Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Great Day for CIVIL Rights

Unless you were hiding in a closet yesterday (pun intended), you've most likely heard the news that a federal court judge in California ruled Proposition 8 (also know as the California Marriage Protection Act which reads, "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California,") to be in violation of the federal constitutional rights of gays and lesbians to marry the partners of their choice. In his decision, Judge Walker stated, "the evidence shows that Proposition 8 harms the state's interest in equality, because it mandates that men and women be treated differently based only on antiquated and discredited notions of gender." I'm not a religious person, but I say, "Amen!"

Our founding fathers were undeniably brilliant. They had wisdom, common sense, and vision. They knew that by creating the United States of America, they were creating a new experiment on this planet. They were - for the first time in history - creating a country based on freedoms as stated in our Constitution, including the freedom of religion, and rights, as stated in our Declaration of Independence such as the right to pursue happiness. These freedoms and rights were not perfect, and our founding fathers knew this. That's why they included the ability for future generations to amend them. Such amendments have given women the right to vote and blacks and whites the right to marry.

Soon, I hope, we will give all Americans the right to marry.

This issue may very well end up in the lap of the Supreme Court. Hopefully, they will have the wisdom to interpret the law as Judge Walker has and deem prejudice as unconstitutional in these United States of America.

Most who disagree with this decision consider themselves religious, and claim to know the will of God as stated, usually, in the New Testament. DISCLAIMER: I never knew Jesus personally. (I know, shocking, right?) However, my guess is he was a pretty cool dude, loving and accepting of all people with an understanding that there is not a single, limited definition of marriage.

More importantly, this discussion isn't about religion. It's about CIVIL RIGHTS. Can you imagine what an uproar would occur if straight people could form civil unions, but not marry? Chaos would surely ensue. What makes us straight people - with a 50% divorce rate - think we've got some sort of handle on the institution of marriage? (Don't get me started here!!!) The abundantly clear truth is, we don't.

All of us, straight, bisexual, or gay, want the same thing. We want a loving relationship with a partner of our choosing.

So, I say, "GO CALIFORNIA!" and may the whole country follow your lead.

Also, here's a link to literary agent Janet Reid's blog from yesterday. I love her thoughts, particularly as a practicing Catholic, on the subject.

If you're so inclined, I'd love to hear your comments.

The following is from a song written by me and Chuck in July of '95:

True Believers

As you walk upon the water
You lay your hands, you scream, you order
"I believe, I believe, I believe"
You speak in tongues on every border
But, who is listening, where's the christening?
What's the reason, why the screaming?
(You think you have all of the answers...)
Your lack of choice is laced with hatred
You preach from greed as if it's sacred
I believe, I believe, I believe, oh - Someday the truth shall lay you naked
But, who is listening, where's the christening? What's the reason for the screaming?
You say you walk the path with Jesus
You say He died so He could free us
You believe, you believe, you believe, oh - Heaven waits for "true believers"
But, who is listening, where's the christening? What's the reason for the season?
What's your life for? Don't you want more? What's the meaning? Stop your screaming!
This life is filled with things worth keeping, like watching little children sleeping; A beating heart's no human being; I'll pray in school when I stop breathing; But, what if God is truly loving, and not some tight judgmental bastard? You think He cares with whom I'm sleeping? How come it's you who gets caught peeking? And, what in heaven is God thinking? Cups of tears She must be drinking; You think you have all of the answers? You swear you have all of the answers; So, you think you have an answer?


Dorothy Dreyer said...

I'm a practicing Catholic, but I would hate it if some law prevented me from being with someone I love. I don't know what government has to do with matters of the heart, honestly. People love whom they love, why do people interfere with that? There's not enough love in the world to begin with, right? So I agree, GO CALIFORNIA!

The Vegetable Assassin said...

I'm a true believer that the government needs to butt out of our lives unless it's to educate us or make sure we get help if we're sick. So long as we're not hurting anyone, things should be legal. So I'm delighted at this progress with the overturning of Prop. 8. It's awesome. It always amazes me that it's the fundamentalist, hardcore Christians who have the LEAST tolerance for other people. Surely that's the opposite of what the bible teaches?

Kristi Helvig said...

I was so happy when I heard the news yesterday. I used to call myself a 'recovering Catholic,' and the lack of tolerance was a big part of my departure. Yay for California!

Chuck Schubert said...

It's about time!! I am proud of my home state for their decision!! Thanks for posting!

Paul Michael Murphy said...

I honestly could not care less if gays can marry or not; it doesn't affect my life one way or the other. However, I have a major problem with one person overruling the will of seven million.

Debra L. Schubert said...

Dorothy, You're absolutely right - government shouldn't have a say in matters of the heart or with what we do with our bodies. The conservative right wing can't have it both ways - they say they want less government, except in cases where they believe the government should butt in.

Debra L. Schubert said...

VA, I had a feeling you were a "true believer" - kidding! We wrote a song called, "True Believers" a while back that addressed issues like this. Maybe I'll add it to this post.

And, you're so right - why are those who claim to be the most righteous often the least tolerant?

Debra L. Schubert said...

Kristi, There are many recovering Catholics out there, for sure! Tolerance and understanding are keys to a peaceful society. This is a step in the right direction.

Debra L. Schubert said...

Chuck, Yay for the state where you began and we began. I do hope the rest of the country soon follows CA's wise lead.

Laura Eno said...

I'm so glad that Prop 8 was finally overturned. That cartoon really demonstrates the sorry state marriage has sunk to. Why would anyone want to stop two people from marrying for love? Awesome, California!

Debra L. Schubert said...

Paul, Of course it doesn't effect your life, and that is part of the point. Also, 6.4 million people voted against Prop 8 and they say there was a lot of confusion around the bill. What matters is, it's unconstitutional to keep rights away from some and give them to others. Not rocket science.

Debra L. Schubert said...

Laura, I couldn't agree w/you more!!!

Jemi Fraser said...


So glad to hear it. I was actually kind of surprised California hadn't gone that way already. As a Canadian, I don't know the policies for all of your states. Hopefully all of the other states who haven't done so already follow this pattern.

Debra L. Schubert said...

Jemi, I hope you're right, that all 50 states will soon be on board. You must think we're a little crazy 'down here' sometimes!

Sharla said...

I'm with you, Debra. I think Jesus was pretty amazing, and I believe in a loving God. I know so many gays that it was never a choice for them. It would be like forcing me to be gay...not happening! Forcing them to be straight is just as unrealistic. It's in the wiring. I don't believe God would create that and then say "nope, you're not welcome in my house."

Robin said...

Good for Judge Walker. You are absolutely right in calling this a civil issue. People want to argue against it as a religious issue, but it isn't. This is clearly a case of separation of church and state. If The Supreme Court overturns this, I will be shocked. Hopefully, the rest of the country will wake up and smell the coffee.

Debra L. Schubert said...

Sharla, I love how you put that: I don't believe God would create that and then say "nope, you're not welcome in my house."

Exactly! I certainly hope, if there is a God, that He/She wouldn't create people a certain way and then not let them live their truth in an open, honest manner. What kind of craziness would that be? And, yup - some of my very best friends are gay. It's definitely in the wiring, just like being straight is. How anyone can question that is beyond me.

Debra L. Schubert said...

Robin, I'm with you. I think the country will eventually come to the common sense conclusion that gays deserve the same rights as straight people. But, like freeing the slaves or giving women the right to vote, it's a process. I'm hoping we've learned from our past, and that we won't drag our feet for too long on this.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Great post, Debbie. It's about LOVE, people! It's hard to believe that anyone could see this any other way--I must be hanging in the right circles. (Not tea bagger-Sarah Palin "right.") And it is about time.

Debra L. Schubert said...

Linda, Yup, you're hanging w/the right peeps. Long live civil rights! (And, thanks so much for your email - it means a lot.)

Anonymous said...

Of course, I'm thrilled with the decision! As an American (and activist), I want everyone to share the same rights as human beings.

But to throw a curve ball on your "how would heterosexual couples feel if they had civil unions?" comment, my husband has an interesting viewpoint that proponents exactly that. If there is supposed to be a separation of Church and State, then the government shouldn't be in the "marriage" business at all. As far as they're concerned, this is a new tax and legal status for two people: i.e. a civil union. That would be the paperwork for the government. Marriage should be up to you, your fiance(e), and your church, temple, mosque or civil community. As far as the government is concerned, two people file for a civil union and their status changes. That's it. Marriage is something sacred that should be celebrated through the correct channels: your faith and community. Everyone should have the freedom to pursue both.

Therefore, I'm for civil unions AND marriage for all! ;-)

-- Dawn Metcalf

Debra L. Schubert said...

Dawn, BRILLIANT! As long as it's a choice for ALL Americans, I couldn't agree more. Your husband not only has great taste in women, but is one smart guy!! (hugs to you, my friend)

Laura Eno said...

You might enjoy this! ;)

Ruthanne Reid said...

Hey, lemme make it loud and clear. I am a Christian. I believe in the Bible. I fully believe in Jesus Christ.

I also believe Prop 8 had to go.

I am so proud of CA. This decision had NOTHING to do with moral or religious ideals, and that's what so many people miss. This is entirely about civil rights of American citizens.

I say YAY.

Debra L. Schubert said...

Laura, That's awesome. Thanks so much for sharing!!! (Hah!)

Debra L. Schubert said...

Ruthanne, "This is entirely about civil rights of American citizens."

Yup! Thank you so much for sharing your views. ;-)

Mollie said...

OK Deb. I finally got the blog to open, and read this one, and the latest one. Let me just say, yay for civil rights, and yay for me now having the right to be as thoroughly and completely unhappy as the majority of the married people I know. (both of the happily married couples I know can ignore this)
Oh, but wait - doesn't this mean a tax break now, and a decrease in my benefits when I become elderly, so that I'll be forced to divorce and become "single" in order to reap the benefits? I think I'll move to Canada, or Norway.... or perhaps Cuba, so my decisions can be made for me.

Debra L. Schubert said...

Mollie, Cuba, definitely Cuba. They've got lovely beaches there.

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