0-31: Another loss for Civil Rights.

Me and My SunshineI could say it doesn’t matter. That we’ll get them next time. That this doesn’t mean anything in the long run. I could try and convince you that this was a mistake and people really don’t think this way. But I’d really just be trying to convince myself. My faith is wavering a little under these staggering statistics. 31 times gay marriage showed up on the ballot. And despite all the knocking on doors, all the blog posts, and rallies and pride events and positive media attention, all the love and support we received, 31 times, THIRTY-ONE times. We were shot down. Denied the rights that every human being should be born with. This isn’t about religion. Marriage is no longer conducted only within a church.  This isn’t about showing off wedding rings and picking out floral centerpieces. This isn’t about anybody else but us. Our rights to be with the ones we love. This is about people recognizing that as an accepted reality. This is about our government giving us the basic rights that other married couples have. It’s about commitment, and family, and dedication. It’s about sharing a bond and being able to proudly introduce a husband or wife. It’s about not being afraid. And sure, it’s about the tax benefits, and the employment benefits, and government benefits, and being able to see each other in the hospital, and buying a house together, and filing for adoption together, and being seen as a real, honest-to-goodness family, but most of all, most of all it’s about Love.

I could say that none of it really matters because Love isn’t something anyone can deny you. It won’t stop us from carrying on with our lives. It won’t cause us to break down and decide that it’s better off being straight than gay. I’m not going to run away and push my head in the sand and pretend I never liked girls. So it shouldn’t matter, right? I should just brush it off. But I can’t. It does matter. It matters to me and my girlfriend and every couple out there that is being treated like a second-class citizen. And what for? Why are we being treated with such disrespect? Like we’re not good enough to love? Because of bigotry. Because despite our freedom for and from religion, we are still being forced into a box controlled by what other people believe. We are not allowed to have our beliefs if they interfere with the majority. There always has to be sides, it seems, and our government thinks it’s fair to allow the majority to dictate how everyone should live their lives. Our country is slowly losing its identity as the Melting Pot. Conformity is the majority and if you don’t fit in that box, you’re shot down.

It does matter. Losing 31 out of 31 times matters. It’s a heavy weight on the heart. They whisper “Someday” but I’m sick of waiting for “Someday” to arrive. We deserve it now.

Me and My Sunshine

But patience is a virtue, and so is perseverance. We’ll keep fighting, keep talking, keep waving our rainbow flags in the air defiantly. We’ll hoot and holler in your face at every parade and every protest. I’ll keep living the life I’m living. I’ll keep waking up next to my girlfriend every morning and remembering every moment just why I fell in love with her. And I’ll keep questioning why. Why are we not equal? Why are we not seen as a real family? And I’ll keep looking for answers.

And I’ll keep telling myself it’s okay. We’ll get them next time.

5 responses to “0-31: Another loss for Civil Rights.”

  1. Leigh says:

    I wish that I could share your optimism, but, honestly, I just can’t any more. I spend most of my life in a community where it’s okay to be queer, but every second that I do, I know that I’m living a lie. Ifeel those numbers every day that I go out in a binder, and every time I flirt with a girl at a bar, and every time I wear my rainbow pin on my bag.

    Maybe it’s because my family is a part of those numbers. Maybe it’s because I go home to parents who tell me that I’m perverted and wrong for feeling the way that I do, but I feel those numbers every day.

    I hope you’re right that they can change. But, honestly?

    I just don’t know.

  2. Vira says:

    Hi there, Nikki. I found your blog through Cena’s tweet. Your words on this are beautiful. I really sympathize with you about this losing streak. Even though I’m a Christian and I can’t see what you see in girls (lol) I still think that our governt shouldn’t stop you from having the same ability to profess your love before man and country and to have a family just as I hope to have one day. Don’t give up. Keep your faith alive. All of these movements had a long road to travel before they made it where they are. (At least you can vote, right? ^_^)

    I’m with you, and may God bless you.

  3. mom says:

    Stay Strong , Pupacha . I believe things will Change and people will be heard. Its just going to take some time for the pinhead people to realize that you will not hurt them and that they need to open their eyes and minds and see how wonderful and kind you all are. Why cant we all just get along!?!

  4. Lelia Thomas says:

    Sorry for being late to the game; haven’t read my RSS feeds in a while! Just had to comment on this, though.

    I wish I could say I knew how things would go for you, but I don’t. The voting results are sometimes random to me, and some of the laws that still exist on the books shock me. I don’t think it’s fair, what has happened or what is happening. I think one tactic to appeal to those who are against you, though, is in the area of personal rights and privacy. As you say, this isn’t about rings and centerpieces. This is about who gets to be in the hospital room with you; who gets to be your contact; who gets to be considered your family; how well you as a couple can prosper financially. Religious fundamentalists can only see that gay rights (or many other rights, for that matter) are in some sort of violation of their shoddy beliefs.

    However, quite ironically, the religious fundamentalists of the world often also happen to be strongly for rights to privacy and independence from the state. For this reason, I personally often ask people of that ilk, “Why should the government be involved with ANYONE’S marriage?” People like this need to be asked, “So you don’t think the government should be in your church, in your gun cabinet, in your business or in your car. You don’t believe the government should regulate business or health care or interfere in personal decisions, but you think it should be in a stranger’s love life, something unbelievably complex, personal and varied? In your love life? How is a state-approved religious ceremony not the government getting involved in your church? Doesn’t it all seem weird to you?” And so on. It’s all outdated philosophy, and those with some of the most outdated beliefs need to understand that in terms they’ll be able to connect to emotionally and mentally.

    As you know, Andrew and I recently got married. We’re happy being married, but it really wasn’t a huge deal to us; it was a time to see family and friends and laugh and love, but it could have just as easily been a different ceremony or gathering. Under different circumstances, where he didn’t need a visa to stay with me, and where tax benefits wouldn’t exist for married couples, we probably would have just remained blissfully “living in sin.” We were/are happy. Our personal lives are no different now. Society just thinks that they are, and that’s a thought we need to change. Committing to living with someone is no less legally, emotionally or physically binding than signing a piece of paper with them; thousands of court cases prove this.

    We kept having to explain to friends, “No, we aren’t ‘nervous’ about getting married. How is it any different from living together, which we’ve done for two years?” And, relationship-wise, it’s not, but society (religious or not) puts a lot on it, all because the government is involved. The way we see it, we are just now “state-approved,” and yet this makes a world of difference to my fundamentalist relatives who never could fully value our relationship before the wedding. To us, that sucks a little. It sucks maybe doubly for me, as everyone pokes, prods and pushes for me to change my last name, for their convenience and morality; and of course, there have been more sexist jokes than I care to mention. There are many subtle and strange ideas that society has about state-approved/religion-approved marriage.

    Stay strong in fighting for what you believe in, and I hope you’ll work to change the way people see state-approved relationships, altogether. Excepting a few cases, it’s a dangerous system, because of its roots to the state, that has had horrible effects on many communities throughout the years.

  5. Emmy says:

    You’re so strong sis, and no matter what I’m behind you 100%. Patience is a virtue, virtue is a grace, and Grace is the little girl who wouldn’t wash her face. I’m not sure how that will help but it sounded good.
    PS: I like your green plaid shirt. Please bring it with you when you come for Christmas.

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