Prop 8 and the dire straits going on in California has occupied my attentions this week...so much so that I haven't been able to scan in previously inked pages. Better coming up, this week.
I did get some time on my message boards, though, and here are some posts and quotes an such:
I look to ideals, because they exist to guide social movement, to show us the way we should be moving, rather than the way we are moving. We can look to our ideals to ask ourselves, are we doing the right thing by our nation's promise, or the wrong thing.
The best statement of what America means and the best guide toward how to be a good American, and the nature of rights to any individual comes from that non-legally-binding old piece of paper, our very own Declaration of Independence, which states: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Of course we've often failed this promise, that's not even debatable. However, I like to think that the arc of American History tends toward this eloquent sentiment.
And what did Prop 8 do? It violated these principles, rather violently. "All Men Are Created Equal?" Nope. That goes in the trash. "they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Well, so far we're still allowing the right to life. But Liberty, and most CERTAINLY the persuit of happiness have been destroyed for a whole segment of American society.
So we may talk abut the Prop 8 supporter's right to vote. But at the same time, we must talk about what they did and what they are. What they did is violate the promise of America, it's Un-American to the core. And what they are?
What they are is piss-poor excuses for Americans.
Now, some pertinent quotes:
"The Framers of the Bill of Rights did not purport to 'create' rights. Rather, they designed the Bill of Rights to prohibit our Government from infringing rights and liberties presumed to be preexisting."~Justice William J. Brennan, 1982
"A guarantee of equality that is subject to exceptions by the majority is no guarantee at all." - Therese Stewart, San Francisco chief deputy city attorney, arguing that Prop. 8 violates equal-rights principles in the state Constitution
"You are a human being. You have rights inherent in that reality. You have dignity and worth that exists prior to law." ~Lyn Beth Neylon
"Be as beneficent as the sun or the sea, but if your rights as a rational being are trenched on, die on the first inch of your territory." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Of equality - As if it harm'd me, giving others the same chances and rights as myself - As if it were not indispensable to my own rights that others possess the same." ~Walt Whitman
"I am the inferior of any man whose rights I trample underfoot." ~Horace Greeley
"It takes no compromising to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no survey to remove repressions." –Harvey Milk, in a 1973 speech during his first unsuccessful run for supervisor
More as this travesty unfolds.