

November 2, 2008:

I've never been a political person. I'm not the most savvy when it comes to the election and I consider myself an Independent who leans to the left. And I would never use a forum like a blog to push my own political beliefs.

Until now.

I've had it easy. I'm a freckle-faced red(ish) head who has lived during a time where women and minorities have always had the right to vote. I've never faced a day of racism and any sexism aimed in my direction, I've pushed it aside knowing it was just coming from a closed-minded ignorant fool. I haven't suffered at the hands of another human being, nevermind group of people who hated me just for the color of my skin or my beliefs. While being my beautiful Asian daughter Lucy's mom for the past eight weeks has given me the tiniest glimpse of racism, ignorance and bigotry -- I would never for a second try to say I've experienced anything as hateful and hurtful as those who face it every single day of their lives.

Can you imagine a time where women were totally disregarded and told their vote didn't count? Can you really understand what it would feel like to be beaten -- even killed -- for how you look? I find it hard to even fathom.

California and Massachusetts recently gave gay people the right to marry -- that includes not being tossed out of a hospital room when that one person they've devoted their life to is breathing their last breath, being protected with health insurance, or being able to enjoy the same pride -- committed to one human being for the rest of their lives. That means they receive the same rights we do as straight married couples. Some think that allowing this abomination is dragging marriage down and want to abolish these rights with Proposition 8. I wonder -- isn't a 60% divorce rate really what's destroying the constitution of marriage? How many of those people who want to stop gay marriage are divorced themselves? And how does the marriage of another couple really affect us?

And let's face it. People have been gay since the beginning of time. It's not new, we just live in an era where more and more have the strength and support to live their lives and be proud. Do you have any idea what it's like to face the decision every day to either keep silent or be discriminated against? I know I don't. To have the courage to stay true to oneself in a world where there's so much hatred and lack of understanding should encourage us all to stand our ground in the face of adversity.

But what about the kids?

There are ads all over TV in California that evoke fear that gay marriage will be taught in schools. First of all, no... it won't. It's just propaganda pushed by people who refuse to put themselves in the shoes of others. Were any of us even taught about marriage at all growing up? Secondly, who cares? My kids have lived their short lives playing, celebrating holidays, and loving our gay friends. It's never even been a question for them. In fact, the gay couples in our lives have always been a constant; living together in committed, loving relationships -- some even raising a family -- while a few of the heterosexual couples have split and found new mates.

It wasn't all that long ago when some people thought the idea of blacks and women voting was asinine. Today, while some may still feel that way -- because you know they're always out there -- we are all given the same rights. The world changes... and happy and emotionally healthy people open their hearts and minds and change with it. I'm not saying it's always easy and comfortable to do so... but no matter your religion, race or sex, let's try to show compassion for each other.

I welcome all comments both for and against this position but please, be respectful of others.

twitter / jackiemacd

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jackie - i am so enormously proud of you! you have put words to what is in my heart. I couldn't agree more with you. As I see the signs on every corner I want to stop and just scream, "why do you people care who marries who?" And you are absolutely correct, your children, and I hope all chidren should be raised in a diversified world where we all just quit judging each other and love, care and cherish what God has given us - each other. Maybe then, the divorce rate would decrease and the sanctity of marriage would indeed be as intended......"to bring two people closer together". Love you honey. Claire

Eva said...

YEAH for this post!!!! I feel strongly for all equality and cannot understand for a second why anyone would want to eliminate right for any human being. For those who think they can avoid homosexuality by not talking about it, why don't they stop talking by death and see if they can avoid it, too? It's simply part of life.

Eva

wtzhpnn said...

As a gay woman with two kids, I appreciate your blog. I would hope that as times change, people will too. Change can only happen when people are willing to change and teach their children that skin color, sexual orientation or what sex you are is of unimportance. But, the most important thing besides change at this time is that we all live together without any hatred and have tolerance for each others differences. Thank you for your blog, it was inspiring!!!

Papa said...

Well said Jackie, you make me proud.

Papa

Anonymous said...

Proposition 8 is not about discriminaion. I believe California already gives same-sex unions the same legal benefits as marriage. Same-sex couples won't have any rights taken away if it passes.

The way I see it, there are three core issues here.

1. Do you believe that children deserve a mother and a father? If you think that a mother and father are interchangeable, then you should vote against prop 8. If you believe that children need both a father and mother, then you should vote for prop 8.

2. Do you believe courts should make our laws instead of the legislature? Even if you agree
with same-sex marriage, the process in place here is disturbing. If courts can grant a right out of thin air, they can take it away. Our rights are safest when the laws are passed by the legislature and the courts stick to interpreting the Constitution.

3. Do you believe that traditional values are important?California would be the first society in history define marriage as a partnership between the same sex. This is different than the major Western religions, the major Eastern religions, and even ancient secular humanism. If you believe there is wisdom in these traditions, then you should vote for prop 8.
I also think these values will be taught in school. In fact, it's already happening.


I hope this clarifies some of the issues surrounding this initiative. I think there's a lot of confusion out there.

lorabelle said...

Jackie,
Awesome post!!!
I agree completely and wish that more states would follow California. You hit some really good points and I love the comments. It's so nice to see the openness on this topic.
Lora

Jackie said...

Anonymous, it's unfortunate that you feel so strongly yet won't back it up with a name. It may not be your intention but it sends the message that you're not as confident in your views as you like to appear.

Every day, gay people around the world make the choice to also remain anonymous in order to avoid ridicule, prejudice and unwanted negative attention. Perhaps you can relate to that with your choice to remain hidden.

That being said, you're right --those children in San Francisco were, in fact, taught about gay marriage. But what you chose to leave out is that every one of them had permission from their parents and the two sets of parents who did not agree with the field trip to see their beloved lesbian teacher marry, opted out and their children were not witness to such a horrible attack on our value system.

Look around you -- there are children everywhere who do not enjoy the benefit of a traditional mom/pop family and not because of gay marriage. Sometimes, people divorce and a parent disappears, a parent dies or, God forbid, a woman chooses to keep a child who was not planned and raises him/her as a single mother. Are those children healthier in the end that those with two same-sex parents who shower them with love and devotion?

Do children "deserve" a mother and father? Children deserve people in their lives who do anything in their power to provide stability, love, and to be positive role models. I do agree that an opposite sex influence -- if healthy and committed to the child -- would certainly add to the child's life but do I think that person has to be someone who happened to supply sperm or an egg... absolutely not.

Thank you for your comment. It's important to keep open communication. As Michelle said above, it's time to lose the hatred and work on a bit of tolerance. She, for one, is an absolutely amazing stay-at-home mom who lives each day for the well-being of her children. Two kids who not only have the utmost love and respect by two moms, but also have their father in their lives. I am in awe of what they've overcome to create a life for their children and if you stopped for a minute to see the personal stories and got to know some of these families... I bet you would be too.

Anonymous said...

That was a quick response! To further clarify:

1. No, I don't believe that a mother and a father have to be related to the child. We agree here.

2. I'm not sure that "deserve" is the right word to use in terms of a mother and father. I mean that
the ideal scenario is to have a mother and father. We agree here as well.

3. I didn't know about the opt-out. Thanks for pointing that out. This is better than not opting out, but that doesn't negate my point about schools teaching these values.

What surprised me was when you used the terms "hatred" and "working on tolerance."
Does anything I wrote imply hatred or intolerance? Or do you think others in this debate are hateful or intolerant?

Blessings,

Anonymous

Jeff said...

@anonymous - I just thought I would give my two cents about one of your points. Specifically, regarding point #2 "Do you believe courts should make our laws instead of the legislature?"

People often tout America as being the best country in the world. Do you know why? One of the most unique reasons is that when a majority of the masses get together and try to marginalize the rights of the few, our courts can step in and say "no!" There are few if any other countries on this earth that give the individual such regard.

It should be noted that the courts don't make the laws. But they do police them. That is part of their job. And in this case, they made the right call. Under California's current constitution, the original law is indeed, unconstitutional.

Now, we have prop 8 on the ballot which will amend the constitution so that it will be a-ok to take away peoples freedom.

If you are on the fence about this issue, I urge you to vote no. Amending the constitution this way will set a precedent that scares me far more than the idea of a child learning about gays getting married.

And as far as "same sex couples won't have any rights taken away" I'm afraid your wrong. They won't have the right to simply be "married". They won't have the right to say "Hi, I'm Jason. Have you met my husband Eric?" If you are married, just stop an imagine for a moment that you just weren't allowed to be married to your spouse any longer. You had to now go through a lengthy court process to get all of your "rights" because a group of people you don't know decided that is how it should be and then you tell me that your rights haven't been violated.

Thanks for reading.

Jeff

Jackie said...

Hi again,
I was not accusing you of being hatred or intolerant but, yes, there are people who are absolutely both those things when it comes to this issue. I see some of them on the corners yelling -- some even starting an altercation with an 11-year-old girl -- in my own neighborhood.

While I appreciate the article you sent to inform us all about the SF kids learning about gay marriage in school, it very clearly states in it that they had the option of not sending them. I had assumed you read the article you linked to above. Not to generalize totally, but that also happened in SF. Many families with children who live in the heart of that city see gay people all the time. I am guessing (yes guessing) that you'd find many more parents open to their children congratulation their gay teacher than say another part of the country.

I appreciate your comments. Thanks.

Jackie said...

OOPS! sorry for the grammar... goes to show you I shouldn't comment while trying to get three kids ready bed!

marina said...

Amen Sister! I am in total agreement here.

Janice said...

"Do you believe that traditional values are important?"

Dude, traditional values such as...women not having the same rights as men? Because I'm pretty sure if you want to bring religions into this, many have that as a factor. Traditional values such as...biracial couples should not exist? Because we've knocked that "value" right out (though many MANY couples face prejudice to this day).

If we want to go by our "traditional values," we might as well go back in a time machine, because our world is changing and adapting and moving FORWARD, making the world a better place for ALL people. Not just your typical, white, husband & wife, two kids and a dog kind of family.

It sucks to have to get used to change sometimes. When we're brought up with the notion that two men getting married isn't "right"..it's hard to change. Understandable. But to say that the best way a family can be raised is with a mother and a father "end of story"... is ridiculous. I know some of the most amazing gay/lesbian couples who could show more love and support to their children than any typical male/female couple. To say that gender factors into what makes a good parent doesn't make sense to me...ah, well...

Mom to the King and Captain said...

I agree with you 100%!

Wtzhpnn said...

For Anonymous: This is a add on to my original comment!

Our two children do have their father in their life. That is a choice that we as a couple made and works best for us…however, not all children are better off with their mother’s & fathers around. Let’s talk about all the children that are abused by their mother’s & father’s or the mother’s & fathers that abandon them for various reasons. I would much rather have my children have two loving parents of the same sex than the latter! The best thing children can have is unconditional love and two parents that want to be together as we do, unlike over 50% of traditional marriages that end in divorce anyway…NOW THAT’S FAMILY VALUES??? A child spending every other week with one parent then makes the swap to the other parent is healthier than a child seeing two parents who love each and simply want to be together and show their children how marriage can work. So, if people want to have a prop to protect marriage, then why isn’t there a prop to ban divorce? NOW THAT IS A REAL ISSUE…not if two people who love each other regardless of sex should marry!

Tamera said...

Yikes! This is why I avoid talking politics!

Phatchik said...

You go girl! I was able to vote early this weekend (I live in FL) and I teared up when I saw my candidate's name on the ballot!

Here in FL, we have Amendment 2 - domestic partnerships. And what most people don't realize is that it affects heterosexuals too. My boyfriend is able to be on my health insurance do to our being domestic partners. It's not just about gay rights and people need to open their minds (and hearts) when researching these amendments and propositions. DO WHAT'S RIGHT!

Josh and Linda said...

Jackie,

I have enjoyed following your blog for several months now (We adopted a boy from St. Lucy's a few months before you adopted Lucy). I have kept following your blog even post-adoption because you are a terrific and funny writer. Now you have made me an even more loyal follower! Thank you for standing up for such an important issue!
Linda

Suzi Hill said...

Today a friend asked how I was going to vote on this proposition. I told her what I told my daughter last week when she asked me why people were holding signs on the corner of our street. I told her, in 4 year old terms, that some people think the government should decide who we can marry. She said, "Well, I'm going to marry (insert name)!" I said, "What if there was a law that said you couldn't marry ....?" She said, "That wouldn't be fair." Exactly my point. It's not anyone's business, certainly not the legislature, what choices I make in my marriage or bedroom. I think it is barbaric that people would support such discrimination.

Russ and Kim said...

Jackie,

I 100% agree with you. My husband and I were just talking about this and I swear, we made some of the same exact statements that you did. I have seen a few other adoption blogs make huge deals about how prop 8 directly affects adoption--namely LDS--they are so worried about losing their tax-exempt status and having to close their doors because they refuse to allow same sex married couples to adopt from them.

Living in CA and having a daughter in Kindergarten, I feel the whole thing about gay marriage being taught in schools is a total lie--unfortunately, there are many closed minded people who are believing all the "hype."

My question to some good friends of ours who have a Yes on 8 sign in their yard, was this--"So, if one of your children grows up to be gay, falls in love, and wants to be married--Will you be supportive or will you tell them how you really feel and how you voted to abolish same sex marriages?"

Thanks for posting this.

We are definitely voting NO on Prop 8.

Kim

I

Jen and Jeff said...

Excellent post, Jackie. I agree with you 100%. Thanks for saying what so many feel.
Jen

From Bottle to Box said...

Beautifully put! Everyone deserves the same rights.

Leslie C. said...

Dear Jackie,
I understand your point of view. But if men and men or women and women should be together than why are there two different sexes? It's just not natural. Therefore, the people who feel this way support Prop 8, believing that by allowing them to be married would by unnatural. I would like to ask you to think really deeply and honestly say: if one of your children told you that he or she was a homosexual.. would you support them 100% with no doubt or hesitation? I have thought about this question.. and I'm going to be honest.. I would not want one of my children or all of my children to be homosexual. Now this is just my opinion, but I feel that homosexual couples have the same amount of, if not more, problems than normal couples. I don't think we should assume that being homosexual= better

JackieMacD said...

Thank you for your comment, Leslie C. You raise a couple of important points. As far as unnatural goes, research shows that homosexual behavior has been observed in close to 1500 species, ranging from primates to gut worms, and is well documented for 500 of them. While you or I may not be homosexual, for many people (more than those who are courageous enough to speak their truth) it is the most natural thing in their lives. And not being in their shoes, I don't feel I have the right to determine their feelings as right or wrong.

You raise an excellent point when it comes to my children. Do I WANT them to be gay? No. I have this conversation with a very close friend, who is gay, who also says she doesn't wish her children to be gay. That's like saying you want your child to suffer extreme challenges and hatred for others. Of course we want to choose the life free of prejudice and judgment. But I will tell you right now, if one (or all) of my children tell me they are, in fact, homosexual, I will love, support and honor them for the beautiful, brave and strong human beings they are. Because one thing I've learned in parenting, is that we must set aside all of our expectations and parent our children based on who they are as people.

Thank you again for your comment. I appreciate hearing other sides.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_displaying_homosexual_behavior

Jen and Jeff said...

Oh, I love that last comment from you, Jackie. You put it so well. Your line "Because one thing I've learned in parenting, is that we must set aside all of our expectations and parent our children based on who they are as people" is my favorite line. So true.