Posts Tagged ‘California

11
Feb
10

Did you know it takes 24 hours to get from Santa Cruz to Los Angeles?

Maybe that’s only if you’re me. Here’s what happened to me between noon on Sunday and noon on Monday.

After spending a crazy weekend in Santa Cruz for our friend Bridgette’s wedding, five friends and I piled back into the van we drove up in on Friday and headed back home. Everything was going awesome and party van round two seemed to be underway until we got a few miles outside of Watsonville.

That’s when the transmission went out.

Suddenly, the van wouldn’t shift into third. We were quickly  approaching (well, coasting at 35mph or so) the absolute middle of nowhere until Kahlie, the driver of her mom’s van we had borrowed, made an executive decision and turned us back towards town. We ended up stopping at a gas station/market in Aromas where Kahlie, Robert and I checked the transmission fluid and other obvious quick fixes but to no avail. We briefly toyed with the notion of just coasting down the 101, but anyone who’s made that drive before knows it’s all smooth sailing until you hit the big hill in Camarillo. There’s no way we’d make it even halfway up; and it’d probably be best not to drive an obviously busted van 400 miles. We also thought about towing the van to Paso Robles where Kahlie and I both have family and where someone might be inclined to drive from LA and pick us all up. Upon review, that seemed completely impractical and very expensive.

So, phase one: get the van and everyone in it back to Bridgette’s house in Santa Cruz.

We obviously had to tow the van, but it’s illegal for us to be in the van while it’s being towed and tow trucks don’t tend to seat seven. We lucked out that Ashley had AAA+ which offers 100 free tow miles, so getting it all the way back to Santa Cruz wasn’t such a huge deal, financially. Taylor got on the phone with her friend Dave and was able to convince him to come pick up a couple people and drive them back to Santa Cruz and then Ashley told AAA we needed someone with a big enough cab to seat the rest of us. After about an hour and a half or so killing time in Aromas we were on our way back to the party.

Since we first broke down I had been on my iPhone trying to figure out the best way to get everyone back to LA; Amtrak, Greyhound, flying, etc. Taylor had gotten ahold of her friend Phil who was in Oakland and also heading back to LA that day and was able to secure rides for herself and Bianka and the four of us remaining (Ashley, Kahlie, Robert and myself) vowed to stick together. We resolved to catch the Greyhound leaving at 10:30 that night that would get us into Downtown LA around 7am. Not ideal, but it was really our only option.

So, phase two: get everyone tickets for the bus in hand and then get on the bus and on our way.

I’m familiar with Greyhound travel and know it can be pretty shady sometimes so I wanted to get everything as secure as possible as soon as possible. The second we got back to Bridgette’s I asked to borrow a computer and double checked the prices and schedules. We could purchase tickets online, but we’d have to print them out at home; or we could walk down to the bus station that was closing in 45 minutes and buy tickets there. When Bridgette told me she didn’t have a printer, I convinced Ashley and Kahlie to hustle down to the station with me so we could just get everything out of the way. The bus wasn’t leaving for another six hours, but I was taking no chances.

However, when we reached the station at 4:30pm, we found a sign that looked like this:

on a door that looked like this.

None of this boded well at all. Not only was the bus station (looking abandoned, as bus stations often do) closed when the sign on the door said it should be open, but as far as we could tell there was no such bus to LA leaving at 10:30 that night. [It was later discovered that the route to LA goes through San Jose, north of Santa Cruz, so that part of the sign did make sense.] Well, crap.

After a few minutes of aimless wandering and restrained panic we resolved to head back to the house and regroup. By now it was 5pm, so if we were getting tickets for that bus it would be online anyways.

We passed a FedEx Kinkos on the way and decided to just duck in and handle it there; that way we could get the tickets printed and could “relax” at the house with everyone watching the Superbowl.

The three of us sat down at a terminal and I put my card in the thing. I got all the way to the ticket purchasing screen before I realized, duh, my card was in the thing. Ashley bought her ticket, then Kahlie went ahead and got tickets for her and Robert. I ejected my card and Kahlie put hers in so I could hop back on and get my ticket. When I got to the fare selection screen there was a notice that said online ticketing was no longer available for that fare (or, as it turned out, any fare).

Um.

WHAT?!

After several refreshes it became clear I might be fucked. I immediately hopped on the phone with Greyhound hoping to purchase a ticket over the phone. After the most superfluous key pad menu maze I’ve ever experienced I was thrust on hold for nearly half an hour listening to music from a silent movie before I was able to finally speak to a human.

I told her my situation, that my friends had all just purchased tickets online and that it was imperative I be on that bus with them. She put me back on hold to “check” for me. Check what, exactly? Check that the bus in question exists? That I’m not lying about the website? We’ll never know, because after a few more minutes on hold I was disconnected.

I felt myself slipping. I flung my phone onto the table, shot up out of my chair and took a moment. Regroup. Try again. Breaking something won’t get me on a bus.

I sat back down, picked my phone back up and redialed. Went through the menu again and I was back on hold. Luckily, I was only on hold for about ten minutes. Unfortunately, this new woman had nothing but bad and/or nonsensical news for me.

I told her what happened and she told me I could purchase a ticket over the phone. Eureka! It would cost more because it was over the phone. Lame. I asked her if I would be able to receive my ticket via email like the online tickets so I could print it out and she said no. I asked her how I’m supposed to acquire my phone-purchased ticket if the station is closed and she told me I couldn’t. Um? She said it was up to the discretion of the bus driver whether or not I would be let on after pleading my case. I double checked the facts: I can purchase a ticket over the phone that is impossible to pick up and after paying more money to do so there was no guarantee whatsoever, and from the sound of it not even a very good chance that I would actually be let on the bus? No deal! Over the course of our discussion she had taken a tone with me as if I was the stupid one for asking all these ridiculous questions about the simple acts of purchasing a ticket, receiving it and using it to get on a bus. So, I snapped. I told her she was useless when she said she hoped she was helpful, told her I would never choose Greyhound again after she asked that I do, and hung up defeated.

I then called Greyhound’s online support number. Already disillusioned with every customer [dis]service Greyhound had offered me so far, my expectations were fairly low; but nothing could have prepared me for what I heard on the other end of that line. My spirits raised a little when I was barely kept on hold, but then shattered when I discovered the person on the other side was one of the adults from Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies.

WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH.

Um, hello?

WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH.

I can’t understand you, could you adjust your mouthpiece?

-Silence-

Uh, hello?

WAH WAH.

I felt myself losing it again. I told Kahlie and Ashley what I experienced and Ashley gave it a go with identical results. FUCK. I guess that’s that.

When we left Bridgette’s it was sunny out; expecting a quick trip I hadn’t bothered with a jacket. Now it was a couple hours later, dark out and fucking freezing outside. Ashley and Kahlie took turns trying to keep me warm, but between being freezing and still without a ride home I was starting to get pretty verklempt. When we got back to the house I grabbed a beer and went out back for a moment alone while Ashley and Kahlie filled everyone in. I called my best friend and talked it out.

I was starting to think something was trying to keep from going home and maybe it was time to take it as the sign it clearly was and just try again the next day. But, there was still one more thing I could do.

I texted Taylor and asked her if there was any way at all I could ride bitch in Phil’s car. I had plenty of money for gas and didn’t mind the snug ride. About half an hour went by before Taylor called to tell me Phil wasn’t going to leave anyone behind in Santa Cruz and I was in as long as I had some money for gas and I could give Bianka a ride home when we got to the city. Thank fucking christ! Goin home!

Phil wasn’t planning to head back to LA until after midnight so I had a few hours to kill. I hung out in the living room with everyone, watching tv and drifting in and out of a much needed nap. He and his friend Mike arrived around 12:30 and the five of us piled into his Camry. I volunteered to ride bitch, being the smallest and the latecomer. It wasn’t comfortable, but it would only be for five hours and then at least I’d be home.

We started out heading south according to Mike’s directions. Phil was blasting a Meatloaf album to keep himself awake. This, also, was not ideal, but I had no intention of complaining. We were driving for almost an hour and got all the way to Seaside before we realized we were going the wrong fucking direction if we intended to take the 5 home.

On the drive back towards Castroville it came out that Phil had apparently taken some Xanax. Xanax is the furthest thing from a good idea for someone who’s already tired and responsible for driving four people from one side of a state to the other in the middle of the night. We didn’t make it to the 5 before Phil pulled off the road near a cliff in the middle of nowhere to take a power nap.

His power nap lasted an hour and a half before I was able to rouse anyone else in the car enough to suggest maybe someone else drive for a while. I offered, but Phil wouldn’t hear it. I’d spent the last almost two hours feeling claustrophobic and like I was suffocating in the small stuffy car unable to move my legs and the ability to keep my cool was rapidly decreasing with this nonsense. Bianka let me out and I got some freezing air; she switched spots with me and I felt better already knowing I’d be able to wiggle my feet for at least the next leg of the trip. Mike bullied Phil into getting us moving again and we were back on the road.

We made it to 5, but not quite to Fresno before he pulled off again. If I had to stay trapped in the backseat of a Camry in the middle of nowhere for two hours again, I was likely to kill someone. Probably Phil. By now it was five in the morning, we were nowhere near home, and at this rate we were going to hit rush hour traffic before we even got anywhere near LA. When I passed on this information to Taylor she laid a smackdown. She would be driving while Phil got the sleep he obviously needed in the backseat.

I emailed my boss from my phone to tell her I may or may not be at work.

With Taylor driving I was able to relax enough to doze off for a while. When I regained full awareness the sun was out, we were around Van Nuys, and we weren’t moving. Traffic. I went back to sleep.

Over the next FEW HOURS we trudged through traffic, dropped off Bianka in LA, went to Phil’s house (which, as it turns out, is right around the corner from my house), transferred to Mike’s car, and drove to San Pedro to Kahlie’s mom’s house where my car was. Then, I dropped off Taylor at her place in Downtown LB and finally made my way home after grabbing some Mexican food by my place. I got home at 12:30pm.

The trip back wasn’t the party van part two we had all been looking forward to, but we made the best of it. If I was going to be trapped in the middle of nowhere with some crazies, I’m glad it was them.

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02
May
09

DISNEYLAND!

so, as many of you already know, I drive Blake to and fro Disneyland every friday. as a thank you, she bought me a ticket about a month ago. before yesterday I had only been to Disneyland three times; the first time was a very awkward trip with Serena when she was engaged to Robert and right after I started dating Alex. the other two times were with my sister and my nephews.

Blake pretty much knows everything there is to know about Disneyland, so I knew I was going to be getting the most possible out of my day. we got there around eleven and stayed until 12.04am. due to fatigue and sensory overload, I was a little woozy for the first couple hours, but I didn’t let that slow us down. I tend to fare none too well at theme parks, as a rule. normally I’m tired because I woke up early, it’s entirely too much movement for me, and the unusual smells and close contact with a TON of random people and hustle n’ bustle usually throw my body into shock until I adjust. I’ve been known to faint.

anywho, besides having a fuckin AWESOME time, a few interesting things happened to me/us while we were there.

upon our first trip to bathroom, I encountered a creeper. I was in my stall, doing my thing, when all of a sudden a camera appears from under the wall between my stall and the one next to mine! holy inappropriate batman! since I noticed it right away, I had time to make a stern face at it before it disappeared. thinking the person next door would see that I was onto them, I assumed that would be the end of that ridiculousness. however, the camera reappeared! so I made another stern face! by then I was done, so as I was collecting myself I hear from the offending stall, “wtf?! *random name* where are you?!” then, from the stall on the other side of me I hear, “I’m over here!” then, from the first stall, “are you in the stall right next to mine?” this is when I interject, “NOPE!” and walk out to wash my hands. RIDICULOUS!

when we were on the Monsters Inc ride in California Adventure (which I hadn’t been on and is way cute and fun!) I got called “young man” and then my hair was insulted by the person occupying the Roz position at the end of the ride. silly.

the geniuses of Disneyland had the wherewithal to capitalize on swine flu by bottling what I presume to be generic hand sanitizer in “Disneyland” bottles and selling them for what I can only imagine is a ridiculous price. we saw them everywhere on the belt loops of children and the knapsacks of their panicky parents. as a precaution, Blake and I did wash our hands slightly more than usual, and every time someone sneezed I couldn’t help but whisper “swine flu!” faux-alarmingly.

while we were in line for Thunder Mountain was probably the most colorful part of the day (despite the fireworks!). we had been in line for at least fifteen minutes, moderately canoodling throughout, nothing too heavy. I’m not into uber pda in front of strangers (as we all know, I have no such issue in front of people that I do know, which is why most of my friends have heard me having sex). anywho, as Blake and I were closing a quite sizable gap that had been created in line when the large choir group in front of us moved up, I felt a forceful hand on my shoulder yanking me backwards. I assumed that this was the result of someone in a dire situation trying to get somewhere with the quickness, so I did not resist. however, as I turned towards the grasp, I was met with a middle-aged white man who began yelling “hey! hey!” in the general direction of Blake, who stopped moving upon realization that someone was yelling and I was not right behind her. once he decided he had our full attention, he not-so-kindly removed his hand from my shoulder and began yelling, “look, I realize you guys are ‘together’ or whatever, but NOT in front of my kids!” his “kids” were in fact two 13ish year-old boys who couldn’t look more disinterested in what was happening. at this point, I interrupted his rant about our impropriety and informed him that his homophobia was absolutely not my problem. as he continued on his tirade, I began to think about how unbelievable it was that he dared to lay his hands on me. then, I got really mad. I took a firm step towards him, reminded him again that his homophobia was not my problem and informed him that he needed to get away from me and that it is completely unacceptable that he touched me, and that he’d better not to do it again. I did all of this without swearing and barely raising my voice. upon realizing that I was not a teenager and that I was not even remotely afraid of him, he retreated. I made sure Blake was ok (which she was) and then she informed the kind Disneyland worker that the guy behind us in line had just grabbed me and started yelling at us. the Disney employee apologized to us profusely and moved us into the fastpass line. wooow. what really blows my mind is that someone thought it was even slightly okay to put his hands on someone else. let alone to start yelling. excuse me. tap me on the shoulder to get my attention. tell me politely that you disapprove of my “lifestyle” and ask me to knock it off with your kids around (to which I would politely reply that your homophobia is not my problem, but because you were polite, I would make an effort to be “less outwardly gay” for the rest of the line). DO NOT grab me, with some sort of self-appointed authority and begin yelling at me with any air self-righteousness. competely unacceptable. he was really lucky to have caught me at one of the peaks of happiness of my day, otherwise there may have been both swearing and yelling accompaning one of my rage blackouts. but, I mostly found him ridiculous, and a poor excuse for a decent human being. so I continue to laugh it off.

I made the conscious decision to suspend my critical awareness for most of the day so that I might enjoy the park and so as not to drive Blake completely insane. however, an exception was made for It’s A Small World, because it’s just too much! I had to ride it because they made new additions that Blake insisted I see, so I told her there was going to have to be commentary afterwards and she agreed to the terms. I try not to overload Blake with my “cynacism” as a general rule; especially while we’re in her happy place. since most of the earlier rooms of the ride were for the most part unchanged (the “European”, “Asian”, “Arctic”, and “Central and South American” areas) I didn’t pay much attention to them and instead focused on the newness of the “African” room and the last two rooms (Blake remarked afterward that she was going to show me something in the room right before the Africa room but I was “all over Africa already” with my critical outrage face on). whereas most of the aforementioned rooms were represented overwhelmingly by puppets of people, the “African” room was not. rather, a man on a camel and some others denoted Northern Africa. where one would imagine to see people from Central Africa, there were instead puppets of animals; jungle and savannah animals. towards the end of the room, there was a circle of dancing African women, darker than the fellow on the camel on the beginning of the room, but very few men of the same color. hm. the second to last room depicts what one immediately recognizes as “cowboys and indians”. presumably, this is a room for the United States. one side has a big red barn with three white farm boys and a blond girl sitting on a haystack. the other side, has a white man on a horse wearing a cowboy hat and a row of standing Native Americans, almost entirely women. the final room has everyone “represented” in the same clothes we saw them in earlier, only now everyone is dressed in white. in fact, the entire room is white. the entire world has come together peacefully under a cover of pure whiteness. wooow.

it was surprisingly humid and overcast all day. which was kind of nice because I didn’t get sunburned, but simultaneously kept me in constant fear of getting cold. a little after 8pm, roughly an hour before the fireworks extravaganza was expected to begin, it started to drizzle! there had been a slight breeze all day, so we were already a little worried about the likelihood of the fireworks going on and when it started to almost rain, we got really worried. when we started making our way towards a primo fireworks viewing position, Blake asked a kind Disney fellow what the likelihood was, in light of the slight rain. he told us that the rain was actually no factor whatsoever and the only thing to worry about was the wind. he said there was an 87% chance the fireworks were a go. we waited for the announcements. fifteen minutes to scheduled firework time, the fireworks might not happen announcement came on. expecting to hear this announcement again ten minutes later, instead we heard the fireworks are happening announcement! knowing they would at least start them, we were immediately pleased. the rain stopped, and the air stilled, and the fireworks went off without a hitch. 🙂 magical.

we rode everything we intended to, and even got another pass at Big Thunder Mountain, this time sans [overt] homophobes. 🙂 although, apparently the teenaged boys in front of us kept looking back at us. I told Blake they were probably just looking at her boobs. when I kept getting curious looks from youngsters all day Blake told me it was because I was wearing cool sunglasses.

Blake took me on the subs for the first time because I love fishies! it was easily our longest wait, and I had to close my eyes for the jellyfish part, but it was excellent!

all in all we had a fantastic day. exhaustive, but wonderful. I don’t know how she does that every friday.

12
Nov
08

post-Prop 8.

I’m happy to return to my more radical politics, but we’ll get to that later.

A few days ago, a 52% majority of Californians eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry by passing Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment defining marriage as that between one man and one woman only.

Discrimination is officially written into the California Constitution. Thousands just lost a right many consider to be fundamental, along with many of the [heterosexual] privileges that come with it. 

Many of the queer community have responded by scapegoating the Mormon church (and the entire state of Utah) who spent millions of out-of-state dollars on a Yes on 8 campaign of lies and deception [and hatred]. Their campaign propagated the lie that same-sex marriage  would be taught in schools (and with it, acceptance of homosexuality as normal), to children as young as six. Also, that religious facilities, and by extension their affiliated charitable community organizations, that refused to perform same-sex marriages would lose their tax-exempt status. They used backwards and confusing slogans such as “Prop 8 equals less government” and “Prop 8 protects families”. They purposefully decontextualized statements made by politicians, namely Obama. They ran radio and tv advertisements on every available time-slot and station. They blanketed communities with signs and bought internet ad space on every website they could. They did all of this in multiple languages, and they did so subtly [and then not-so-subtly] for months.

It’s understandable why some people have reacted with overt hostility towards this group, but it is a displaced and inappropriate [and embarrassing] response. 

It’s also confusing. Frankly, I don’t understand why, under separation of church and state, any religious organization is exempt from paying taxes. Granted, many of these organizations provide invaluable resources for their communities–charity made necessary by the shortcomings of state-run social support [funded by TAXES], but the vast majority do so while pushing their faith-based agenda. This not only allows them to alienate [if not discriminate against] those who may not share their views, or those who may not enact them just so, but also allows monies that could, and arguably should, be going back into the government to be funneled into campaigns like this. 

Although the Yes on 8 campaign mystified the issue for some, it did not do so for the whole 52%. The Yes on 8 campaign worked because it tapped into the homophobia that the majority was already harboring. Homophobia and the system that perpetuates it is the scapegoat, not the Mormon church. If people were not homophobic, they would not care about their children learning that the marriage of two people of the same sex is equal to that of two people of different sexes.

Many queers have also chosen to scapegoat the Black community for the passage of Prop 8. Blacks turned out in record numbers to vote for Obama this year, and unfortunately, they also voted “overwhelmingly” yes for Prop 8 (70% voted Yes). The Latino vote, also, has received similar recognition (52% voted Yes).

The failure of one group to recognize the struggle of another is staggering, but not uncommon, nor unforeseeable. Is it really any wonder that a group traditionally mobilized from within the church turned out in favor of Prop 8? I don’t think so. Is it also surprising that some members of a group whose oppression in this country began with slavery and has yet to see an end (despite President-elect Obama) don’t consider the desire of some gays and lesbians to gain access to marriage a legitimate struggle?

Perhaps the failure of the gay and lesbian movement to include, if not at least reach out to, communities of color until the week before the election, all the while co-opting the struggle of the civil rights movement, specifically the politics of interracial marriage played a role as well. Comparing the assimilationist struggle of same-sex couples to gain access to marriage to a racial caste system, the effects of which still remain to be seen in white suburbs and urban ghettos, may have rubbed some the wrong way. Yes, they are similar, insofar as most of us alive today think it’s completely outrageous that two people couldn’t get married based solely on skin color, and at least 48% of us think it’s completely outrageous that two people can’t get married based solely on gender. But, queers were not enslaved, or disenfranchised (McCarthyism notwithstanding). The second-class citizenship of those of queer identity is not the result of American imperialism (although it is arguably an illustration of American fascism). 

The plight of gays and lesbians is unique. The “queer community” is arguably the most diverse imaginable. Sexual orientation cuts across lines of class, race, gender, background, ability, citizenship, location, religion, age, sex, politics. In a lot of ways, queers are an invisible minority. In some ways, re-framed, queers might actually be the majority. And yet, the struggle of this immensely diverse group of people is framed around the struggle for access to an oppressive patriarchal institution rooted in monogamy, heteronormativity, gender normativity, reproduction and capitalism. Because, for many, marriage is the means through which people access healthcare and like services, acquire and transfer property, start and raise a family. We live in a patriarchal system, and marriage is how we participate in it.

This is so because we allow it to be. We’ve allowed the separation of church and state to be little more than a myth in this country. We’ve allowed a religious morality to permeate every facet of our government and its institutions at the cost of equality. The only reason I can’t marry the person of my choosing is because other people’s religion has shaped my government. And the only reason I’d want to, is to gain access to things I should have anyway. We need to abolish marriage. We need serious structural reorganizing before we can start talking about equality in any sort of tangible way. We need to demolish the patriarchy.

And in the meantime, queers need to stop vying for things that are not solutions to our problems. Gaining access to marriage won’t stop homophobia. And gaining access to marriage won’t guarantee anyone healthcare. Queers certainly need to stop spewing hatred at religious groups, and need to resist the popular urge to fall back on blaming the Blacks for something (because, seriously, it’s old hat).

Our differences need to stop dividing us. We’re not all the same, but we all deserve the same.

We need to funnel our anger and frustration and momentum into making real change.

05
Nov
08

heartbroken.

there just isn’t another word for it.

Prop 8 hasn’t officially passed yet, but it’s much closer than I expected, and the margin is certainly the inverse of what I expected. I expected to be filled with hope, not despair, not utter sadness.

it was significantly easier for me to ignore the inherent homophobia of the situation when I thought it was coming primarily from Mormons outside of my homestate. it was another opportunity for me to roll my eyes at the “religious crazies”, as I like to call them.

they had a material advantage and a rhetorical advantage. apparently, millions of dollars to spare and the usual “protect the children” slogans, the constructions of “natural” and “historical”, plus the always highly influential religious angle.

all of these things were increasingly difficult for us to combat. refuting lies, offering sound arguments, attempting to symbolically inundate anywhere near the same level, pandering to people’s sense of morality. these were huge projects, and I think we faired very well in the face of evil.

I was moderately prepared for people’s blatant ignorance and confusion, and especially their apathy.

but I was completely unprepared for this level of homophobia. the fact that people apparently have no qualms with not only excluding people from something most consider a fundamental right, but actually removing that right from them. taking a step even further, to no longer say “IIIIIIIIII don’t think I’m ready for you to have this just yet, let’s wait. I’m pretty sure you’re a whole person, but I want more proof”, but now to say “I have found you lacking, so I’m taking this away from you. we are not the same. you don’t deserve what I have. your family is not as important or respectable as my family.”

I think we lost a lot of votes (about 300,000 that we really could have used) to people that got sucked into lies. people that could have been swayed if they had a close friend voting no, or just someone to explain to them that what the people on the radio and tv were saying were lies. “all that stuff about elementary schools… it’s a lie. that stuff about churches getting closed down… big big lie.”

but this doesn’t change the fact that those people voted yes because they were scared. because they were worried about their kids. because they were homophobic. because, maybe they were on the fence, and maybe they didn’t really like the sound of voting yes, but at the end of the day, homophobia won. other people’s, religious zealots that don’t even live here’s homophobia won. the same homophobia that we all encounter every day, however indirectly.

the same homophobia that we all will encounter more so, most likely, after tonight.

one step forward. two steps back.

PS. in Arkansas, gay couples can no longer (could they really before?) adopt children. uh. no steps forward, five steps back.

16
Oct
08

a few words about Prop 8.

First word: NO!

Ok, now more words: 

For those of you that have managed to remain unaware (hopefully the you in question is not Californian, or at least not of voting age), Proposition 8 is a ballot measure for this 2008 presidential election that would AMEND the California constitution to ELIMINATE THE RIGHT of same-sex couples to get married, thus making the only marriage recognized in the great state of CA that between one man and one woman. Same-sex marriage was legalized by the Supreme Court of California back in May, and marriages started being performed in June. so, if this passes with a MAJORITY VOTE it will TAKE AWAY RIGHTS of thousands of people.

Beliefs about marriage and queer rights aside, I do not understand how anyone could possibly vote yes for any measure that would remove someone’s RIGHTS. I do not understand how someone would do this in good conscience. I do not understand how anyone could do this without pause for what it means tangibly for their own rights. I just do not understand. This measure goes beyond conservative. It is reactionary and one of the most blatantly oppressive things I have lived to see in this country. If this passes, it paves the way for others to have their rights stripped from them; rights people may take for granted, such as the right to a family, or the right to own property, or hold a job, or occupy a residence. This is not a measure grounded in public safety or social order, it is one of oppression, ignorance and hatred. 

and now some words about marriage:

I believe marriage as an institution to be an oppressive tool of patriarchy used to elevate some while subordinating others. I do not believe this will change inherently just by granting same-sex couples the right to engage in one. I believe it will continue to function as a structure that excludes many from the “privledges” of marriage; “privileges” that, in my opinion, belong to all families, not just ones that follow a nuclear model. For this reason, I think marriage should be taken off the table and that there should be radical reform so that ALL families are protected with regards to taxes, healthcare, property rights, ownership, child support, guardianship, inheritance, ect. I acknowledge that marriage has a place in church, but I also acknowledge that it has a place ONLY in church. 

All families have the right to be protected. Baby steps have been taken to extend some rights of the privileged to others and we cannot allow them to be taken away by a majority vote. We like to pretend we live in a democracy. We also like to pretend we live under a government that protects minority rights. When are we going to stop pretending? When is the government going to be held accountable? Majority rule? People’s rights are about to be taken away. Do you think it’s going to stop with monogamous same-sex couples?

THINK. and VOTE.




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