Proposition 8: A Failure of Imagination

November 5th, 2008

Californians have voted yes on 8 - confining the legal definition of marriage to the relationship between a man and a woman.  It is unprecendented for human rights to be stripped from the constitution.  A step backwards.

America takes a giant step forward today, while Californians suffer a failure of imagination and a contraction of the human spirit.  The fault is partly ours- those of us on the left of this issue.  Perhaps we have not yet learned to make our case.  Perhaps after years of living in fear of hate crimes and disguising identity we have not yet devised a marketing campaign that convinves the conservative veiwpoint. The fault is ours.  For having experienced intimacy and friendship outside of a traditional form.  Because once one has had the experience of the magnanimous, effusive, uncontained, all-encompassing nature of love it is hard to imagine wanting to confine it to something smaller than it is.  The fault is ours for living in a self-created world where values are led by the heart.  We forgot how to make a convincing case.

This conversation has been about values.  What are the values of Americans?  When has a lack of innovation ever served the world?  When has a limited perspective of justice- heaping rights on some while others are discriminated against- ever been looked back upon with pride?  We will come to regret this day.  Soon.

To my straight allies in America, this is a call.  A call to remember the words of Martin Luther King Jr. - “A threat to justice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.”  In a community we share the impact of this decision.  It is our privilege to look at the other way, but our responsibility and opportunity to stand up and engage.

To my friends of traditional marriage, I urge you to expand your experience.  To focus on the value of love, and not on the practice of what form that love takes.  To believe in a generous, limitless god who wants nothing more than for us to chooses love over hate in every moment.  Connect with someone living a lifestyle you disagree with.  You will find there is nothing to fear.  Nothing that threatens your way of life.  Nothing that diminishes the world you have built for yourself.

To all my fellow Americans.  I urge us to practice compassion in this mixed moment in time.  One giant step forward and a failure of imagination in California.  This decision will be reversed.  Soon.  Becuase justice always prevails.  The only question is when, how, and what we gain or lose along the way.  The choice is always ours.

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