Friday, November 7, 2008

The Great Hate State

4/5 of Pr*p 8 dollars came out of Utah

I definitely have my moments but I'm generally a likeable guy. That's why it's always so surprising to find out some people don't like me, and in fact, might even hate me.

I remember being 18 and the subject came up and a close church friend (I used to go to church a lot) told me that he would rather be friends with a murderer than a homosexual. That's colored the way I assume religious folks think about gay folks ever since. And because I live in a city that's not very religious but very gay, outside of that one instance, being gay has just never been an issue.

But I'll tell you, this Pr*p 8 stuff sure has me bummed out. I woke up so proud and hopeful for the reunification between red, white, blue and black on Wednesday! Then I read about the returns in Kansas, Florida, Arizona and California and it just hit me. I think this is the first time that I've felt discriminated against for being gay -- ever.

I've got some really beautiful friends who got married in California in 2008. They are totally smart people and can intellectually understand that this doesn't nullify their love (at all!). But emotionally, it's a huge slap to have a majority of folks tell you they don't approve of your expectation for an equal, non-religious marriage. I guess that's why civil rights shouldn't ever be put to a popular vote.

Personally, I wouldn't want to get married in a church because I'm not religious. But there are a lot of gay couples who are religious and there are lots of churches that would willingly perform those marriages. I don't think churches should be forced to do something that goes against their code. I will always defend your right to the separation of church and state. I was just kind of hoping you'd support my right to equality. Some argue that civil unions are equal. Here's a .pdf list of reasons of why they're not.

I don't think that gays as a group have had to mobilize in solidarity since anything since the outbreak of Aids in the 80s. I'm complacent in my utopia in Seattle. I think folks keep looking around for someone to naturally rise up (David? Dan? Andrew? Andy?) and explain what we can do to effectively change things. Right now, we're pretty disorganized and sad and many are angry. There are a lot of good ideas. And there's also hope. People have asked us to stay positive in this. I think that's a good idea. But I can sure understand when folks need to vent. I'm not really sure what the end result of these next couple weeks will be (maybe nothing, and this will simply be a weird entry on my blog) but if nothing else, I hope folks understand that for a lot of reasons, this is really important to us.

I know there are folks who are glad the proposition passed. I probably won't change their mind by yelling or protesting (but I understand that impulse). The way to change people's minds is by getting to know them. Based on their Facebook updates, the majority of my straight friends are overwhelmingly supportive and equally bummed out by Pr*p 8. Thanks -- that means so much.

But even if that doesn't work, all we have to do is wait it out. Each generation becomes more and more tolerant.


Mixed Feelings (CNN)
Gay & Straights + Art (Seattle PI)
Harvey F (Huffington Post)
Hollywood's Take (AP)
Say What, Utah? (The Stranger)


Wendy said...

I'm so, so sorry, Joey. You are right about putting civil rights up for a popular vote. Do you see why I believe the things I believe? The more laws and government programs you have, the more you are subject to the tyranny of the majority.

We should never ever use the state to define us, our lives, or our relationships. It just opens the door a little bit wider for the next angry mob -- and ensures that they will be armed with guns paid for with our tax dollars.

Tales from the Crib said...

Oh Joey, I'm so sorry. I keep saying that I hope one day (very soon) my children will look at this horrible and unjust time with confusion and think of it as an oddity, just as I look back on racial discrimination in my parents' generation as an oddity (and an atrocity). I have to have that HOPE that Obama promised us, that my children won't even understand that this kind of hate once existed. HUGS friend, lots and lots of hugs. We shall overcome.

E said...

Joe V:

Makes me sad to think that there's a decent chance that I'm that 18 year old Christian hater from your story.

If I's a heartfelt apology twenty years past due...and some encouraging proof that you can not only take the boy out of Spokane, but you can actually get Spokane out of the boy.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: man it's a good thing God is all-powerful because his followers are total dipshits.

If you need a Christian to use as a shield during the next rally, I'm great at blocking spit, hate, and ignorant bible-verse rants...and you know where to find me most weekday mornings.

Keep the faith, love the blog.

...and thanks for the Godspell shout out. ;)

Joey Veltkamp said...

Nah -- you were (and are) always one of the 'good guys'!

You've always been the insprirational kind, my friend!

Never forget:

"Laertes has dirty knees"!
"If my brother were here...livid!"

E said...

Rosencrantz = Dirty Pants