Pride and Shame

Obama wins solidly, and I am incredibly proud of my country today. More on that in a later post.

Meanwhile, I am ashamed of my new State, California. It looks like Prop 8 has passed, against my every expectation. Prop 8 modifies the State Constitution to redefine marriage according to strict religious beliefs, rather than equality for all. The disgusting proponents of this Proposition resorted to every trick in the book to confuse voters: kids will have to learn about gay marriage in kindergarden! Churches will lose their non-profit status if they refuse to marry gay couples! All complete BS debunked by the LA Times.

I think the World will not soon forget those who fought so hard to strip my gay friends and family members of their simple right to marry the person they love, in particular the leadership and majority of the Mormon Church. Religious leaders who pushed for Prop 8 or who stood quiet will need to think very carefully about what they have done. Today, in California, religion stands for intolerance and active modification of secular laws to fit one’s religious opinion. That’s called religious extremism. There is no getting around it, and for those religious leaders who failed today, there is enough material here for a lifetime of repentance.

But there is hope. When you look at the population breakdown, those under 30 massively rejected Proposition 8. Twenty-five years from now, we will look back on this in the same way we look back on bans on interracial couples: our kids and grandkids will be shocked to learn about our intolerant ways.

To my gay family and friends: I am so sorry, and I can barely imagine the pain this must be causing you. But I have hope, as I most often do in cases that involve equality and America, that the Truth will eventually prevail. Hope is not enough, though, and so I will strive to find ways, in everyday dealings, in political involvements, and in monetary donations, to promote equality for all.

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