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Column: Prop. 8 Exposes New 'acceptable' Prejudice

This story was written by Laura Brennan, Badger Herald


Last week was beautiful, exciting and historic for so many reasons. Record voter turnout, record youth turnout and the election of the first black president of the United States. As a writer, I find it frustrating that I cannot find words to encompass the energy and feeling of Tuesday evening.

There was something missing, though. On an evening full of cheers, screams, smiles andtears, a great injustice was brewing. It was far from the jubilant crowds in Chicagos Grant Park, in the polling booths of California: Proposition 8 was passed, adding a ban on same-sex marriage to California's constitution.

I find it hard to believe that after so many have struggled no, bled for the civil rightsof black men, women, American-Indians andeven young voters, we could so blatantly tear them from the arms of others. It disgusts me that teachers in California would preach the life and lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.in the afternoon andthen vote against them in the evening.

I dare these defenders of marriage to recall that, not very long ago, a person could be imprisoned for marrying someone of a different race. It seems ridiculous now, doesnt it? Tuesdays legislation, however, is hardly a deviation from the days of Jim Crow.

Many of those in favor of the ban claim the issue is not the acceptance of homosexuality, but the preservation of the tradition and sanctity of marriage. If this is the case, then I might make a few suggestions to Californias state constitution:

Any man or woman who has ever cheated on a spouse or engaged in sexual activity outside of marriage shall have their legal union revoked.Any man or woman who has been divorced shall be further banned from entering another marriage union.Any man or woman who has ever laid an abusive hand on their spouse shall have their legal union revoked.

While were at it, lets just go ahead and add to the above any spouse that doesnt commit fully to a fulfilling and loving marriage, signs up for a reality show or is just an overall awful person. If the gays cant get married, then why should Linda Hogan?

If supporters of the ban really believe their own bullshit that a civil union is the same thing as a marriage, that it just removes the offensive attack on the sanctity of marriage from the equation I say we take it a step further. Lets ban straight marriage.

No, really, lets just get rid of it altogether. Its much easier that way, isnt it? We can get rid of all those pesky liberals protesting with their unsightly rainbow flags. We will all be equal under our civil unions, which, as you recall, are the exact same thing.

I realize I sound a little ridiculous, and I realize that my far-left opinion may not only be different from but offensive to many people. I not only expect but welcome the attacks and criticisms that my opinions may inspire. But I cannot, in good conscience, keep my mouth shut on something that angers me the way Proposition 8 has.

If we have any desire to uphold and maintain the fragile and vital lessons of equality developed in the civil rights movement, to maintain our promise of the equality of all citizens under the law, then Proposition 8 needs to be struck down. I fully and wholly believe in the rights of the states, but I believe much more in the rights of human beings. Until Proposition 8 is thrown away and forgotten with every other embarrassment to human rights and progress, I cannot tell myself or anyone else that I live in a country that respects its citizens. Get a grip, California.

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