Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Violence Over California's Gay Marriage Ban

California's gay marriage ban (Prop 8) passed yesterday at the polls 52% to 48%. What makes me sad is the disrespectful, malicious, and sometimes even violent way people treated each other regarding this very controversial matter.

A close friend spent the last week supporting her gay friends' rights by carrying "Vote No on 8" signs in their neighborhood. Over the course of the week, she was called terrible names, flipped off repeatedly, and intimidated several times by the opposition.

She also told me that supporters of Proposition 8 were picketing across the street from the elementary school where her neighbor's son went to school. Needless to say, school officials asked them to move but the damage was already done and the little boy came home in tears.

I thought people who supported the ban on California gay marriage were doing so because they wanted to "protect our children". Hmmm...

I should point out that both sides are guilty of inappropriate behavior. For example, a man was arrested after punching his elderly neighbors in the face and head while disputing their Prop 8 signs. Well that's going to make it a little akward at the next block party, don't you think?

Police had to keep the peace and make a few arrests while hundreds of Prop 8 demonstrators clashed in Sacramento. There was pushing, spitting, and even a few knives pulled. WHAT?!?

In San Mateo, A 17-year-old girl was assaulted during a Prop 8 confrontation between supporters and opponents of Proposition 8. They must have been "protecting her" too.

Sadly, the list of random acts of unkindness continues but I won't dampen your day with more examples. This will not be the end of the controversial struggle over gay marriage in California (or the rest of the country for that matter). I bring this to your attention as a reminder that we all need to be respectful of each other's beliefs and opinions. We should agree to disagree without being irreverent or violent.