Kristalnacht, Part II
Last week, California constitutionally banned gay marriage. Today Gay Marriage became legal in Connecticut. Thank God there is some justice in the world somewhere.
Like a lot of people who were ecstatic over Senator Obama’s presidential win last week, I’ve had a hard time coming to grips with the passage of Prop 8. My outrage is difficult to contain, my dismay difficult to bear. That the sate I lvoe and call home could do something so heinous makes me wonder whether it's all worth it. Life I mean. The news that the large turnout of black and Hispanic voters likely doomed gay marriage is even more discouraging. The oppressed become the oppressor. It is so sickening. And the news that out of state money, mostly coming from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, largely funded the measure is more outrageous still. I don't preach any kind of revenge--we cannot become oppressors ourselves--but what the LDS church did, it seems to me, must be illegal in a nation where church and state are supposed to be separate.
I am in the process right now of writing a screenplay inspired by the marriage of the mother of my good friend Joyce to her long time partner Lee this past summer. Only now I don’t have an ending. I am certainly sorry now that I finally changed my registration to New York. I wish I could have cast my actual vote against Prop 8, even in a losing effort.
Long time readers of this blog, and those who have purchased my book, will remember that in 2004 when this came up I compared being Gay in America right now to being Jewish in Germany in 1933. This is not hyperbole. It’s not about concentration camps. There has been legislation passed officially stripping them of a basic human right, just like happened to Jews in Germany. The minute you single out a group of people, based simply upon who they are, and say “you don’t have the rights the rest of us have,” you have started down that road to oppression, be it miscegenation in the South in the 1920s or in Germany in the 1930s or anti gay marriage laws in California, Arizona, or anywhere else today: you are committing a crime against humanity. We have people in Iraq dying for something we blithely call “freedom” while here at home we are taking freedoms away from people because we don’t like their lifestyle. How can we look at ourselves in the mirror and not see the hypocrites we have become? Freedom? Not in California, thank you very much. Move to Connecticut. You can be free there.
How more cruel can you be than to say to someone “you don’t get to marry the person you love?” I mean really!
To me it all comes down to this: a friend of mine posted on his blog that he knows a woman with a sixteen year old Lesbian daughter. She had been very active in the No on 8 campaign, as had her whole family. When Prop 8 passed she locked herself in her bedroom, in tears (I don’t know if she’s emerged yet. A lot of heartless people will look at that and say “she’s sixteen. She doesn’t know what she is yet, and besides, locking themselves in their bedrooms is what sixteen year old girls do.” Maybe. But imagine being sixteen years old and being legislated against. Imagine being sixteen years old and having the people of your state say officially, constitutionally, that you don’t matter; that you can have your rights stripped from you simply because of who you are; that you are not a full citizen; that you can be oppressed. How would that make you feel.
I was already furious with the ignorant bigots who passed this hateful and oppressive ban. But if for no other reason than the tears of that sixteen year old girl, they should be tarred, feathered, and run out of California on a rail (and I only put it that way to be charitable).