Election Day

Obligatory election post!

I’ll be real with you, I hate politics. I can’t watch the news, I get too worked up. I still am in tune with the news – between Facebook, Twitter and Weekend Update, I get the highlights through jokes and in-the-know celebrities. When they mention something that I feel like I should be more informed about, I go to various respectable news sources to read about it. I cannot emotionally handle watching the nightly news updates about all of the people killed, robbed, attacked, etc. I also cannot emotionally handle watching people argue for hours and hours.

That being said, I am perfectly capable of having an intelligent debate when it comes to my own beliefs. I try to avoid it whenever possible, but if confronted about my opinions, I am educated enough on the subject to back up my opinions. And for most of the major country-wide issues? I can understand both sides of it. I can totally see why a person would think the opposite of me, no matter how strongly I feel about the issue. In fact, I have a handful of issues I feel very on the fence about, BECAUSE I can see both sides. There are even some issues that I used to be staunchly on one side of, but now am firmly on the opposite side of.

There’s only one that I honestly cannot see the other side of. And that’s the issue of whether or not to legalize same-sex marriage. Some might say I’m biased, but I’d argue that I have been firmly in favor of same-sex marriage since before I understood entirely what that meant.

When I was in grade school, every day after school at 3 o’clock, if I was home and not at an after-school activity, my mother and I would watch All My Children together. When I was about 13, my favorite character on the show who was only a few years older than me, Bianca, came out to her mother as a lesbian. Her mother freaked the freak out. I remember looking up from my homework to watch the scene unfold, shocked by Erica Kane’s reaction. I asked my mom why she was so angry and my mother tried to explain to me that some people think that being gay is wrong. I asked simply, “But why?” I couldn’t wrap my mind around why anyone would care who anyone else loved. And as for bias? I was a 13-year-old girl who went to Catholic school and attended mass every Sunday, where I cheerfully sang in the choir.  If anything, my bias should have been the same bias the Catholic church has. Yet there I sat, confused.

My question is still the same as it was 12 years ago. I watch these people vote in favor of BANNING same-sex marriage. Not only not allowing it, but actively not allowing it. And all I can do is ask WHY. How does anyone’s marriage affect you even a little bit? You can’t say anything about the Bible. Because Jesus’ message was about loving thy neighbor [read this]. Because this country was founded on the separation of Church and state. Individual churches can do whatever they want, but you can’t let their beliefs create laws. This whole “sanctity of marriage” argument cannot fly. Because last-minute-decision, drunken Vegas marriages are legal. Because you don’t judge a heterosexual couple’s ability to get a marriage license based on whether their marriage is going to succeed or not.

I know I’m not making any kind of groundbreaking argument. I know a million people have said this a million times each. In fact, I’VE probably said it a million times. I just don’t know why it’s still an ISSUE. I just cannot understand, even a little bit, how who I marry affects anyone else’s life. With the exception of my immediate circle of family/friends, in which case they can take it up with me during the “speak now or forever hold your peace” portion of the ceremony and not in the law books.

As you may know, I’m a huge fan of metaphors, and I think my favorite metaphor on this subject I’ve read so far has been this (the source is negotiable since it’s been passed around the internet so much): “Banning gay marriage because of your religion is like banning donuts because you’re on a diet.”

I could obviously go on for much longer with more articles and evidence and quotes and everything. What it comes down to is this: our country has been moving forward (painfully slowly, but still forward) and I don’t know why we would elect someone who would obviously take us a step backwards.

At the end of the day, there’s no way you will find a candidate that you agree with 100% on 100% of the issues. So you have to look at what matters. And for me, what matters is what their actions say about what they think about people. Specifically, whether they think they should be making laws about groups they do not belong to. Namely, laws about women and laws about the LGBT community. Whether they see people as people and not people as whatever minorities or groups they belong to.

Whatever happens tonight, I have faith that we’ll be okay. We’ve had setbacks before, but we’ve still been moving forward, step by step. Some people (*cough* Obama *cough*) will help us move forward faster than others, but I believe that we are heading in the right direction.

Phew. That was exhausting. And I didn’t even get everything out I wanted to say. I get too worked up, it would end up being way too long (and this is already way too long). When really my political views can essentially be summed up in this one little clip: http://bit.ly/YVBNcH

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~ by Valerie Anne on 11/06/2012.

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