Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I am thankful for Proposition 8.
Before you wonder what is wrong with me, let me explain. I try my hardest to see the silver lining, even if it's a stretch. Honestly, in the best scenario I can imagine, there would never have been a need for Prop 22 or Prop 8. I would love to have been born into a world where love between two adults was never viewed as wrong.
(Or ten adults, who am I to put boundaries on love?)
But Prop 8 did happen. It happened in my lifetime, in both my daughters' lifetime. And that is inexcusable. But without it, I don't think I would have ever fully walked away from Mormonism. And that would be tragic for me. I am not saying that my fellow Americans being denied the right to marry isn't exponentially more tragic, because it is. I am saying that there is a silver lining, at least in my little world.
Watching Prop 8 unfold in real time over the course of months, listening to both sides of the argument, and seeing the passion from both sides of my family and my husband, led me down my own path of logic. I started to see how people wanted to push their own personal values into state law, and I started to realize how unconstitutional that is.
I have never really viewed my children as 'mine'. They are people, not possessions. I see them as their own individual people. They are always allowed to think their own thoughts and draw their own conclusions. How could I be okay with them growing up only to find they may not be able to marry the person they love? I couldn't let that happen; I won't let that happen.
I feel guilty that it took my own selfish reasons to be able to view gay rights as human rights. I wish I was born into a home where this life was more cherished than an afterlife. But here I am, now, right now and I am grateful that Prop. 8 forced me to view the world in a more loving, open light.
I cried when the numbers came in on November 4th, 2008. I couldn't believe Prop. 8 passed. And for the very first time, I wrote a letter to my Representatives and the Governor. I couldn't believe we were voting on civil rights. How could people claim rights for themselves that they were denying their fellow humans?
I was ecstatic when Judge Walker overturned Prop 8, and I hope in the near future all people will be able to marry in California again. And I am so very happy to see more and more states allow civil unions. And that may be enough for some, but I know I will not be satisfied until we have marriage equality. The love I have for my husband and the strength of my marriage can only become more meaningful when the joys and protections that I have because of it, are available for everyone.