Three steps forward, two steps back

America took a few strides forward with last night’s election, with Obama taking approx. 52% of the popular vote. Although there are precincts across the country yet to report, he is projected to obtain at least 338 electoral votes. This is monumental for reintroducing reason and common sense to the country.

Yet, while the majority of Americans are struggling to keep walking forward, there is a chain around our waists, and at the other end of the chain, the religious right does their damnedest to pull us backwards. Glancing through the ballot measures highlighted on CNN’s election page, I noticed that Arizona was not the only state who gave in to fundamentalist prejudice and sense of entitlement to impose morals onto everyone. I’ve already made it clear in previous posts how I feel about the attempts to ban gay marriage, so I’ll spare you the rant now. Let me just say I am exceptionally disappointed in the results of a few measures last night:

Arizona

Arizona Proposition 102: Ban on Gay Marriage

This measure would amend the state constitution so that only a union between one man and one woman would be valid or recognized as a marriage in the state. A similar measure was on the ballot in 2006 but failed

Yes 56%

No 44%

99% precincts reporting

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/individual/#AZI01

Arkansas

Arkansas Initiative 1: Ban on Gay Couples Adopting Children
This measure would prohibit unmarried “sexual partner[s]” from adopting children or from serving as foster parents. The measure specifies that the prohibition applies to both opposite-sex as well as same-sex couples.

Yes 57%

No 43%

96% precincts reporting

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/individual/#ARI01

California

California Proposition 8: Ban on Gay Marriage

This measure would amend the state constitution to specify that only marriages between one man and one woman would be recognized as valid in the state. If passed, the measure would trump a May 2008 ruling by the California Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriage.

Yes 52%

No 48%

91% precincts reporting

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/individual/#CAI01

Florida

Florida Amendment 2: Ban on Gay Marriage

This measure would amend the state constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. In order to amend the Florida constitution, 60 percent of voters must vote in favor of the amendment.

Yes 62%

No 38%

99% precincts reporting

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/individual/#FLI01

With that said, let me present a few ballot measure with promising outcomes:

Colorado

Colorado Amendment 48: Human Life from Moment of Conception

This measure would amend the state constitution to define the term “person” to include “any human being from the moment of fertilization.” This definition would be applied to all aspects of the state constitution, including the provisions that ensure that no person has his or her life, liberty, or property taken away without due process of law. Thus, the measure would essentially have the effect of banning abortion.

Yes 27%

No 72%

87% precincts reporting

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/individual/#COI02

Michigan

Michigan Proposition 2: Allow Stem Cell Research

This measure would amend the state constitution to permit human embryonic stem cell research with certain restrictions. The embryos must have been created for fertility treatment purposes; they must have been otherwise discarded; and they may not be used more than 14 days after cell division has begun.

Yes 53%

No 47%

99% precincts reporting

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/individual/#MII02

South Dakota

South Dakota Initiative 11: Abortion Limits

This measure would prohibit all abortions in the state except in cases where mother’s life or health is at risk or in cases of rape or incest for pregnancies of less than 20 weeks. A similar measure that did not include exceptions for rape or the health of the mother was on the ballot in 2006, but was rejected by voters 44 to 56 percent.

Yes 45%

No 55%

100% precincts reporting

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/individual/#SDI01

Washington

Washington Initiative 1000: Allow Doctor-Assisted Suicide

This measure would allow terminally ill, competent, adult residents of the state to request and self-administer lethal medication prescribed by a physician. The person requesting to end his or her life must be medically predicted to have six months or less to live.

Yes 59%

No 41%

54% precincts reporting

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/individual/#WAI01

It appears there are some states that can make decisions without the tedium of religiosity standing in the way of progress.

Finally, congratulations to President-Elect Obama. While it is true that only time will show us what your presidency will bring, I believe you represent a great deal of change, and hopefully progression among the more narrow-minded set of our population. It is wonderful to feel such a sense of hope.

Arizonans, vote NO on bigotry

Prop 102 is a proposition to amend the Arizona Constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

This is the product of ignorance and bigotry and I hope to see it crushed tomorrow night. The supporters’ web site is chock full of painful and downright stupid comments:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Media Room – Yes For Marriage“, posted with vodpod

“I think Prop 102 will protect marriage in Arizona from judges.”

Heaven forbid they touch this topic! We must completely bypass the branch of government intended to interpret law.

“It’s preserving the family.”

Whose family? Yours? That’s your job, not a legislator’s. Oh, someone else’s family… then what do you care?

Merriam-Webster defines family (highlights are mine):

Main Entry:
1fam·i·ly           Listen to the pronunciation of 1family
Pronunciation:
\ˈfam-lē, ˈfa-mə-\
Function:
noun
Inflected Form(s):
plural fam·i·lies
Etymology:
Middle English familie, from Latin familia household (including servants as well as kin of the householder), from famulus servant
Date:
15th century
fam·i·ly·hood           Listen to the pronunciation of familyhood \-ˌhu̇d\ noun
1: a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head : household
2 a: a group of persons of common ancestry : clan b: a people or group of peoples regarded as deriving from a common stock : race
3 a: a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation : fellowship b: the staff of a high official (as the President)
4: a group of things related by common characteristics: as a: a closely related series of elements or chemical compounds
b: a group of soils with similar chemical and physical properties (as texture, pH, and mineral content) that comprise a category ranking above the series and below the subgroup in soil classification c: a group of related languages descended from a single ancestral language
5 a: the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children ; also : any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family <a single-parent family> b: spouse and children <want to spend more time with my family>
6 a: a group of related plants or animals forming a category ranking above a genus and below an order and usually comprising several to many genera bin livestock breeding (1): the descendants or line of a particular individual especially of some outstanding female (2): an identifiable strain within a breed
7: a set of curves or surfaces whose equations differ only in parameters
8: a unit of a crime syndicate (as the Mafia) operating within a geographic area

Hmmm… I don’t see “man and woman” anywhere in there.

“It’s cut and dry.”

Stupid and thoughtless. Why don’t you just say it? “My opinion is correct and there is no room for discussion of how this could hurt thousands or millions of people. Don’t care, can’t hear you, na na na na na na na!!!!”

“It needs to become an amendment so that the people could have the last word.”

Don’t you mean to add, “the people who agree with me, anyway. The rest don’t matter.”

Here’s hoping the people this will affect most do have the last word. It’s easy for you to stand in front of a microphone with your husband and your traditional, patriarchal family and talk about how simple this is. But the truth is, it shouldn’t matter to you whether or not same-sex partners are married. Just because it hurts your sensibilities and damages your perception of a perfectly ordered world (which I can only assume must be a real bitch to maintain!), doesn’t mean you get to declare who can and can’t be married.

Here’s a news flash. Let’s talk strictly about heterosexual married couples for a second. I can think of several that have ended badly, or are loveless, miserable and suffocating. Why do these people get to be married – doesn’t their misery destroy your perfect ideal of the “family?” Well, it should.

The government has no right to dictate who can and cannot be married. Two hearts committed to each other are married with or without a piece of paper. The paper is only for the purpose of registering a marriage for the sake of spousal rights. Well, it should be, anyway. I was married to my husband long before the officiator signed his name to our license. I was in love with, committed and faithful to him. We shared a deep attraction, a home, dreams, plans.

That is marraige. That is family. If I was born with the mechanism that determines homosexuality, I would not have held that attraction, and I would have found someone else with whom I connected on that level. And I would be married to them, in my heart at least, and ideally, officially, in a state that appreciates the nature of love.

It saddens me that all a defeat of Prop 102 will bring about is avoidance of this egregious bigotry in the state constitution. I wish it meant that people in love are afforded equal rights across the board, regardless of the sex of each of the parties.

Please, don’t impose any idealistic notions of what a family is “supposed” to be on those who don’t share them. It’s not your place. It’s not mine, either. The opportunity should be afforded to a couple to determine that for themselves.