Turns out, you can’t pass laws taking away the rights of people you don’t like! Imagine that. In a country literally built on the principle of inalienable equal rights, it has taken all this fuss to determine that the majority can’t take away the rights of folks they hate. And we’re still going to have to ask a few more people before we can be sure.
But, that said, the world is a little less hateful today than it was the morning of August 4th. I’m relieved and glad and celebrating. The gay boys and girls in California are still singing. I feel like I can celebrate the outcome of the November 2008 elections for the first time. At the time, I felt so excluded from that exultant outcome by the electoral expression of hatred that is Prop H8.
But the end of a little more voter sponsored bigotry is a victory for every American, not just the gay ones. Everybody is a member of some minority. That’s right, no matter how mainstream you are there’s someone out there who hates you for it. Save for the ideals that, in theory at least, protect us all, I could make a list of the groups I don’t like and put together a campaign to systematically take away their rights through grotty little ballot initiatives and special interest legislation.
For instance, were it up to me Rightwing radio and TV hosts would be off the air and forced to give up all their money and property to the poor, barred from speaking in public or publishing their hateful, untruthful and misleading words. I’d give five dollars to Deport Rupert dot com. And bottom feeding, fear mongers are a tiny group. It would be easy to take away their rights.
What about hateful religious groups? The reason we have separation of church and state is actually not so churches can play politics tax free. It’s because many immigrated to this country initially to escape the religious persecution where they came from. That’s changed. Today churches are in charge of religious persecution. But, church by church, each denomination is still a minority.
What if a group set about to take away one specific denomination’s tax status, strip them of non church property, bar them from voting and prevented them from marrying or adopting in an effort to get their group to die out? Unlike being gay, religion is actually a choice. Who would choose to convert to a religion when doing so would cost them their rights as citizens? Another easy five dollar donation. And, after the Mormons and the Catholics actually gave money to Prop H8 and promoted it from the pulpit, maybe even ten dollars of my money would be winding it’s way to Get-the-Hypocrites dot com.
I’m not saying that anyone should do any of this. What I’m saying is that the rights of Pious Jerks and Radio Wingnuts are safer today, because a few more gay people fought for and won the same rights everyone else already had.
If you can’t take away my rights because you don’t like me, then I’m less likely to be able to take away your rights when I don’t like you.
It isn’t perfect, but it is a little less hateful. I think that’s what this is all about. The Constitution points out, we are seeking to “form a more perfect union.”
Today, that union seems a little more perfect, to me.