On Nov. 4, California promoted inequality. Voters passed Proposition 8 to ban gay marriage, institutionalizing discrimination in the state’s constitution. It is a step backward from all the progress we have made for equal rights in our state. My frustration is outweighed only by my sadness (‘One Step Backward,’ Nov. 6, p.8).
While I fully respect a person’s right to disagree, it is disappointing that a significant portion of the electorate feels that defining marriage is more important than equality.
Therefore, I propose a different solution to give all Californians the equality that their humanity has endowed them. If marriage is now defined as between a man and a woman, then California should merely update its civil code to replace the word marriage with the words civil union.
Instead of having two separate but unequal institutions of partnership, California should only have civil unions. And these civil unions should be allowed between two consenting adults regardless of gender. If two people want to get married, they could still do so in their church, synagogue, temple, mosque or whatever other social institution offers it. But with regard to the government, marriage would no longer matter.
While I personally would much prefer to have true equality ‘-‘- both socially and legally ‘-‘- settling for the latter is currently the only recourse. I urge you to help all Californians marry whom they chose and to not discriminate based on sexual orientation. It is unfair and unjust to do otherwise.
I call on you to write and call your state representatives. I call on you to pursue justice and equality until it is available to all. I call on you to act.
Robert Sesek, COM ’11