Surge Toward Equality Sullied by Blow to Gay Rights

    The 2008 election saw a huge national shift to the left: The Senate is only a few blue seats away from a Democratic supermajority, and the Obama camp, under substantially liberal ideals, cut itself a heaping portion of the electoral pie.

    Most of California’s propositions were met with a similarly left-wing reaction — an initiative requiring minors to get parental permission before receiving abortions was rejected by voters and a call for the humane expansion of farm-animal cage space was overwhelmingly passed. It seems, however, that even though we can potentially damage California’s egg industry so that our poor chickens can turn around in their cages, we can’t even consider those who make up the large homosexual population of our state human enough to grant them the right to legally marry.

    The gay-marriage debate has been in and out of the public discourse for quite some time now; just last May, the California Supreme Court overturned the former ban so that hundreds of couples could tie the knot. Of course, this set the churches into a rage, because their sacred tradition was apparently being trodden upon by some other societal species (of course, to prove this, they’ve conveniently selected only the parts of the Bible condemning same-sex love, ignoring all sorts of other out-dated philosophies championed in the pages of text surrounding this decree). And now, in an amendment to the state constitution that not only violates the age-old separation of church and state but also manages to contradict every other freedom-of-choice ideal so largely supported this season, Proposition 8 officially defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman.

    When President-elect Barack Obama took the California and United States popular vote this Tuesday, there was a hope in the air we haven’t felt for years. America has taken an epic step forward not only in finally admitting and looking to change the failures of a conservative administration like George W. Bush’s, but in electing someone to the presidency who, a century ago, would have been essentially unable to vote because of his skin color.

    This shocking move from one of the Union’s most progressive regions — during a time when the rest of United States is making such a dramatic push for equality — is a blatant step backward in our path toward building a perfect nation for all.
    In 2000, a similar measure passed by a 23 percent margin. Less than a decade later, Proposition 8 passed by a much narrower 5 percent. The supporters of this hateful measure best look around — times are changing. Within our lifetimes, all adults will rightly enjoy the freedom to marry whomever they love, and Proposition 8 will be nothing more than a sloppy mark on our constitution, as foolish and fleeting as Prohibition.

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