Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Obama Celebration

For just a moment. Sorry, I can't be 100% cool with the election results.

Why? Because California banned gay marriage. So did Arizona and Florida.

Look, I'm overjoyed about Obama. I've read in history books about presidents like Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, JFK, hell, even Reagan, and I've wondered how a commander in chief could, well, command the national imagination so vigorously. I grew up during the Bush years, during which our government--especially at the executive level--failed the American people again and again. I'm so excited to have a president I'm actually proud of, and I can't wait for Obama's administration to begin.

That said--seriously, California, not cool. This is a major setback for gay rights, because the three states where this was on the ballot voted the same way on this, which indicates the national mood. And yeah, I know, Connecticut; but which do you think will have more influence on future gay-marriage debates, Connecticut or California? (No offense to any CT readers. I have a personal problem with your state. The one and only time I have ever been stung by a jellyfish was in your cold, dreary waters, and that shit hurt.)

It's such a strange juxtaposition; the country voted for change last night--California included--yet the passage of Prop 8 suggests such cautious, frightened, reactionary thinking. Look, I understand if you're uncomfortable with the idea of gay marriage--it's a religious issue and a touchy subject, and as much as I want everyone to just be fucking COOL with gay marriage, I know that's far from true. But to ban it outright, I mean...how am I supposed to feel? How are we, as gay citizens of this country, supposed to handle this? I can finally trust my government again thanks to Mr. Obama. But it's disheartening to think that I probably won't be able to legally get married during my lifetime.

For those of you straight readers who think I'm just being Debbie Downer, the only thing I can say to you is: you don't understand. No, you don't. I'm glad you support our cause, but really? At the end of the day, when you find the man or woman of your dreams, you will marry that person and have the country accept your union. I fear I'll never know that privilege. Take a moment to think about that. Even if I do get married somewhere, sometime, at least half the country won't like it. Worst of all, it makes me feel like a second-class citizen! I don't have the same rights as everyone else. Where is this sweeping change I keep hearing about?

So don't chastise me for being negative; I wish I could devote all my heart to celebrating Obama's victory, but on a night that was supposed to be about change, what Prop 8 told us is that this country is still stuck with the same old fears.

-Josh

2 comments:

Linds said...

Well even if you don't love CT, CT loves you. Jellyfish and all. I know I can't really say much but I do want you to keep in mind that it happened and it will happen again. Perhaps this time in such a way and with so much support and frenzied backing from all of those who believe in equal rights that it will never be taken away again. Nothing lights a fire under people like giving them a present and cruelly snatching it away. Don't give up hope yet.

Shawn said...

the aclu has filed a law suit with the supreme court of ca. these are the same people that overturned prop 22 6 months ago and allowed same sex marriage. i guarantee you that prop 8 will be overtuned in no less than a few weeks.

that said, you have every right to be upset. it really is too bad that the courts are going to have to overturn (i hope they do) a voter decison, but it's the right thing to do.-- i think you blogged about this issue a while back.