Proposition 8 is a California initiative that would eliminate the rights of California's same-sex couples to marry. As the most excellent No on 8 site explains, Proposition 8 is unnecessary,unfair, and just plain wrong. Lesbians and gays want to get married for the same sorts of reasons that straight people want to get married: we want to make a commitment to our partners; we want to assert our family status; we want our families to be protected in the event of tragedy. (Politica would also say that we want the courts to help us navigate divorce, but that's a pretty socially untenable argument, so we don't make that it public. But it is true, that a major benefit of marriage is access to divorce courts if you need them. Politica's scholarship is full of stories of gays and lesbians behaving badly in cases where divorcing straight people would have had much better access to courts that recognized our family structures. It's not happy reading. And then there are cases like Sharon Kowalski's and Lisa Pond's, where families or hospitals refuse to recognize existing family relationships in a time of medical crisis. Marriage matters.)
Here's a touching no-on-8 ad with lots of lovely photos of lgb families. The photos tell it all: lgb families just aren't that different from single parent families or straight families or blended families (and in fact, lgb families are all those things, sometimes, too). We love, we fight, we cook, we clean, we travel, we work, we snooze. We have big families, small families, and families in between. We eat meat, we're vegetarians, we participate in religious communities, or not. We live in the country and in the city. In the United States, we enjoy far more legal protections than at any other point in our history, but Proposition 8 could be a major setback to the marriage movement. If you're in California, today is the last day to register to vote. I've referred readers to Lesbian Dad's most excellent posts on Prop 8 before: her readers have done a great job pitching in, and she thanked them. I know at least one person got there via here, and I thank you, too. If you want to join the efforts to fight Proposition 8, you can donate via Lesbian Dad's site. If you're in California, you can volunteer in other ways, too.
One other thing lesbian families do: get ready for Halloween and write to distant friends--this goes to the son of Historian Friend (whose pseudonym doesn't feel quite right, but Messy Friend will do for now, as CG told him in a recent note, "I like when we play and get messy."):
Dear Messy Friend,
I hope you hav a fun halaw
en. I wnt to
no wat you
are be for hlowe
ne. I love
you Curious Girl
I will be tigr for hlowen
I hope all of you reading this have a fun halawen too: may it be a season of fun, but also a season of political power. This is an important era for gay civil rights. Use the power you have to protect what we have now, and increase it for the sake of all our children.