Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gay Rights Struggle: From California Tom

Hey readers. Most of you have probably heard about California's "Prop 8", an anti-gay-marriage ammendment that narrowly passed during the recent election. In my opinion, it was a terrible step backward in our American society's journey towards true freedom and equality.

Anyway, my friend Tom, who is gay and lives in California, has been lobbying and protesting hard for the state to rescind the bigoted ammendment. He sent out this letter and these pictures, and said I could repost them here. I hope you find them inspiring. In Tom's words...

Dearest Friends and Family:

This is a very important time of change. While I am thrilled by the election of Obama, I am personally insulted that in this modern day gay people are still denied equal rights, especially in a country that claims to the land of the free and the leader of the free world. It seems odd to me that other countries that don't make these kinds of claims have to show America how to be free. Somehow homosexuality is being called a threat to national security and a sign of the coming apocalypse. In truth, it is that kind of ignorance is a far greater threat to our global security! For how long are we going to deny the realities of the world in which we live? This is no time to make false accusations and encourage superstitions.

Please enjoy the photos I have attached from a few of the world-wide protests that have taken place since the elections. Some of these photos I took myself, others are ones the press took. All of these images are from protest marches that I took part in at West Hollywood, Hollywood, and in Downtown Los Angeles. The numbers of people who come out to make themselves heard and the energy of those who participate is very inspiring. Let's ALL join together and take a stand once and for all for equality.

Thank you and my best wishes to each of you,

Tom H.



Gorge Smurf said...

Being a former California resident, this outcome was heartbreaking. I oscillated from feelings of joy (Obama) to feelings of depression (Prop 8). There are a couple of consolations:

1. In 2000, the Knight initiative (another anti-gay proposition) passed by a 61 to 39 margin. In 2008, Prop 8 passed by a 52-48 margin. We'll get there.

2. This is going to the State Supreme Court. The State Supreme Court has previously ruled bans on same sex unions as unconstitutional.

It doesn't seem logical to me to put the fate/rights of a minority group to the will of a popular vote. And in addition to that, to be able to pass a state constitutional amendment by a simple majority (rather than 2/3) vote seems irrational.

However, the one ballot measure that hasn't been receiving much press coverage is one that was passed in Arkansas which banned non-married couples from adopting children. This proposition was targeted towards same sex couples since Arkansas does not allow same sex marriages. The ballot measure that passed excludes based solely on marital status-- regardless if the couple in question are suitable adoptive parents:

I know of two couples that were married prior to Prop 8 passing and their marriages are still very valid to me. I hope the state of California and the rest of the nation will soon follow suit.

Thanks for posting this!

James Douglass said...

Smurf- Thanks for chiming in on this one. :) Let's hope these anti-gay measures are just the last gasp of homophobe paranoia.

Andy said...

It's pretty unbelievable to me that this is even a topic to begin with... Who cares? Let same sex couples get married... it's fine, it doesn't matter... It truly has ZERO effect on anybody... Except for the people who legally can't get married... It's simply fake issues that bigots make up in their own minds...

Snowdingo Aus said...
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