Saturday, November 15, 2008


I stood at the corner of Third and Washington Streets today, in Moscow, Idaho, waving my sign, "Invalidate H8." I was here at City Hall with about 60 or more other people demonstrating my anger over Proposition 8. A surprising number of cars honked as they drove past, and the occupants were giving us thumbs up. A couple of lone counter protesters were on the other corner of the intersection waving two signs, "Don't Target the Mormons" and "Don't Send Us Anthrax." At 11:00 a.m. we had a moment of silence, during which the two people across the street chanted slogans.

When Californians passed Proposition 8, I realized how tired I was about being constantly stigmatized, constantly demeaned. And it isn't that my friends and neighbors are treating me badly. It's bigger than that. A whole society is treating me and other lesbians and gay men badly. And I finally got exquisitely tired of that. I'm shocked that Californians could so blithely snatch away the rights of gay people. I'm shocked that gay people have put up with this crap for so long.

The reason that same-sex marriage is so important is not so that gay people can have certain property rights or tax deductions. Marriage is important to gay people because it strikes directly at the stigma attached to homosexuality. A society that grants me and my partner marriage respects our relationship officially and emphatically. This is no half measure or winking nod. It's none of this remarking that just because he and I have lived together for 25 years, we aren't really married; so somehow, our relationship doesn't count as much and by inference we don't count as much. No, our relationship has a protected and honored status, just like every other married person's relationship.

Stigma can't abide honor or respect. The stigma of homosexuality will only be overcome when our society decides that all of its citizens deserve honor and respect. If you don't respect my relationship, you don't respect me. The message is that simple.

I have a word for the Mormons and the other concerned religious people who are animated about this issue. All of us, you and me, want strong, loving families. Indeed, they are the bedrock of our society. I am angry that you attack the moral and legal substance of my family. Your stand for Proposition 8 is immoral and hypocritical, because it attacks other families just like yours. You should rethink your stance, especially if you believe that we are all God's children.