Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Support Families: No On Prop 8

Prior to my separation with my beloved, my employer was prepared to offer insurance to my partner of 17 years. We were a "straight" couple who, by then, had been together for well over a decade--a full three years longer than most marriages survive. Sadly, however, he was unable to be insured due to "existing" health conditions. He is diabetic. I was then allowed to get insurance though I am a cancer survivor. I worked for an international environmental non-profit.

I know full well what it means when your partner was hospitalized and you were given NO right to see or attend to them. I lived it each time he was put in the hospital. It was grueling, hurtful and, in one case, dangerous to him.

Did we have equal rights under the law? No. But we had made the choice not to marry.

This very example is the current status for those in relationships where their state law prohibits marriage because of gender. Currently in California, same gender marriage is allowed. Those choosing to marry have full rights under the law.

Under Prop 8, the right to marry will be taken away, thus equal rights under the law will be lost through amending of the California Constitution to outlaw same gender marriage.

A yes vote on Prop 8 will add discrimination to California's constitution.

Marriage, in and of itself, is not holy. It is holy if the couple, regardless of gender, chose to take their license to a church, synagogue or other religious establishment and ask to be married under the rubric of that establishment's belief or should they otherwise ask clergy to officiate.

A Justice of the Peace can just as easily marry a couple, whether they do or do not believe in God. Will we outlaw marriage of atheists next?

Marriage is about rights. It is optionally blessed through belief.

We step willfully on the rights of others when we subject them to our own standards of legal application as Prop 8 intends to do.

And while this is not about religion or belief, it is by the mere force of the fact that religion seems to believe it has a headlock on marriage. Belief and law, though, are different things.

My belief may allow for multiple wives. The law does not. My belief may call for stoning when certain crimes are committed. The law does not. My belief may require rest on Sunday. The law does not. My belief may require covering of my body from head to toe. The law does not. I may believe it is safe to drive 75. The law doesn't agree.

Belief doesn't belong in law, and for good reason. We are not a theocracy.

Keep church and state separate, keep discrimination out of the law.

Vote no on Prop 8.