(Clap, clap, clap, clap)
"Deep in the heart of Texas!"
Yesterday, while watching the local news something happened that rarely happens while watching the local news. I was given actual, relevant information that I cared about. And, in hearing this information I was struck by something even more rare for a show that generally seems lame and pointless, I was filled with two strong emotions. Those emotions were sadness and anger, two emotions that frequently accompany each other. The reason for these emotions was the passing of Proposition 2, a constitutional ammendment prohibitting the recognition of anything resembling a marriage when two people of the same sex are involved. The law already states that gay marriage is illegal.
What made me mad wasn't so much the fact that it passed. I thought that it might. What frustrated me was generally two things: That it passed by such a large margin (76%, 24%) and that I didn't vote myself.
As far as Proposition 2 passing, I'm not surprised. Texas is a conservative state and is increasingly voting along the Republican party line. But the fact that 75% of the people in Texas are so vehemently opposed to gays, not just gay marriage, that they will make it double illegal is disappointing and disheartening.
Texas is a great state. The people are friendly, curteous, and open. They will welcome any and all outsiders and keep them well fed and entertained. Texans are some genuine, kind people.
Unless you are gay or lesbian.
I can't imagine why someone would go out of their way to go vote for this amendment. The only people who have something to gain or loose in this election was the gays. On the one hand, Republicans within the Texas Government knew that this bill would pass. There was no way that they would have created and sponsored this bill unless they were absolutely confident of it passing. Imagine if it had been denied. It would essentially have been saying that Texas is okay with gay marriage and legalization of it wouldn't have been far behind. So in this way Texas Republicans were taking a slight risk by holding such an election. Why introduce the ammendment at all? Are Texans afraid of gay marriage being overturned in our state of conservative judges and rednecks?
Could it be that Texas lawmakers want to make it more difficult in the future to interpret laws as unconstitutional with regard to this issue? Future legaliztion of gay marriage isn't really a fear unless the state of Texas, whether it be lawmakers or citizens, decide later on that it should be legalized. At this point we will legalize gay marriage whether we have to get it out of the constitution or not. Essentially, the lawmakers of today are just giving the lawmakers of tomorrow more paperwork. The trend of society is to become more lenient and tolerant of others, giving our shrinking global community. It seems that those who came up with this ammendment realize that sooner or later, Texas is going to want to change the law to allow gay marriage. They are just being assholes by creating more hoops to jump through.
Which brings me to my next point. What kind of jackass would go out of his way to deny a right from another person. Well, the Ku Klux Klan made their presence known in Austin yesterday. They certainly want to take a stand on this issue.
But, what about the typical, non-hatefilled Texan who just simply finds the homosexual lifestyle to be sinful. Surely they don't hate gays but hate the act, right? Hate the sin, but love the sinner, and all that jazz. What could possibly compell a person like this to push for an amendment to the constitution to ban a practice that is already banned. Aside from the aforementioned likelyhood that if this ammendment was rejected legalizing gay marriage was next, I can't think of any reason. All this ammendment serves to do is further widen the socialogical gap between gays and mainstream culture. It is a slap in the face to gays, plain and simple. It is mainstream Texans saying to a minority, "We don't just oppose your lifestyle, we oppose you." What happened to loving the sinner?
Maybe you truly don't hate the sinner, then why vote for this rediculous bill? Did you vote on principle? It's as if any opportunity to show the world you are a Bible-thumping Christian can't just pass on by. The WWJD t-shirts and horribly cheesy bumper stickers aren't enough anymore, apperently. And, far be it from anyone within the fundamentalist Christian community to actually try acting like Christ!
Some might be wondering why I care so much, being that I'm not gay, and if gays or lesbians in Texas really wanted to get married, they wouldn't live in Texas. Besides, I didn't even vote. Well, I intended on voting, but actually thought the election was Thursday, completely forgetting the whole "Tuesday following the first Monday of November" thing. And, afterall this change doesn't really change anything, which we've already been over.
Then I started thinking, do I really want to vote on such an ammendment when I know it's going to pass, but also, in voting I'm validating the governments right to put such a vote on the ballot. The issue isn't really the legalization of gay marriage, while I would vote for legalization if the occasion arrose. It was about banning an already banned practice. I am primarily opposed to the proposition being on the ballot to begin with, not so much whether it should be legal. I guess what I'm so angry about is that 75% of the people of Texas don't have this small little chip of logic in their brains to allow them to realize that this proposition was inheritly defunct in the first place. Now, I don't want to pass judgement on everyone, because I don't understand the motives or reasoning behind every Texan's vote (which is why I don't pretend to pass judgement on homosexuals, by the way), but the truth is, I don't really believe that they are missing the logic, I think they just don't care. I think that the people who created and voted to approve this ammendment simply wanted another platform on which to shout their own self-righteousness. I may be wrong but that is what I truly believe. It was irresponsible, foolish and hateful to have such a change left to the general population. If you don't like the idea of gay marriage, then guys, don't marry a man! And ladies, don't marry a freakin' lady!
Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force made a really good point:
"When you put a fundamental right of a minority up for popular vote, it's almost impossible to win. I'm not sure the right to desegregate schools, the freedom to marry another race or even access to contraception in many states would exist if those issues were put up for a vote."
I may have to rant about this issue again, but I think this entry is long enough. Thanks for your time.