Sunday, November 2, 2008

8

I have such strong feelings about 8. I'll be blunt. I think it's WRONG. I've debated it. I've tried opening my mind to the "other" side. I've tried. I have. But, I've found it impossible. My core belief is that it is WRONG to discriminate. Every cell of my being cannot understand why someone would want to. I'm not posting this because I want to debate. I've heard the other side. Repeatedly. I don't understand. I can't. It's not my "agenda" (a word I've heard quite a few times in the great 8 debate) to argue the NO ON 8 side. I'm sharing my emotions because it's something I'm struggling with personally.
In 2000, I was at dinner with some of my oldest friends. It was the day Prop 22 passed, banning same-sex marriages . When one friend simultaneously mocked the idea of same-sex marriage and openly supported Prop 22 passing, I felt a strong mix of sadness and anger reach all the way to my toes. When I voiced my opinion, I was told "you don't understand."
Later, when I found out that a family member voted for it, I felt the same combination of rage and hurt. It was one of those hard days that changed me. I know I'm not alone. The same day a close friend and I cried (neither of us being reputable crying floozies) because we were so disappointed. It was a day when I had to accept that some people I love and trust would choose to openly discriminate. I could not articulate my feelings. Over 8 years later, I still find it difficult.
I drive down the street and cringe at every "YES on 8" sign I see. I've shared that I'm a dreamer. I want the world to be beautiful. I cannot happily accept that people would WANT to discriminate. I think about discrimination in the not-so-distant past. I think about how my parents' marriage and MY marriage would have once been illegal in some states (Anti-miscegenation laws did not allow whites to marry non-whites). It makes me want to throw up. Seriously. I hope I'm not as disappointed in humanity this Tuesday.
I KNOW I have lots of facts and ideas to learn. I'm the first to admit this. But, I truly hope that tolerance of discrimination is not among them. It's one thing I think is good to "not understand".

5 comments:

Julie said...

Excellent post Dani. I feel the same way. Love does not discriminate.

Amy B. said...

Great post! I totally agree. I will never understand how people want different standards for different people. We ALL deserve the same rights and to be treated fairly!

Heather said...

And one of the worst part is that I can't seem to find a supporter of 8 who isn't religious. Whose god teaches them to discriminate and exclude and judge? Who is so ignorant or brainwashed or cowardly that they aren't able to reject religious "morality" for true humanity? It makes me disgusted with people, and yeah, Danielle, really really sad too.
I did have a really heartening moment this weekend, though: riding in the car with Danny and Celeste, we passed a huge group od people protesting 8 for about a block and a half. We honked and clapped and hung out the window yelling our support, and I was teary eyed afterwards. I've spent a lot of the last two weeks debating strangers with a mentality that I can't even begin to grasp. It was really nice to see a bunch of strangers standing up for what is right.

Dani Schmidt said...

Thank you for this post. Seriously people, hatred and discrimination are not family values!
dani

jen said...

I'm not familiar with '8' but your heart is lovely. I hope you continue to dream that sweet dream even if humanity disappoints you today. I'm hoping with my whole heart that it doesn't.
xo Jen