Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bittersweet

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.

11 comments:

Amanda said...

I feel the same way. I'm very disappointed. I was hoping that California would be a leader in ending this discrimination.

Ms. Core said...

My goodness, I wrote the same thing on my blog also using the word bittersweet. As a CA resident it makes me really sad that the African-American vote that came out for Barack Obama could be so anti-gay (75% for, latinos were split, whites against) when they should be the most sympathetic to blatant discrimination.
Guess we will have to try, try again.

Ambivalent Academic said...

Ugh - the prop 8 decision left me feeling sick with disbelief. I used to live in CA but have been in Red State for the last few years. I was really really shocked that Prop 8 passed. I just didn't think it possible in a state like CA. So sad.

Hopefully, they'll petition for a second vote on it. I suspect that putting it onto a ballot again soon will draw (or not draw) a different demographic to the polls...so disheartening to see this decision in an election with record turnout...glad to see so many more people out there participating in their democracy, but I didn't realize how many of them were still so intolerant on issues like these.

Egg said...

Three different lawsuits were filed against prop 8 on November 5th:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96689431

..So hopefully it will get overturned even before the next election cycle. One of the other issues for the no on prop 8 group was the advertisements the yes group was putting out--claiming that passage would mean that they would teach gay marriage to elementary schools (?!), other weird and wrong things.

But yeah, the whole thing was very disheartening. At least prop 4 didn't pass.

EcoGeoFemme said...

I agree completely.

acmegirl said...

I agree, completely. I have been saying as much as often as I can because I have found that unmarried people are sometimes surprised that I, as a married straight woman, feel so strongly that everyone should be able to marry whomever their "true love" is.

Just a few years before my parents married, people were predicting that allowing blacks and whites to marry would have all the same horrible consequences that the proponents of Prop 8 warned of if gay marriage were not banned. All through my childhood, I heard my parents' relationship questioned, and my personhood as well. I feel so angry when I hear those same words used against anyone.

But then, some of my black friends think there's something weird about the fact that I married a white man. The world shifts in baby steps.

Candid Engineer said...

I, too, am shocked by Prop 8. I am hoping that one of the legal tactics will prove fruitful in this case.

Queen Zucchini said...

I completely agree that the passing of Prop 8 was so wrong, disappointing, and contrary to what the presidential election showed us. But the issue of gay marriage, especially in CA, seems to involve suck fickle politics - one day it's legal, the next it's not (I lived in SF when Mayor Brown allowed gay marriage). On the one hand this is frustrating and disappointing - the hope followed so shortly by disappointment. But on the other hand, it made me believe that the passing of Prop 8 would only be temporary. That soon enough outspoken Californians would undo the wrong that was done on Tuesday, and we'd be back again to some other proposal or legislation that would allow gay marriage. I still believe California will likely act as a gateway state for the rest of the country to eventually legalize gay marriage. My greatest hope (or perhaps my greatest fear) is that/whether our new president will be ready to support this undeniable right.

mama of the valley said...

i feel ya

Annie Fox said...

Dear Mother of All Scientists,

I am really interested in what you have to say about motherhood, academia, and blogging.  I am conducting a survey study of academic mothers who blog and I would like to invite you to participate.  The survey is completely anonymous and takes about an hour to complete (and you can do it in more than one session).  A full description of the study can be found when you click on the link below.  Feel free to pass on the link to the survey to other blogging academic mothers you think might be interested.  I hope you will consider participating.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at annie.fox@uconn.edu.
 
Thanks!
Annie Fox

http://www.psychsurveys.org/abfox/blogging

flickamawa said...

Well said, Science Mama.