Since last Friday, when the Supreme Court of California announced that their decision regarding the legality of Proposition 8 would be announced, I have spent a great deal of time thinking, debating, and jotting down notes on what I would say after the announcement is made. Now here I am, moments before the decision is handed down, and I am resolved. And writing.
I had realized some time ago that this decision is not a decision on my fate, the final answer on the rights that I believe I am entitled to as an American citizen and, further, an adult citizen of humankind, nor is it an answer to the question before our court today and the questions that face our society tomorrow.
This is one step, one moment in our history, in the continuing struggle for civil rights. And to my naysayer conservative friends out there, this is a civil rights issue. This issue is in regards to the societal and legal recognition of a civil contract between two consenting adults, and their right to enter into that contract. This is not an education issue, this is not an attack on your life decisions, this is about the right for two adults to enter into a union, equally recognized by the State, without fearing political, societal, or religious influence on those decisions.
I cannot, in my twenty-eight years, think of a single conservative I have ever met who would not agree that we should be free to live our lives in such a way that affords us the utmost amount of freedom and the least amount of governmental influence. I am not asking for your first-born child, I am not asking to teach a “How to be a Homosexual” class to kindergartners. I am just asking you to leave me alone.
So I stand, or rather sit in front of my flat-screen computer monitor and benign black keyboard, here today nervous, antsy, and excited about what the next step will be in our movement. No matter what the decision is that will be handed down in only fifteen minutes, I am resolved in knowing that today, Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 10am PST, is going to be one of the biggest moments in my personal life and one moment that will be remembered is history long after I am gone.
Today is a turning point in our struggle. Today the court will tell me that my rights are embedded in our state constitution so deeply that to deny those rights is tantamount to rewriting the constitution and its intent, or the court will tell me that, indeed, the slight majority that favored Proposition 8 have to have their constitutional rights recognized as well. The more interesting aspect of this question is not who is right or who is wrong in this debate, the more interesting aspect is the greater question of do the rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few? Or is it more important, in America, to acknowledge the constitutional rights of everyone?
There is nothing more un-American I can think of than to deny constitutionally provided rights to any one person. But then again, I, like our forefathers who started this nation and who fought for and handed to us our God-given unalienable rights, are in the minority.