Friday, November 14, 2008
On Election Day the people of the State of California put Barack Obama over the top and there was joy and celebration that night. But the next day many of those same people took a sobering look at what else had happened. The Constitution of the State of California was to be amended to forbid marriage of same sex couples. Huge numbers of people looked at one another and asked, " How could this have happened?" Not just gay couples - many thousands of straight couples and singles were outraged by this result of the vote on Propositon 8. A great many, my daughter and son-in-law among them, I'm happy to say, have since joined a huge protest march held in Salinas, and many others in the state. Tomorrow there will be many other such protest marches throughout the country. But marching is not enough.
Our nation has seen tremendous changes over the past several years. Good changes. The Civil Rights of our citizens have been recognized and injustices have been corrected. We're a long way from perfection, but we've made a big start.
Now is the time to take another step toward Civil Rights for ALL. The sanctity of marriage is not threatened by allowing same sex partners the name and the privileges of heterosexual partners. No one will suffer in any way if the law says that any two consenting adults may marry. All that will happen is that thousands of people who have lived for many years, faithful to one another in a loving, caring partnership, finally have the same rights as every other citizen, and other couples who love one another deeply may embark on the same journey through life, even as you and I have done.
Marching is not enough. There must be a well organized campaign toward reaching the goal, on a national level. All of us must become aware of the struggle. Just as we fought for Civil Rights for black Americans, we must find a way to do this for Gay Rights. Is there a Martin Luther King out there today to lead in this struggle? I don't know the answer to that. But it has to start with every individual becoming more aware. Marching to demonstrate our concern is certainly a beginning. Look for a march near you. Join in if you can. Please.