When the great Tao is forgotten,
goodness and piety appear.
When the body’s intelligence declines,
cleverness and knowledge step forth.
When there is no peace in the family,
filial piety begins.
When the country falls into chaos,
patriotism is born.
Tao te Ching
“OH MY GOD! A faggot touched my lawn! Somebody call the swat team!”
I actually screamed that from my balcony in October, 2008 to mock my neighbors who called the police in response to the theft of their pro-Proposition 8 sign by a kid. Being a left-wing pinko nut myself, I laughed and cheered as he ran up to their property, deftly leaped their conservative little picket fence, and ran off with their propaganda material.
I don’t think my neighbors like me much.
“The liberals are coming! The liberals are coming! Everybody take cover!!!”
The police, who actually showed up and stayed to guard the property against this dangerous criminal, didn’t appreciate my contributions either.
About 15 minutes after the police arrived, our law enforcement helicopter took to the sky, hunting down this dangerous rabble-rouser. The perp couldn’t have been more than 17-18 years old, but apparently in Conservative Christian California nothing short of a full armed response would do. I kept expecting to see the National Guard march down the street in riot gear.
The sight of a multi-million dollar helicopter circling the skies above our placid little beach town was too much for my logical sensibilities to handle. I made a call to the police. I asked them to please explain to me why my tax dollars were going to support a manhunt complete with aircraft to catch someone in the act of what really amounted to a childhood prank. The woman at the desk mumbled something about potential for violence in these situations (???) and said that the resources were available, so… I could actually hear her shrug with apathy.
That night, these signs went up on my 2nd story deck, where they could be clearly viewed by my neighbors.
Later I found out through http://eightmaps.com that those same neighbors had donated $10,000 to the “yes on 8” campaign. Ten. Thousand. Dollars.
That’s a lot of personal hate. Wouldn’t that kind of money be better spent on therapy?
Human Rights are only for those that think like me…
When it came time to vote, I was shocked to see these words on the ballot under the proposition description:
“Eliminates the rights….”
How could any sane American in the 21st century click “yes” next to anything that starts with the words “eliminates the rights?” I don’t care what you think about homosexuality and marriage or whether or not you’re afraid of butt sex and how its existence might tear apart the fabric of society; it was unfathomable to me that any human being could click “yes” after seeing those words.
And yet they did. 52.5% of them. They saw a chance to take away human rights from a group of people whose crime is wanting to love one another. Victory for the baby Jesus.
Even here in hyper-conservative Orange County, protestors came out in droves. My husband and I carried 5 foot signs saying things like “Recent Polls indicate there is a 52.5% chance that you are a BIGOT.” Most of our resident gays were much more peaceful, carrying rainbow flags and messages of love and hope. It was us Straight Against H8 folks who were flying flags of anger, calling upon our inner 1970s child to rage against the Man.
But for all the marches, protests, and public outrage, so far we are still the state that eliminated human rights. California. The same state that successfully shot down the Briggs Initiative in 1978 has wandered backwards in time to become a stronghold of prejudice, fear, and hate.
Will California be the last?
I read this morning that Connecticut finally ended its battle late Wednesday, passing a bill to update their state laws to allow for gay marriage. They will now be the fourth state to do so, after Massachusetts, Vermont, and Iowa.
IOWA? Yes. Corn-eating, truck-driving farmers are now more progressive than the state that hosted the Summer of Love. Every Californian should hang their head in shame. We should be leading the charge towards civil liberties, and yet we’re an anchor dragging in the beds of oppression. Shame on us.
Now we have Miss California, Carrie Prejean, proclaiming during the Miss USA pageant that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. She later defended her words by saying “God was testing my faith.” Her faith in what? Massive stupidity? Ms. Prejean, a very public representative of our state, is proudly giving our message of intolerance and prejudice to the world. And the world is listening.
In the future, history books will contain the records of this battle right alongside the stories of racial freedom and gender equality. California’s shame will be preserved for eternity, causing students to shake their heads and cluck their tongues. They will try to fathom the minds of those who could vote in such a way, just as they try to understand those who could support apartheid, slavery, discrimination, and McCarthyism.
My parents’ generation is famous for a worldwide revolution of love, peace, and acceptance. My generation will be famous for hatred.
I’m so proud.