Saturday, November 1, 2008

Text of No on 8 Door Tag

I decided to post the tag text because I'm rather proud of it. I did backdate it to be in the proper space, but it was interesting to see the Nov 3rd Daily Show with a similar take on going back to "traditional marriage". I took a minor liberty in location and timing in speaking of one of my best friends insofar as she is still engaged and living in Mass. But since prop 8 is about destroying marriages I went for impact with guns blazing. Because someone has a best friend and is being asked to break up their marriage in the booth.

My target audience is multiracial and probably multi-lingual with varying degrees of English literacy. I tried to go for common but high impact words and stay away from legalese. I've added in the edits I would have made, in [ ], had they not already been printed and distributed. There are other ways of saying it, but these are my words.

Subject: No on 8 for door tag
Date: Saturday, November 1, 2008, 9:52 PM

Dear Neighbor,

How would you feel if you woke up to a tag on your door asking you to vote to break up your best friend's marriage? Stunned, Angry, Appalled? That's how I felt when I woke up on Saturday to a tag supporting prop 8. Supporters of prop 8 claim they want to "restore traditional marriage". What they want is to break up my friend's marriage. What they want is for some people to be less equal under the law. Isn't America the place where we are all created equal under the law? Does it make you comfortable to think that someone could vote away YOUR right to stay married?

Even supposing we were to "restore" "traditional marriage", where does that lead? If people can vote to break up their neighbor's marriage, where does it stop? In the 1950's it was illegal for black or hispanic people to marry white people. Women of color who had children with white men could have their kids legally taken from them just for being brown. Laws changed and now most of us think nothing of it when we see biracial couples. After prop 8 should we next vote to ban biracial marriages because they aren't "traditional" enough? No. No on prop 8 as well.

A generation before that, women were still considered the property of their husbands, unable to own homes or land, get custody of their kids, or vote. Laws changed and now women can own property, get custody of their kids, be an equal partner in marriage, and vote. After prop 8, should we again restore the "traditional" value of women as property? No. No on prop 8 as well.

The arguments against allowing against allowing colored people to marry white people are THE EXACT SAME arguments used against gay people. And some of the "scary" societal change that people worried about has come to pass: You and your children now have friends of different colors and races! A biracial man just might become president! As a single woman, I'm actually allowed to own my condo without a man signing my title! Things like this used to be called unnatural perversions too. But I call them progress. Prop 8 is not progress. Prop 8 is going backward.

Here's the thing. Gay people exist and always have. God made them in his own image too. In or out of school, your kids will find this out, sometimes because they themselves are gay. Gay kids have a higher suicide rate than straight kids because they are afraid of disappointing their parents and losing their love. Would you rather have your child be gay and secure in the knowledge that you love him or her and the law offers your child the same legal protections of every other kid in the neighborhood? Or would you rather have your child turn away from you, perhaps run away from home and/or kill themselves because they see you voting that their very identity is worth less than everyone elses? If you love your kids and want them protected, vote no on prop 8. Show your kids you value love over fear or hate.

Different societies have different tolerances. In our society, we've looked at ourselves and said "We think that any grown adult can pick any other grown adult and choose to make them their family under the law." While it can be scary and unsettling to allow other people to make choices you wouldn't make [would change to: "follow paths you wouldn't follow"], voting No on prop 8 says we want marriage to be about love, not about property transfer.

Some people have religious reasons for opposing gay marriage. Catholic churches oppose re-marriage of divorcees and won't hold those ceremonies, yet divorced catholics can still get married in law. Some churches oppose marrying people from different faiths, whether that's a baptist and a mormon or two lutherans from different denominations. Yet the state still offers legal marriage to these people and the churches are still fine. [Would add no Mass churches have been closed due to gay marriage.]

Some people don't care one way or the other what other people do in their own family. Good for you! But please be aware that due to heavy out of state funding by people who are worried that once again California will pave the way, prop 8 is a tossup. Walk down the street today and any adult you see has the right to get married. If you don't vote no on prop 8, this will change.

When you go to vote, take a moment to vote NO on prop 8. Don't tell my best friend that her marriage is over. Vote with your heart, not with your hate. Vote no on 8. Thank you.

Your neighbor.

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