Wednesday, 5 November 2008

I am appalled.

In May this year the California Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was allowed by the Californian constitution, thereby making California only the third US state to give full equality in marriage to its citizens. This was a fantastic breakthrough in the struggle to attain equality, and the fight against intolerance, ignorance and bigotry. In the months since then many thousands of couples sealed their loving and committed relationships by getting married, knowing that they would have the same rights as every other couple. And that discrimination based on sexuality would not be allowed.

That lasted until yesterday, when a majority of the Californian population voted to enshrine bigotry and discrimination into their constitution, a document that is supposed to enshrine rights, not remove them. In doing so they took a step backwards, away from equality and towards segregation.

It is ironic that this would occur during this election. An election in which an African-American candidate would take the state of Virginia on the way to a landslide election victory. It is ironic because Virginia was the originating state of the historic Loving v Virginia Supreme Court decision, the decision which declared unconstitutional the racist and intolerant anti-miscegenation laws that were in place in states across the US.

This should serve as a reminder to all progressive people, and all people everywhere who cherish tolerance and equality. A reminder that although we've come a long way, and gained a great deal, and through our common endeavour we have helped break down the barriers that divide us, we still have a long way to go. There are still those who would build walls into our society, between them and those they choose to dislike.

President Obama will fight for change, and I fervently hope that this is one area of change for which he will fight.

[Edit] I think that I should point out that Obama was opposed to proposition 8.

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