My sweetie got caught up last night on a horseracing forum where some were defending the passage of Prop 8 here in California. She felt obligated to throw in her two cents' worth--a big step for her, because over half of those guys who frequent that forum had no idea she is a woman, much less a lesbian. She's getting lots of congratulations and support this morning from this group of fellas, so with her permission, I'm posting here what she had to say:
Prop 8 p*ssed me off. I married my lifetime partner on August 15th in paddock #4 at Bay Meadows (we all know how much I loved that that track - there's the proof ). Sure, we had a lawyer draw up a trust, power of attorney and living will (at a cost of $3,500), had a civil union several years ago in Vermont and were registered domestic partners in California, but it's not the same. Yes, many of the rights are the same with a marriage and a domestic partnership (in California), the only big difference that I can think of off the top of my head is that my partner no longer has to pay taxes on the health benefits that she receives from my employer, she did when we were "domestic partners". But unlike "straight" marriage, mine probably won't be recognized if I cross state lines. If we are involved in an accident when we travel on vacation in another state, I may very well not be allowed to visit my wife in the hospital and make decisions on her care - my brother and his wife who live in Vermont would have no problem in this same situation. Unfair. If I move to another state, my marriage is not recognized, my brothers is. Unfair.
I'd like to discuss the "I chose to be gay". Who the h*ll would *choose* to be gay? Who *chooses* to be born tall or short, with brown eyes or blond hair, webbed toes - who chooses to be significantly different in any way? Why is 10% of the population left handed? Did you *choose* to like the opposite sex? I'm sorry for all of the folks born straight who just don't get it but I didn't choose this - I *knew* when I was 4 years old that I liked Lisa in my pre-school class the same way that my best friend Tommy liked her, but unfortunately, I absolutely knew in 1970 that a girl liking a girl was not cool - and how sad is that for a four year old kid to know that what they feel at the core of their very being is "not acceptable". It sucks.
For those of you in other parts of this great country, and there is no where else I'd rather live, I understand that this is not something you may understand, want to accept, or can even tolerate - but it is my life and the life or upwards of 10% of your fellow Americans - whether you like it or not, we are amongst you - we are your co-workers, your family members, your friends, your neighbors, and we may even be you. It's ok, we are all Americans and we look out for each other. The only thing that separates us is fear of the unknown, some hate, some misunderstanding and unfortunately, religious beliefs. There, I said it. Interpretation of the Bible separates us. You can read it anyway you want, but to say that my life is not worthy of the same rights you have is ridiculous. In the Old Testament, homosexuality is practically on the same level as eating shellfish and wearing blended fabrics - yes, all are an abomination. Think about why these items were "forbidden" - homosexuality didn't propagate the species, eating bad shellfish caused horrible illness and sometimes death, and blended fabrics simply looked tacky (ok, I made that part up). Times change, as evidenced by the Civil War, suffrage, Civil Rights, the fall of the Berlin Wall, etc. People afraid of change are simply fearful that the way that they live their life may change, and folks like to be comfortable. I know I do. But I also appreciate changes in my life and the lives of others – who can’t appreciate happiness and seeing others do well? Why wouldn’t we want that for others? Only two reasons – fear of change and wanting to impose your belief on others – neither are good reasons. Live your life, do it as well as you can, let others live theirs as well. And let God sort ‘em all out in the end – remember, that’s above your pay grade.
My two cents.