Today, three major human rights issues are being placed in the hands of the voters of Washington state, Kalamazoo, Michigan and Maine. In Washington State, voter’s are being asked to approve Referendum 71, which essentially gives same-sex couples all state (but not federal) rights provided to opposite-sex couples. It’s a “separate but equal” initiative, but will help our families tremendously in dealing with legal challenges and medical issues. Ballots are mail-in only, so it could be a while before we know the results.
In Kalamazoo, the voters are being asked whether or not an amendment to the current City Ordinance should take effect. The original anti-discrimination ordinance prohibits discrimination based upon race, religion and other suspect classifications. The amendment is designed to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the current ordinance.
In Maine, voters are being asked to deem same-sex marriage illegal in the state. Maine already recognizes same-sex marriage, so again (as in California) we see the people voting to take away a right that already exists – a disgusting precedence for a “free” people.
Because of these three very important human rights battles, I feel a bit like the person in the waiting room at a hospital waiting to find out the fate of my loved one. I no longer have any influence or control at all over the turnout.
Voters in Maine, to beat my analogy to death, have our relationships in their hands. They are prepared to decide whether my family can continue to be legally recognized as a family or not. That’s the only question being presented really. Are same-sex couples a “family”?
Regardless of the way the vote goes, they will not be able to conquer our love for our would-be husbands or wives. They will not divorce us. Our relationship, our love, our person will remain fully intact as we identify ourselves to be.
So, I sit in the waiting room with one glimmer of hope – my love will survive. Unfortunately, I don’t know what condition he’ll be in when I get him back.