Thursday, November 13, 2008

all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

And now for something completely different.

I didn't say anything about this sooner, because firstly, I think I was still processing and secondly, it didn't quite "hit home" until I was listening to the latest episode of Dan Savage's podcast. I'm talking about propositions 8 and 2 in California.

I don't know a lot about proposition 2, but from what I understand, it was about increasing the cage space of farm animals (specifically chickens and veal cattle) so that they are no longer in the teeny tiny cages that they can't even turn around in. Now, I'm all for that. I think it is kind of sad when poor little cows can't even stand up in their cages...(and well, maybe sort of sad when chickens can't, but I have made it known that I pretty much can't stand birds, so I don't feel quite as bad for them) BUT, I have a hard time with the fact that Californians voted to increase the rights of farm animals, but eliminate the rights of people. Californians voted yes to proposition 2 (increase cages for farm animals) and yes to proposition 8 (eliminate the right for homosexuals to marry). So more rights for animals, fewer rights for people. That's right, they voted to ELIMINATE rights It doesn't make sense to me, and it scares me as to what other rights could be eliminated on the next round of propositions.

I would maybe argue that marriage is not really a right. It isn't essential to life, it isn't something that everyone NEEDS. But, in my opinion, if you are going to give heterosexual people the "right" to marry, homosexual people need those same rights.

Some argue that "marriage" is for the church to decide. Well, if that is true that no church marriage (gay or straight) should be a legal union in the eyes of the State. In this case, if you marry in the church, fine, but that is purely a religious ceremony that is valid "in the eyes of god" but that when it comes to the State, you need to go through the hoops to make it legal.

I am doing a really poor job of organizing my thoughts here, but I think the problem is that this issue seems so illogical to me. I don't understand why Britney can marry her random friend in Vegas only to have it annulled 47 hours later because they just didn't think it through, but a man who has been with his male partner for 25 years can't go on over to city hall (or that same Vegas chapel), get married, and spend the rest of their lives together (and collect each other's benefits).

So, while Obama did and people rejoiced about black people finally being equal, gay rights just took a bit of a step backward. I just don't get it. And I'm not sure I ever will.

To be fair to California, Arizona, Arkansas, and I think Florida (I may be missing a state or two) also voted for propositions that prevented homosexual unions. I'm not impressed with them either.

1 comment:

kris said...

I was literally shocked when I saw how the vote turned out in California. I guess it makes a little more sense now why they have a Republican Governator. I was reading in a Toronto paper that the US is at a totally different place than Canada on the progressive spectrum. For example, according to the article, Obama supports the death penalty and opposes gay marriage. On the other hand, I also heard the different in the people who support and oppose gay marriage in Cali has dropped from 26% to 4% between the two times they had this type of vote so it`s basically inevitable that change is coming. Although I know that isn`t any consolation in the present.

PS - thankfully I wasn`t standing in any water when I got the news about this vote