Tuesday night was a glorious glorious night, the importance of which simply can not be overstated. Husband and I watched CNN on pins and needles, and when they announced Barack Obama as President-Elect Barack Obama, I quite literally cried.
Among the many, many reasons that I support Obama is my basic and unwavering belief in the dignity of all people, and my belief that when we strive to live as a community we are all better for it.
And that is why I was devastated to wake up Wednesday morning to hear that Californians had passed Prop 8. Prop 8 amends the California state constitution to define marriage as specifically being between one man and one woman. To see that so many people voted to institutionalize discrimination (in California of all places), it left me disheartened.
The passage of Prop 8 stands in stark contrast to the election of our first African American president. For anyone who doubts that a gay marriage ban is anything but a tool for discrimination, I would point your gaze towards Arkansas. On Tuesday, Arkansas voters passed a law that bans unmarried couples from adopting children.
I know that so many states have already passed similar laws, but I never thought that California, the home of my liberal heart, would betray the very values of diversity and equality that I was raised with.
This election has been bittersweet. I am hopeful for positive changes under an Obama presidency, but watching California voters fall for the fear-mongering and hate of the religious right leaves me wary that we still have a long way to go before we see true equality.