Friday, May 16, 2008

in defense of california

I'm incredibly proud of being from California, but I feel as though I am constantly bombarded by events/people that bring shame to where I'm from. For example, that horrible show, The Hills (which I must admit to watching religiously). How a couple of talentless hacks can become incredibly rich and popular for doing absolutely nothing is beyond me. And I'm particularly offended by the douchiest douchebag ever, Spencer, who I am ashamed to admit was once a student at my collegiate alma mater.

But on a more serious note, I'm ashamed of things like Ahh-nold Schwarzenegger being elected TWICE. If the first term was a joke, the second term is definitely not funny. AND I'm ashamed of basic programs like Education getting cut so badly that my sister's school is laying off nearly half of its teaching staff so that classes can double in size. No child left behind? Oh, I see lots of kids getting left behind in California.

However, every once in a great while, Cali goes and does something that makes me smile, makes my heart swell, and almost makes me do a celebratory dance. And yesterday, that something was the California Supreme Court's decision that the banning of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

In 30 days (a delay due mostly to administrative, red tape stuff), the gays in Cali will be able to get married, a right that some straights take for granted but that most gays have been fighting for and denied in most other states (High five, Massachusetts). And this was my favorite part of the ruling yesterday: contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual's capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual's sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual's sexual orientation — like a person's race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.

Wait! So gays are just as human as the rest of us? No effin' way.

Seriously, this ruling is straight out of the Book of Duh, but maybe this just has to be stated somewhere in order for people to realize that every human/citizen is entitled to the same inalienable rights, including the right to marry. I don't understand why people are up in arms about this idea. Maybe someone can explain this to me (without the religious connotations as I am well aware that you don't need a church in order to get married in the eyes of the law).

I read in a poll this morning (that I am not able to reference now because I lost the link) that over 60% of people are upset with this ruling. Really? You know, peeps, there was a time when blacks were considered less than human. There was a time when African Americans were LEGALLY 3/5 of a citizen. Lo and behold, the government saw the error of their ways and now we all have the same rights (equal treatment under the law is a different story for a different blog post). I'm sure that one day (hopefully not too far in the future), our state and federal governments will come to realize that yes, we all are entitled to the same rights regardless of color, sex, AND sexual orientation.

Kudos to Cali for this landmark ruling. Yeah, I know it will probably be contested by the hardcore religious folks. But this is still the setting of a precedent, nonetheless.

And the best part (for all of you gays not living in Cali) about this ruling is that you don't have to be a California resident to get married there. If your state is treating you like a 4th class citizen and denying you the right to marry (and divorce), then here's your chance to escape. So hurry up and book your flights (I highly recommend JetBlue and Virgin America) and get hitched already!

I hear Cali is beautiful any time of year.

1 comment:

media concepts said...

Great post. As far as the bad stuff, public schools are largely funded by local property taxes. A few decades ago, California voters passed a proposition (#13?) which sharply limited property taxes. Guess what? When you have less money for something, you get less of the thing. Now we have a $20 billion budget deficit, library fees are being jacked up, state school tuitions are being hiked, etc. Wasn't Gray Davis recalled and the Governator elected in a farcical special election because of a smaller deficit than that?

As for the gay marriage ruling, I saw a photo of a pro-ruling protester with a sign that reads: "We plan your weddings. We should be able to have them too!"