Should I write an opinion piece? I’ve been struggling with this one for a while and figured that voicing my opinion on social issues is no different than giving my opinions on parenting, baking, or any other topic. But this one makes people scream at each other, blaze their cars with bumper stickers, and post signs on their lawns: Proposition 8.
For those outside California, Prop 8 was a recently-passed ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Only.
Here’s where I forestall all breathless and spittle-flecked responses by saying this: I don’t have any right to say that people defining marriage as only between a man and woman are wrong in any way. I may not agree, but hey, people believe that Elvis still walks among us. People are nuts.
The real problem I have is when people assume their personal beliefs on marriage ought to be written into law. Our country was not founded on a Bible, Koran, or self-help book, it was founded on the belief that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our country revolves around personal freedoms. Don’t like the government? Here, we’ll let you parade around our capitol city in pointed hoods and will pay for police protection, even if you represent one of the most bigoted and hated organizations in the country. It’s your unassailable right as an American to be wrong, to be stupid, and to have your voice heard. Personal liberties man, that’s how we roll.
So. On the one side you’re going to tell people to pry your gun from your cold dead hands, on the other you say your belief on gay marriage trumps their belief. Look, either you’re for personal liberties or you’re against them. Wanna pronounce gay marriage as a sin? Fine. Wanna grow muttonchops and live on a compound with like-minded people? Fine. Wanna say the Bible is the ultimate source for all governing rules? Okay, but don’t expect everyone in the country to lock step with your belief system.
Proposition 8 has passed in California, an unprecedented reduction in civil liberties. I’m not going to say where I stand on the issue because my opinion on how people should live ought never be given precedence over someone else’s opinion. That’s what makes this country great, and every time I see a “Yes on Prop 8” sticker I cringe, because the person who proudly slapped it on their car obviously has no idea of the tragic and laughable hypocrisy of it all.
At the heart of it, Proposition 8 is a truly anti-American initiative, one that ignores what makes us a federal republic and not a theocracy. If you oppose gay marriage, fine, don’t get married to someone the same sex as you. Oh, but were it that simple…