The second I heard about Prop 8 months back, I dismissed it as complete and utter nonsense. Last week I read this article (and the comments) and realized how much we stand to lose if Prop 8 passes. I know I must seem very naive that I didn't realize this before, but to me the very thought of Prop 8 is, was, and always has been ridiculous. And then I remembered that there are people in the world who are (for whatever reason) threatened by the idea of gay marriage. This is something that I truly don't understand.
Yes, I understand the fact that the Bible says that marriage is between a woman and a man. But honestly, the Bible doesn't mean jack to me. While I appreciate books and works of literature, I don't base my life on any one in particular. I understand that the Bible is supposed to hold more power and instill more reverence than the average book, but for me, it simply doesn't. This does not mean that I think that the Bible is worthless. Obviously it holds a lot of cultural and religious value, and I think there are some good things that are shared within its pages. But I don't believe it's the word of God. Inspired by God? Sure. But it definitely contains the word of men, those utterly fallible and judgmental beings.
So I don't understand when people constantly turn to the Bible as a way of explaining away their bigotry in connection with Prop 8. I am really trying to understand how, if Prop 8 doesn't pass, that it will threaten the institution of marriage and the family. I want someone to tell me in words that have nothing to do with the Bible, because in all reality, the Bible is supposed to have nothing to do with this. What is so horrible about gay marriage? (This isn't a rhetorical question. I honestly want to know what you think. Tell me in the comments or through email. But please, leave the Bible out of it. It simply doesn't hold any weight with me.)
I'm lucky enough to have two mother-in-laws, and together they are raising three young children (my nephews and niece). They have a happy home. Is it normal? Well, as my husband likes to say, "normal is a setting on my dryer." And I tend to agree. Why are we so quick to put labels on things? Why is "normal" considered good and anything other than that considered bad? What does "normal" mean, anyway?
There's a theorist I like by the name of Jacques Derrida. When I can actually understand what Derrida is saying, he makes sense (on some issues). One of my favorite quotes of his is "the center is not the center." Derrida is big on the deconstruction of binaries (white/black, straight/gay, sacred/profane, etc.). While many would (and do) say that homosexuality is inherently wrong (based on the the Bible and the teachings of the Church), Derrida points out that there is nothing inherent about this belief at all. An institution has decided for us that homosexuality is a sin, in much the same way that it was decided that a table is a table and not a chair.
And this is where the power of "the center is not the center" comes in. If you really think about what Derrida is saying, you may come to the conclusion that none of these judgments is handed down by God but that society has decided what is wrong and what is right. Thus, the being we have always perceived as the center is really not the center.
It's definitely something to think about.
Yesterday I read this blog entry and found that it really spoke to me on this issue. And through the author's experience, I realized, just as she did, that there's a whole lot at stake here. We are all human beings. How can anyone with any sort of respect for the human race want to deny someone the right to happiness and the right to have his/her own family? Homosexuality is not a problem to be solved, but our treatment of it definitely needs to change. Homosexuality is not going away, people. And there's no reason why it should. We love who we love. End of story.
Vote NO on Prop 8. Vote NO on hate.