Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Roller coaster ride

I am so upset that bigotry was made constitutional in California. My much beloved Kirsten has expressed the argument against this hateful proposition so eloquently that I'll let her words stand for my own. Just let me get this on the record: if you voted in favor of this proposition or any other banning gay marriage, it is my sincerest wish that you are forever prevented from being with the one you love. Since you think it's fair for you to cast judgment and place limits upon someone else's relationship, I get to do so, too, right? Also, to the people of Arkansas who passed an initiative making unmarried couples unable to adopt children, you have convinced me to never go to your state for any reason if this law goes into effect.

Tuesdays are my long workdays. They start at 8am and end at 10pm. Greg and I arrived at our polling place about 15 minutes before it opened, so we could vote before I had to go to work. Because of the hectic nature of my Tuesdays, I couldn't keep up very easily with the election coverage and as I went into my night-time astronomy lecture the results of the election were just starting to come in. My students were nervous and excited, hoping for change and for tolerance. Around 8 pm, I could see all of my students get distracted as their phones started buzzing with the news that the presidential election had been called. I even picked up my phone and had students say hello to Kirsten who was at an election party. I let class out soon afterward. The students went out into the night overall pleased with the new president-elect and they wanted to see the results of the ballot propositions. As I could tell from discussions I heard today, the students have been on the same roller coaster ride as I've been on, as so many of my friends have been on. How can an election make us so happy and so sad at the same time?

One more comment about the election: the youngsters were really interested this time around. This is the third presidential election while I've been a full-time college instructor and I had never seen this level of interest or inspiration. For example, one of my students has been absent for the past two and a half weeks. Why? He's been in Nevada, on the ground for the Obama campaign. He'd been just spending weekends there, but wanted to give his all to get his candidate elected. And last night we saw the results of his youthful enthusiasm. Even in the bitter news of the propositions, the light of youth shines in the demographic breakdown of the vote. The change we sought last night is not complete, but rather has only just begun.


Sarah Prineas said...

Tonight the limo driver (I'm in N. Carolina) was from Ethiopia, and yesterday was his first time voting in a US election. We bonded over our elation at the election result.

I heard a comment today on CNN or someplace from some idiot in Arkansas, "Kids need parents with a mother and a father." And I wanted to ask her how many families actually meet that definition? Are they going to take away the right of unmarried women to keep their own children next? I mean, what reality, exactly, are they living in? God, it makes me furious. Also I have a lesbian friend and she and her partner were prevented from adopting three siblings who had been abandoned by their mother. They spent six months parenting these children and in the end a judge took them away. Because they are gay. So these kids are denied a stable, loving home because of this kind of bigotry.

Oh well, you got me started.

Is it true that 8 isn't called yet because of the absentee ballots? I hope there's still a possibility it will go down.

Dr. Lisa said...

Although there are still ballots to be counted, it seems like only the "No on 8" people are holding out hope. It is statistically possible for it to fail, but not likely. Lawsuits are already being filed against the proposition.

I saw a study last year that said it was having two parents, not necessarily having a mother and a father, that is best for a child. As there are now a statistically significant number of gay couples with kids, the data is intriguing. However, the people who would vote "in the best interest of the children" wouldn't care about the science anyways.

I'm so glad you got to share some elation with your cab driver. That must have been wonderful!