I don't have the right to legally marry my partner and, honestly, I don't really notice it most days. I don't wake up in the morning and think, "Huh...I think I might like Luisa better if we were legally married". I don't have a cup of coffee and think, "Gee...this would taste sweeter if I could get hitched". The fact that I can't get married does not have any impact on my love for my partner or my children. It does not affect our day to day lives. We get up every morning and get our kids ready for school. We argue with them about wardrobe choices and brushing their teeth. We take them to school and kiss them goodbye, wishing them each a good day. We go to work and try to help people in the only ways we know how. When the day is done, we pick up our kids, make them dinner, play some Candyland read to them and put them to bed. Legally married or not - this is the life that we live every day. Still, legal recognition does matter and I spent today trying to sort out why it matters so very much. Then, while my children flailed about in their respective swimming classes , I read the opening lines of The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell in which she writes:
The only thing more dangerous than an idea is a belief. And by dangerous I don't mean thought-provoking. I mean: might get people killed.
This is the bigger picture. This fight against proposition 8 is not just about marriage. It is about the belief held by many in this country that some lives are worth more than others...the belief that some people are more deserving of respect and dignity...the belief that those who are different from you are a threat to you. The fact is that people in this country are killed simply for being gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered. We can't make laws that force people to be open-minded but, if proposition 8 passes, we are sending a message to people that their bigotry is justified. We are living in a tumultuous time and now, more than ever, we need to rise above the politics of fear. It's time for each one of us to take a stand against hate. Donate money to No on 8. Vote No on 8. Talk to your friends and family about this proposition and ask them to stand with you. And, when this election is over, please....keep talking.
*Just a reminder...if you donate to No on 8, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will enter you in the drawing to win The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell. You can check out the original post here.