A couple of weeks ago, I attended a Kansas City area protest to California Proposition 8, a protest that was pretty well attended (about 400 in attendance) and was virtually ignored by much of the local media. Proposition 8, in California was a voter initiative that, by passing, outlawed marriage by gays in the state of California. This law seemingly violates a Constitutional ruling in the state that said that prejudice based on sexual preference was not legal.
The protest was attended by many. Obviously there was a big turnout by the gay and lesbian community. There was also a good turnout of local politicians including state Senator Jolie Justus, State Representative Beth Lowe, City Councilwoman Beth Gottstein and School Board member Airick West. There were also many straight couples in attendence, including me and my wife.
The November election was a historic one in this country. For the first time ever, a black man was elected to be the President of the United States. A lot has been made of this, but it truly is amazing. The first 16 presidents of the US could have literally owned Obama. 140 years ago, Obama would not have been allowed to vote. 50 years ago, Obama would not have been allowed to attend the same schools as white people. To be elected president wouldn't even have been an option.
In an election where we showed that as a nation, we can put bigotry aside, it was very disappointing that the state of California would then pass a bigoted legislation targeted the gay and lesbian community.
As a citizen of this country, I continue to be disgusted by the willingness of our citizens, and our government, the put unnecessary restrictions on small segments of the population. We pass bans on smoking in privately owned restaurants. We restrict who the ability of people to park their work vehicles in their driveways. We restrict the ability to have carports. We restrict certain groups of people from having the same insurance, medical and tax rights as others based on their sexual preferences.
As a citizen of this country, I remember that this country was found on personal freedoms -- including the freedom FROM our government from being forced to follow someone else's religion.
If you oppose gay marriage for religious reasons, that is fine. I understand. You and your church have every right to prevent gays from marrying in your church. But legally preventing them from marrying in ANY church is just wrong.
At some point we need to stand up for other people's rights in this country...or else we, ourselves, may be left with none.