Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Disappointed To Be (Almost) A Californian

Despite having lived in California for nearly ten years, I've always vacillated between trying to embrace being a Californian and accepting that I'll always be a New Yorker living in California. I was raised in New York, and having spent all my formative years there I suppose I forever will be a New Yorker by personality. Yet, there are so many things I love about my adopted state: natural beauty, agriculture that produces some of the world's best food, cultural diversity, the high-tech and media industries, and many other great things. My embrace of my adopted state is strong enough that not only do I have no plans to leave any time soon, but that I've floated the idea of a 3rd party, Internet-based run for state office.

However, today I am disappointed in my adopted state. Proposition 8, the Constitutional Amendment to ban same-sex marriage leads in the polls. The fact that is still too close to call, and may come down to the provisional ballot count, is no consolation: it ought to have gone down in flames. True bi-partisan support existed to oppose Prop 8. Not only did Gov. Schwarzenegger come out against it, according to radio news, one of the major "No On 8" campaign organizations was even headed by a Republican. How can citizens of this great state, this pioneering civil rights state, vote to prevent consenting adults from solidifying loving relationships, and providing social and economic stability for their families? The fact that Californians could come together to help elect America's first African American President (by a 20 point landslide), while at the same time denying civil rights to Homosexuals, is very disappointing. We, of all states, ought to do better than that.

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