Not Ideas About Equality But Equality Itself

The moral soul of California is on trial today. Each voter is a juror casting his lot for the future of our state. You see, this November 4th finds us in the unfortunate position of waiting to see if our neighbors will decide to write discrimination into our constitution and simultaneously declare us--California's gay and lesbian citizens-- to be less equal, less worthy, less safe, just less.

This potential stain on our constitution, Proposition 8, seeks to remove the right of same-sex couples to marry. Marriage is not a right for which we're fighting; it's a right we have in California, right now, this very day, at this hour. Of course, now we know, this could change in a matter of hours. And I say to you, where does it end?

Equality, I propose, cannot be negotiable. I do not seek tolerance. I do not require acceptance. I do, however, demand equality. It is my birthright, our promise to all Americans. No more do I want to hear discussions on the Gay Rights Movement. That time has passed. We're here, we're queer, and all that jazz. I believe that rights are inviolable, and the trajectory of our nation's history is clear: we extend rights further; we do not rescind them.


Today is different. I am worried. And I am angry. And tired. Tired of people telling me the gays are moving too far, too fast. Tired of hearing that civil unions are a big step. Tired of religious demagogues stoking the fires of intolerance with the bodies and souls of my gay brothers and sisters. Finally, I am tired of America talking about the idea of equality and not simply exercising that equality.

So, I say "Enough!" If you believe equal treatment under the law is a fundamental right, then you must vote no on Proposition 8. If you do not believe this, then you should prepare yourself. This slippery ethical and philosophical slope on which you have based your moral foundation is giving way. And one day, you too will find yourself sliding down the ravine, looking up and reaching out to your neighbors for help. And they will stand idly by, following your example.


Please vote no on Prop 8 today.

With respect to Wallace Stevens.


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