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To Anti-Prop 8 voters

This post is primarily for those who are upset (and justifiably so!) with the results of the election.

I am upset too.  However, our outrage for the passage of Proposition 8 must be tempered with patience and courage. 

This is not an end, it is a setback.  Our state and our country are simply not ready for that kind of equality.  Yet.  

Over the past two centuries, we have as a country pushed racism out to the fringes of our society.  Yes, it still exists, in large amounts.  However, racism is now confined to individual incidents and opinions, rather than the massive government-sponsored patterns of bigoted behavior seen not so very long ago. 

Sometimes things need to get worse before they get better. 

People are afraid.  Fear makes people do irrational things.  Fear does not make you a Bad Person, even if that fear is totally irrational and based completely outside reality.  Emotions are funny that way.  They are, quite simply, the most powerful facet of the human psyche.  Think about it.  In sufficient quantity, emotions can overcome a human being's very survival instinct, the most powerful instinct any animal possesses.  If fear can motivate one to end their own existence, is it really so difficult to believe that fear could motivate one to mark the "YES" box, even when their conscience says NO?

The only salve for this fear is time.  Every generation has been more accepting than the previous.  Every year more studies come out showing that homosexuals are just as likely to make good parents and heterosexuals.  Every moment our country becomes just a little more used to the lifestyle choices and cultures of others. 

This will not be solved in one sweeping blow.  The fear that motivated the results of this election will slowly erode over time.  As gay culture becomes more mainstream, people will become accustomed to it. 

It was not so long ago that a black man and a white woman holding hands would have elicited dropped jaws and cold stares in the most liberal of areas.  Now it is generally dismissed as the natural order of things.  Someday the same will be true of two women holding hands. 

So calm yourself.  Take a deep breath.  This is not the end of the road, but merely an inconvenient detour.

Comments

yokaze
Nov. 5th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC)
Hm. I am not pretending my feelings, and I am not asking you to pretend yours. How you feel is your business and none of mine.

I am saying that things are in actuality not nearly as bad as they seem.

The decrease in the margin from Prop 22 only a few years ago is staggering -- from 24% to only 4%.

This state, indeed this country, is fighting for freedom. Freedom from fear and ignorance. Change is scary, and the citizens of this state are coming to accept the changes are coming, they just aren't ready for it now. The balance is tipping toward freedom, and much more quickly than it did 100 years ago.

Again, your feelings are your own. However, ask yourself this: is it right to be angry with someone because they let emotion cloud their judgment?

I've been in situations where fear or doubt caused some pretty terrible decisions in friends and family. Is condemning those decisions with bile and venom help the situation, or will it only cause more fear and anger?

I don't know. Each person's reaction will be different, and there are no right or wrong answers. I am dealing with this the only way I know how, by coming to grips with my feelings and not falling prey to the same ignorance that plagues 52% of our country.
yokaze
Nov. 5th, 2008 11:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, another thing.

This isn't to say there aren't bigoted homophobes out there who took a perverse pleasure in passing this bill who do, in fact, deserve all the anger and disgust that can be thrown at them. I just don't believe that they are the majority.

And, though I know I come on a bit strong sometimes, I absolutely appreciate your anger. Your feelings are valid and justified and never let anyone tell you otherwise.

I am just trying to demonstrate that the vast majority of the YES voters were under the influence of fears and doubt that were every bit as strong as your anger.
dream_crafter
Nov. 6th, 2008 06:23 am (UTC)
I should say, I truly appreciate your perspective here. You make excellent points here. I'm just angry. I appreciate that you respect my anger; I certainly respect your rationality and clear thinking. I have to shape my anger, transform it into something useful. That's just my way of working through this.

Where I differ with you--though I admit, your perspective is likely far more productive--is that I'm not willing to excuse or lightly forgive the "yes" votes. I have no sympathy for those who oppose gay rights. Fear is as dangerous as hate. Heck, even Yoda pointed out the Fear-->Anger-->Hate-->Suffering cycle.

In the end, you're probably right. I may even come to agree with you in a few days--or weeks, or months, or however long it takes. For now, though, all I can do is feel my anger, own it, and see what it will become as it breaks down. So, it's entirely possible that as my anger dissolves into its component essence and I refine that essence into well-reasoned drive, I will entirely agree with you.

All else aside, I applaud your post--you're looking at this the right way.
yokaze
Nov. 6th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC)
Mad kudos for the Star Wars reference. you have discovered my secret weakness!

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