I write this with approximately 33 hours to go before the polls open here in California. By this point in the process, if you are reading me you know where I stand. You know I support Barack Obama. You know that while I may differ on some issues, I am primarily supporting the democratic ticket.
I am confident if not complacent regarding the national agenda. But I am still extremely worried on the matter of Proposition 8.
We know that if one man's rights are denied, the rights of all are endangered.
~Robert F. Kennedy, 5-6-1961
I live in one of the more conservative areas of California. I use this as a salve to my fears, because I see far too many bumper stickers and lawn signs supporting Prop. 8 to make me comfortable. The polls show that the sentiment against this institutionalized discrimination is eroding. While still showing that Prop 8 should be defeated, things are approaching the margin of error. It's a toss up.
I know good people who are deluded enough that they are voting yes on this proposition, despite the fact that I hear the trepidation in their voice. They know this is a Jim Crow law that is being pushed. They know it's wrong. So they seek reinforcement. They seek justification for their vote. Because they need to reconcile the fact that they are voting against the civil rights of their fellow Californians.
Their hearts tell them one thing. Their fears tell them another.
Those fears are being reinforced by money from outside the state. Those fears are being reinforced by the people they trust most. Their parents... their teachers... their pastors. And because they have spent a lifetime following the advice of these people, they will ignore the nagging doubt at the edge of consciousness. The voice that tells you not to steal from Mom's purse... not to pour water into the vodka bottle to replace what you drank as a teenager... not to keep the extra twenty dollars the bank teller gave you by mistake.
You know it is wrong to deny others the rights our forefathers fought so hard to keep. You know that the U.S. Constitution guarantees all of us equal protection under the law. You know that the voice whispering at the edge of your mind telling you this is wrong... is right.
You know that making others happy while causing no harm to anyone is by definition a good thing.
Don't vote based on prejudice or fear. Follow the voice. Vote no on Proposition 8.