Posts Tagged ‘rights

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.

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24
Oct
08

THAT.

so, yesterday Nikki and I had just finished getting tortilla express and were en route to Aldrich to meet up with Jenny for our Thursday picnic before class when what I think may have been one of the atheists (of the Atheists, Agnostics and Rationalists club at UCI) approached us and said we should “go hold [our] sign over by that guy that’s talking”. our sign of course was a Get Up Vote Down 4 & 8 lawn sign. naturally curious, we followed her line of sight to Colonel Sanders aka the christian fundamentalist that’s like 300 years old with the bow-tie. [I’m sorry I’m ageist.]

we, and several other individuals, including Andy, listened to his prattle for awhile. I can’t remember what exactly he was saying (I’ve done a lot of drinking between then and now), but I’m sure it was horrible. after a while he took a break and “Sister Pat” took over. Sister Pat liked to preach her gospel of bigotry and hatred a little more aggressively. whereas the Colonel had been sitting in his little chair, holding his creepy little skull, Sister Pat liked to walk around the circle that formed around her, clutching her bible and waving her shaky fundamentalists hands a la invoking the lord to instill fear of the devil in us or something. I don’t know. she was a freaking NUT.

anyways, she yelled about a lot of things; women/whores/feminists, sex, masturbation, Jews, Asians, Whites, “whoremongers”, Muslims, Obama and other democrats, sodomy, abortion, divorce, drugs, and of course, the gays.

some memorable assertions:

“we come to Irvine expecting to find intelligence because Asians study.”

“Obama is a Muslim, because his dad’s a Muslim and you’re born into religion.” at this point she proceeded to racially profile a poor innocent Brown man walking by (who I recognized as a fellow from my War on Terrorism class who, as of last quarter, was in MSU) and harass him into claiming Muslim faith and then tried to get him to say that people are born Muslim. he said “people aren’t born into religion”, but then his friend kinda said that people are kinda born Muslim so then she got bored and moved on.

“if you do drugs, you hate your parents.” and, you’re going to hell, for sinning against your body. or something. if you masturbate, you’re sinning against your body too. but then she said that “everyone masturbates, and anyone that says they don’t is a liar”. then she said most people masturbate, and that “all gay people masturbate” and they’re sinning against their bodies and going to hell. or something. obviously, it was very confusing.

“Asian girls can wear skimpy outfits because they’re so small. but you White girls that wear these skimpy outfits are whores because you’re too curvy!” she actually called Stephanie a whore, among other things, which was OUTRAGEOUS. and grounds to have her kicked off campus, probably. too late now though. damn. she also talked about how rampant female sexuality (my words) threatens boys’ virginity and by extension, everything. after she finished asking Stephanie if she was a “working girl” she noticed Nikki and I standing there in all our androgynous glory. Nikki and I were both a little fancy yesterday, which I think made Nikki look slightly more like a girl than usual and made me look slightly less like one. she started calling me “young man” but I don’t engage in rhetorical battles with fundamentalists of any kind when I can avoid it, so I was unresponsive. then, she stopped, pointed at me, looked at Nikki and said,

“is THAT a boy?” then, she looked at Nikki a little closer and said, “wait, are YOU a BOY?!” needless to say, this was priceless. I mean, I’ve gotten called sir before, tons, but “THAT”?! ridiculous.

goddamn public universities. I think I got sunburned standing out there, too.

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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