Not only is this not knittingâ€”it’s political. You’ve been warned.
Like much of the country, I’m pleased with the national election results, but that happiness is completely overshadowed by the passage of Proposition 8 here in California which eliminates the right for same-sex couples to marry. On the one hand, no big deal. So we’re back where we were before June 17, eh?
Before June 17, Melissa and I didn’t have the right to marry, but we also hadn’t been explicitly written out of our state’s Constitution. Written out of the Constitution. As in: you are different from me and I fear you and view you as less than human and will turn my fear into an explicit rewriting of the key document that is supposed to protect all of us, so that I have a right that you used to have and that I have taken away from you without knowing you, without knowing your relationship, and without knowing the value of your relationship not only to yourself, but also to your family and your community, so that you will be treated differently than I am under the law.
And if you voted for Prop 8, don’t try to tell me you’re not denying me anything because I “can still have all the legal rights of marriage with domestic partnership.” That’s like telling someone forced to sit on the back of the bus or to go to a segregated school “you still get to ride/learn/whatever.” The back of the bus is the back of the busâ€”and any time you tell someone to sit there you are telling that person that you see her as less valuable, less human than you see yourself.
That’s what five million, three hundred and eighty-seven thousand, nine hundred and thirty-nine (and counting) of my fellow Californians have just said to me.
I am experiencing an anguish and an anger that I don’t know how to express fully and that I don’t know how to live with. I have a wife, family, friends, and students who need me to keep going about my usual business of loving, supporting, conversing, thinking, sharing, and teaching, and all I want to do is curl up in a fetal position far, far under the covers as if somehow that could make this monstrosity not to have happened. We are not back to where we were before June 17. We are somewhere else, somewhere much uglierâ€”and must more unjustâ€”than we’ve been before.