Californians Like Chickens More Than Gay People
On the day after what many people deem to be a historical election, and a once in a lifetime event, no one seems to be talking about it. At least in California. It seems a little ironic to most people (ok probably 99% of our readers/writers) that many newspapers are talking about how race and discrimination are no longer issues since we elected Barack Obama and yet Proposition 8 passed. It's actually a little shocking, seeing how progressive Californians are with most issues. What went wrong? Some polls (isn't it amazing how dead on the polls were this time?) even had proposition 8 failing at one point, but with all the propaganda and misinformation out there, people were bound to get tripped up.
What would be the best way to avoid this? Education and some more time. There was a time when black people were only considered 3/5th of a person, there was a time when women did not have a voice, and through time these practices and beliefs changed to become more inclusive. The gay rights movement is relatively new (1960's) and most of these other civil rights movements took over a hundred years, and although there has been much progress, they are still relevant issues today. It's not going to change that quickly. Many of these older voters grew up in a time where gays had little voice or little representation in the world, and so for them the issue might be a little more difficult than the open environment you grew up in regarding homosexuality or other moral issues. When you don't have exposure to these sort of ideas when you are younger, you are less likely to embrace them in the future. The times they lived in had different moral standards than the times we live in now. Environmentalism wasn't a hot button issue then like it is now (except maybe John Muir, Rachel Carson, and a few others). Why do you think all the old white guys on all the news channels were focusing on the fact that Barack Obama was African American above everything else? They grew up during the Civil Rights movement, so this is what they are focused on. They see this radical change. Some of the younger ones who didn't live in that time might have focused on something different about the significance of Obama's election, whether it was the immigrant life he struggled through, the American dream he is living, a rejection of George Bush and American militarism, a change from deregulation. Most of the younger people didn't really make his ethnicity a significant issue, which happened to be a tendency with older voters. A lot of the people supporting prop. 8 were misinformed by the advertisement, or simply grew up in an environment that was not very open to the gay community. Rather than criticizing them about how ignorant/stupid they are, lets try to see it from their side (even if you think it is misguided/incorrect) and bring them to an understanding of the situation at hand.
What did we learn? Hope for the future...
It is very easy to change the constitution. You don't need a supermajority to pass these amendments, just a majority of the people. It is just as easy to overturn the ban on gay marriage as it was to instill it. And it seems that in a few years there will be a constitutional amendment that will go to the people in California regarding gay marriage that will succeed and overturn prop 8. The change is happening but it doesn't happen overnight. The best way is to inform and educate the voters, and appeal to the younger voters. This isn't going to get resolved in the courts anytime soon (lets hope it doesn't get in the Supreme Court, at least right now). So lets try and be civil and work towards the future, just like the other parties are trying to do as well (hah).