The recent election has shown me that there is hope for a better America. For a nation that was founded largely through theft and outright genocide, and further darkened by the disgrace of slavery, to have elected a biracial candidate as president is a huge step in the right direction.
But as inspiring as the election was, it drove home a deeper heartache that is extremely personal to me. Simply put: It proved to me that while we as Americans are becoming less racist, a large portion of us are still just as bigoted as we were centuries ago.
I’m speaking, of course, about Proposition 8 in California, which approved a ban on gay marriage.
When will conservatives wake up and realize that there is no “gay agenda”? We’re not out to convert to our “lifestyle” [any] hapless straight people walking down the street.
How much longer will we allow people to use their religious beliefs as justification for bigotry? Religion should be a positive force—it should not be used to deny fellow human beings the rights that most people take for granted. If someone proposed a law that would make it illegal for Hispanics to get married, there would be outrage, and it would be defeated. But because we’re dealing with someone’s sexual orientation, [bigotry] is allowed—because the majority of people are straight and wrongly believe that because they are the majority, only they deserve happiness and equal rights under the law.
There are many people in our country who might not want to support gay rights because, as heterosexuals, they feel that any anti-gay legislation has no effect on them. But what will these people do one day if their child tells them that [he or she] is gay? How will they treat a child who cries that our country has decided that because gays are different, that child has no right to love the person they fall in love with? Whether you “agree” with gays or not, everyone has a responsibility to fight for the equal rights of everyone, because that is the right thing to do in a country that we like to call the land of the free and the home of the brave.
— Margaret Fisher