Gay Marriage Legal In California: Prop 8 Overturned
Hallelujah! My world is round again. Last week, a federal judge overturned the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in California instituted by Proposition 8. Finally. Itís about time.
A last frontier
I was staying with a friend who lives in the gayest of the gay neighborhoods in San Francisco when Prop 8 was first voted in. It was a dark day indeed. I wanted to run up and hug every person on the street and say, ďIím sorry. I voted for you.Ē But everyone was so sad, hardly anyone spoke. Frankly, I was in shock.
Like many, I was raised in the 1970ís to think being gay was a sin. My mother believed that gay people could be reformed by just praying hard and letting go of their wayward thoughts. Then my sister came out of the bisexual closet and introduced us to her new girlfriend. Mom, who loves her children dearly and has always said, ďthe relationship is more important than being right,Ē found herself eating crow and doing an about face (Go Mom!).
When the propaganda was thrashing around before the Prop 8 election, I was living in conservative Monterey County, where I was shocked to find “YES ON PROP 8″ signs in my neighborís yard, causing my hubby and me to wonder what the hell we were doing in such a town. But I didnít think it would actually go through. After all, the constitution very clearly supports equal rights for all. And marriage (and the emotional, societal, and fiscal benefits that accompany it) is simply another right. To me, the battle against gay marriage is one of the last frontiers. As we look back in history in amazement that anyone ever had to fight to free slaves, to allow women to vote, or to grant equal rights to people of color, we will do the same for the rights of homosexuals. It is clear. The constitution protects us. We are equal human beings, regardless of race, gender, or religious preference. The arguments against gay marriage are simply madness in my opinion.
Next: What is sacred?
What is sacred?
People argue about the sanctity of marriage. The sacredness of the family. The blessed union between a man and woman. Bullshit!
Now granted, Iím twice divorced, so Iím no pillar of marital sanctity here. But I feel so grateful that I had the right to make my mistakes, learn from them, and marry a man I adore. I canít even imagine if I wasnít granted that right. If I loved women, I would want to be married just as much as I do now. I would want the societal recognition, the proof for my child that we chose to be a family, and the fiscal benefits we enjoy. I would want a wedding and a ring and the right to share a last name. The fact that I might love women wouldnít change that one bit. Why would we expect anyone else would feel any differently?
One of my best friends is gay and managed to get married somewhere where itís legal. And then suffered a bitter divorce and custody battle over their two children, born via a surrogate. He said, ďThe worst thing about gay marriage is gay divorce.Ē And I feel for him. Divorce sucks. But isnít it better to love and lose than to never love at all? Isnít it better to lay it all on the line, even if you might fail? And shouldnít he have as much right to love fully and make mistakes as I do? Yes. He should. We all should. Itís simply not up to the government to make that decision for us.
Celebrating and believing
And so I celebrate last Wednesday’s ruling. In honor of my gay sisters and brothers everywhere, I press my hands together and bow Namaste. I raise my glass. I giggle with glee. I jump up and down. I take a deep breath.
I know there will be battles still to fight. The anti-gay factions are already calling for an appeal. I suspect this will go all the way to the Supreme Court. But I have no doubt that I will live to see the day that gay marriage is legal everywhere in the United States. Our constitution protects it. Itís a simply matter of civil rights. Every adult human should have the right to marry. Who cares about gender? Years from now, Iíll say, ďI told you so.Ē Itís only right. The Universe wants it that way. Itís divinely ordered. And love will always win.
I know the road is long, and it will be painful in the process. But I will be there, holding a picket sign, dancing my support at Gay Pride, writing posts like this, and linking arm and arm with every being who lives and wants to be true to their authentic nature.