A Californian Vote
In a world swollen with issues to take up and make one’s own, I wonder and wait, as many writers do, to see which injustices, which insults upon humanity will scale the walls of deafening popular media and make themselves known. November 4th offered gads of reasons for press, many being hopeful while at least a few, it turns out, startlingly backwards. Barack Obama’s move into President-Elect reflected a promise, for many millions around the world, that the rebirth of equality and the pursuit of discrimination’s extinction had once again come to the forefront of American intention – a beautiful promise indeed. But for couples in one of Barack’s most supportive states, anticipating the legal and familial expression of their love through marriage, November 4th was a giant backwards bound toward emphatic primitivity. Gay couples across the United States watched as “Proposition 8” – California’s constitutional amendment which declares the State definition of marriage as between one man and one woman – passed with a 52% majority and removed one of few legislative allies the gay and lesbian communities own in the United States. In early October, the then Vice Presidential hopefuls took a St. Louis stage and elucidated for the rest of us every imperfection of one another. In a rare moment of relative peace, they agreed on Darfur – thank god. They also agreed that marriage cannot happen between a man and another man, nor a woman and another woman – also thanks to god. But in their temporary camaraderie, they did manage to say that this civil union thing, this separate but still equal institution, sure is swell. Almost one month later, three days before these candidates would be awarded their future place in American politics, resident theists of San Diego and southern California flocked to Qualcomm stadium. Tossing themselves on the astroturf, they beseeched their god, an avid sports fan, that the institution of marriage be kept from the hands of unenlightened lovers. With the clarity of time’s forgiveness, and the genius of empathy in retrospect, one era’s target of hate and slanderous exclusion accepts the Presidency of the most powerful nation on earth. And on the opposite coast, the decidedly inferior of the 21st century begin to understand that they have yet to mature to the honor of marriage. Any thinker, regardless of creed or lack thereof, should look at such a morally dichotomous nation with some scathing incredulity. The freedom of religion authored in our constitution was as much a demand for the freedom to religion, as it was a promise for freedom from religion. In a sad manipulation of a holy book written to liberate and radically inspire, Christianity’s sacred scripture has become the wand of damnation for those homosexuals still caught in the grips of the Great Deceiver, and a baton which conducts the masses. An empty bubble filled by hundreds of thousands of hands in Californian polling booths has spoken the will of a nation, and perpetuated a dark history it so laboriously clings to.