Thursday, August 5, 2010

One Step Closer

Yesterday was an incredible victory in the pursuit of equal rights for all Americans. Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker issued his 136 page opinion which strikes down California's ban on same-sex marriage. He stated that Proposition 8, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, violates gay couples' rights to equal protection and due process, as protected by the U.S. Constitution. Kudos to Judge Vaughn. I would also like to thank Kristin Perry & Sandy Stier along with Jeffrey Zarrillo & Paul Katami. These two couples are the ones that brought this case to court. I respect their courage and appreciate what they have done to bring equal rights to all. I do realize that the fight is not over and that the opponents of same-sex marriage have probably already started working on an appeal. Even so, this victory has inspired a lot of people and I hope that these opponents realize that they can't dictate their personal beliefs on everyone. Live your life the way you want to live it. If you don't believe in same-sex marriage then don't marry someone of the same sex, but please don't tell me who I can marry. Thomas and I were married a little over five years ago in Massachusetts. Maybe one day soon that marriage will be legal in the whole UNITED States. It seems funny to use the word united when each state seperately decides who can legally marry - seems very divided. It also seems funny to use the word united when it is clear that we are divided in who should have rights and who shouldn't. Our very own Constitution guarantees in the Declaration of Independence that all people will have the same rights.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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."
What really bothers me is that the same people trying to control who can marry and who can't are the same people complaining that the Government has too much control over their lives and that the Government isn't upholding the Constitution. But on the other hand they are trying to get the Government to control my life. They don't believe in the Constitution unless it actually benefits them - they are trying to take away my unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. I do understand that they have their religious beliefs and that is fine. What isn't fine is them forcing that belief on me. I don't want or need their Church or their God to approve of my marriage. And if they don't believe in same-sex marriage then by all means it is their right not to marry someone of the same sex, but they don't have the right to make me accept their beliefs. I only want what the Constitution grants me. I work hard, pay my taxes and contribute to society just like most Americans - and I want (no, I DEMAND) all the same rights that they have. I demand the same legal benefits and protections that marriage brings to other Americans. Proposition 8 united the Gay and Lesbian community and soon after it was passed a NOH8 Campaign was born. That campaign grew over the last two years and I think made a big difference in this fight for equality. Today I have more confidence that my relationship and marriage will garner more respect in this country and that one day I will have all the rights that Americans are guaranteed.