Friday, December 05, 2008

Shrimp cocktail and Prop 8

I've been sitting on a draft of this without posting it for for quite a long time now (pretty much since just after November 4th) but seeing this video on I figured I could reintroduce the topic. So please enjoy this funny video before I get very unfunny after.

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Quick note: I like this video for a couple of reasons and I dislike it for a couple more. First of all, I've used the shrimp cocktail argument before (often to no avail) and pointed out the "picking and choosing" of Biblical law. But I don't see the logic nor the reason for the "good for the economy" argument. Who cares if it's good for the economy or not? We're talking about human rights here. Geez.

Back to the unfunny business. I've been hugely reluctant to share my opinion online for fear of the backlash both online and off. But here were my thoughts just after the passage of Prop 8:

"I don't know what it is about the recent passage of California's Proposition 8 but I have been uneasy with that decision since it's fate on November 4th. I've mulled it over and prayed about it and time and time again I come to a conclusion that even surprises myself. Had that ballot proposition been up for vote in my own state of New Mexico I believe I would have voted against the measure.

It just feels like the right thing to do. "The right thing to do." I hate that line but I say it with such a heavy heart of empathy that my conscience would simply not allow me to say otherwise. I simply cannot say to another person, to my friends, to family that they do not have the same rights as other people."

And here are my continued thoughts now:

It's been quite some time since the passage of California's Proposition 8, rewriting the state's constitution to eliminate the rights of same-sex couples to marry. And even though it's not the hot topic in the news, even though the protests are not as widespread, the fact still remains that gays and lesbians have lost an important right in many states, shaded red in the map below.

Defense of Marriage Amendment types in the U.S., state by state
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I see this map and I think of two possibilites.

My first thought is that this is only the beginning. I see the possibility of amendments spreading state by state, eliminating the rights of gays and lesbians across the country. Or even worse, an amendment to the US Constitution, reversing decades of progress overnight.

My second, more hopeful and thought is that one day, when the next generation is reading history textbooks, they'll come across this map and my hope is that they regard it the same way I regarded maps of pre-Civil War America, showing Free states and Slave states, confused at the backwards logic that allowed widespread, legalized slavery in America.

Free and Slave States in the period leading to the American Civil War. Free states are blue, slave states in red. Territories are a neutral yellow.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

My hope is that we will turn the tide against homophobia and sexism as we did and continue to do against racism in the United States. We still have so far to go.

1 comment:

ibmelodious said...

It's a bit late in the game to be commenting on this post, but I thought I'd just tell you that I agree. I feel that another lunchtime somewhere in the future might hold some interesting conversation about this.