Dear Voters of California,
This coming Tuesday, you will be voting on an issue that is near and dear to my heart. I really wish that I could be one of you so that I could vote against Proposition 8.
Why? Because if there's one thing in this world that's important to me, it's my family. I love my husband, I love my son, and my sisters and my parents too. I love my in-laws, my bonus family members, and my outlaws too.
Outlaws? Yes, I have outlaws. They're people who, in my mind, are in-laws, except for the whole lack of legality business. You see, half my first family is gay. This means that the loving, loyal, supportive lifetime partners of my family members are considered complete strangers to my family members under the law, because between the two partners there is not exactly one Y chromosome.
But in California, my same-sex-coupled family member/outlaw pair could be considered as legitimate as my husband and I, and share the same sorts of rights and responsibilities that he and I do. They could be considered first-class citizens with the same rights toward each other that any single-Y-chromosome pair of adults who love each other can have by paying a modest fee to the County Clerk's office.
That is, provided that you vote down Proposition 8.
Proposition 8 is designed to take away rights -- rights that anyone should have -- to marry, regardless of the content of their chromosomes. And that, Californians, is just plain wrong.
The opponents of marriage equality, knowing that there is no legitimate legal argument for their opposition, have resorted to lying -- saying that legalizing same-sex marriage would force churches to marry same-sex couples or lose their tax exempt status. That is untrue. Churches could choose to not marry same-sex couples, just like they can choose not to marry couples who don't follow any of their other religious tenets. If a church doesn't have to sanctify the marriage of an atheist, they won't have to sanctify the marriage of a same-sex couple, either.
No, this is not about upending other people's religions. This is about respecting the civil rights of people who are different from you. This is about leading the way in tolerance, love, and justice.
I hope that you in California vote down Proposition 8, and that it energizes the country so that sometime soon, I will be able to weep with joy as I watch my family members and their same-sex partners united in matrimony, not only spiritually but legally.
Rebecca, loyal sister, daughter, and friend to LGBT people