I'm an American. I will always be an American and I have always loved my country. I've been proud of the things this nation has accomplished, and I should be, because without the accomplishments of over 200 years of history, I wouldn't be here and I wouldn't have the things that make my life so great--like free education and now practically free college and the options to make college possible. But, I find myself losing that pride in my country when I see this country battling with the same racist rhetoric that brought us to the Civil Rights Movement, or, if you want to take things further back, to Lincoln's brave attempt to remove slavery from our historical present. I see religion being used for hate, being used to denounce others simply because they are different. These same people would have denounced people for their skin color because of religious beliefs some hundreds of years ago and yet they see no issue with doing the same to people of Muslim faith, to homosexuals, to transgenders, to people who aren't Christian.
And this hurts. I grew up in a time when I thought these things didn't exist. I grew up living a fantasy, and in the last 10 or so years I've seen that fantasy become shattered. The truth is a surprisingly horrible beast in this instance. I find myself questioning whether I want to call myself an American anymore if I will be associated with the kinds of people that would tell me that my mother cannot marry the person she wants to, or that she can't have the same rights as me simply because she is attracted to other women. These people would tell me that my mother is a sinner, and because of that I will go to hell too and burn for an eternity. They hold their signs up and denounce my mother and my family for no reason other than they don't agree with her lifestyle and because they hate my mother. Why?
My mother is not perfect, but that has nothing to do with her sexuality. I know plenty of absolutely terrible parents who are heterosexual and Christian. So why should it matter that my mother is homosexual? Why do these people hate her and those like her?
And why has this sort of hatred become so prevalent? It's like we've de-evolved. We've gone back to the same hatreds that plagued us long ago, but instead of skin color, it's sexuality. And not enough people see anything wrong with this. Here in California the religious right is attempting to ban gay marriage because they are under the delusion that marriage is a Christian institution. Nevermind that this is factually inaccurate and that marriage has existed since well before Christianity ever showed up on the scene. People like Bill O'Reilly would have homosexuals hide who they are simply because they don't comprise a majority; this is, obviously, another logical fallacy. Nothing would ever get done in this country if minorities (racial and political) simply kept to themselves. I'm not saying you have to agree with the homosexual lifestyle, but to suggest that they should just pretend they aren't homosexual just so you can feel comfortable is nothing short of hatred.
Why should my mother pretend to be heterosexual? There is no logical reason. My mother is gay. Deal with it. Stop telling her she is going to go to hell. Stop telling me that I will go to hell if I don't stop her from being who she is. Stop telling others not to be gay, or that they don't deserve to be considered human like you just because they don't share the same values as you. Would you suggest we tell all the Muslims they can't be Muslim anymore? Maybe we shouldn't let atheists exist in America either, right? Well, the religious right would say yes to those questions because they believe they are the only ones who should have a voice. And I say bull.
This all has made me question what happened to my beloved country. When did we cross the line and begin accepting discriminatory politics again? When did bigotry become acceptable? When did true America die?
And can we bring true America back? Or is it too late?
I don't have the answers. All I know is that I will be voting no on Prop. 8, protecting marriage for all, not just for those who happen to fit into the religious ideal. I will always support marriage for all, because we can't call America a free country if we're willing to take away rights from ordinary citizens all over now can we? This is a fight to be known as "free for everyone" not "free for everyone but gays and people Christians don't like". We're not a Christian nation. We are a nation of many peoples, from many religions, opinions, ideologies, etc. And we all deserve to be treated as human, not as subhumans.
That is all...