Monday, October 13, 2008

Don't eliminate marriage for anyone.

To me, providing equal rights to everyone isn't about providing special or better rights to a person. It's about being fair.

You see, it's not fair that I have the ability to go to the Clerk's office whenever I want and get married. It's not fair that I can visit my [future] husband if he were to ever be in the hospital with a fatal disease and my gay coupled friends can not. It's not fair that my husband and I would enjoy the thousands of benefits that comes with being married while gay couples are required to spend hundreds of dollars to create legal documents to enjoy the same rights. And sometimes, even these legal documents are not enough.

To me, marriage is more than just a religious ceremony and more than just a legally binding document (although, these are very important). Marriage is about joining the lives of two people who love and have chosen each other to spend their lives together. I have the freedom to marry whomever I want and it's only fair that this is extended to everyone--regardless of sexual orientation. To me, it's a basic matter of fairness.

I don't live in California. Maybe, some day I will. I only have a few friends who live there, gay and straight. This issue transcends the borders of one state. No one should be treated differently no matter what the issue. Singling out one group of people and denying them the freedom to marry isn't fair in whatever state you live.

We all expect to be treated fairly in every regard of our lives. Sometimes, we don't even know such fairness occurs. To many Americans, the freedom to marry is just a given, accepted way of life-it's taken for granted. But what about the thousands of gay Americans who don't have this freedom? The freedom to marry provides security, dignity, and respect for all. Everyone deserves the same freedoms and rights; from the right to vote to the right to live free, from freedom of religion to the freedom to marry.

What happens in California on November 4th will affect us all. Fairness and equality will either be destroyed or preserved.

As a straight, non-Californian, why do I even care? Because I can't fathom what it would be like if the government came in and took one of my freedoms away. I'd be pissed (although, you'd think I'd be use to it under our current "President"). As a single person, my marriage is obviously not being threatened by said government. But as a human being, my sense of decency and fairness is. As a mother, I want my child to live in a world where everyone is treated fairly. This is one step to creating a world I will be proud to leave her.

Look, I don't admit to know everything nor do I understand all the legalities that this issue entails. I do know what fairness is. So do you. If you, or anyone you know lives in California and believes in fairness for all, I encourage you to vote no on Prop 8. If you're already planning on voting no, go donate some money. Volunteer. Make some phone calls. They need it. This is a fight that you can be proud of investing in.

Don't eliminate marriage for anyone.

P.S. Make sure you're registered to vote. This election is the most critical one my generation (and the one younger than me) will EVER face. In California, you have ONE week to register. DO IT NOW.