Shame on you, Maine
Yesterday, 52% of Maine voters struck down pending state legislation which would have allowed for same-sex marriage. This sickens me. The fact of the matter is, one's sexual orientation does not invalidate that person's ability to love deeply, to commit one's entire heart, soul, and life to another person. Being gay is not a choice the same way that choosing to be vegetarian is; it is just who you are. (Think of your eye color; did you have any choice in the matter?) The rhetoric of hate, bigotry, and lies unfortunately prevailed in the decision to repeal the law which would have allowed same-sex marriage. While some people might say that since the margin was so slim can be seen as the turning of the tides, a loss is still a loss. To allow voters to suppress one group of people's rights in this fashion would be akin to allowing voters back in Lincoln's day to repeal the law abolishing slavery. It's the same thing, folks; don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
I honestly think that the huge problem we have to overcome (aside from institutionalized bigotry at the pulpit in way too many organized religions) is the fact that the religious sacrament of marriage, and that ostensibly-religious term "marriage" has unfortunately been secularized in code of law to refer to the legal definition of the relationship between two people. This is unfortunate; many persons who claim to be religious point to the fact that their religion of choice doesn't allow same-sex marriage, so therefore our country shouldn't allow it as well. This mindset flies in the face of our separation of church and state; without that defined separation, the religious group who shouts loudest would create our laws, sometimes at the expense of other people's valid religious beliefs that might run contrary to the prevailing majority. If there were only a way to take away the religious meaning behind the word "marriage", this might not be as hotly contested of a debate. Washington state yesterday did pass an "everything but marriage" bill, thankfully. Each and every state-controlled right that opposite-sex couples enjoy when they get married is now afforded to same-sex couples who want to marry. While this law does not afford all of the federally granted rights of marriage, it is a huge step forward. Shame on Maine for falling for the lies and scare tactics of the campaign against same-sex marriage.
I do believe that ultimately, same-sex marriage will be legal within my lifetime; it's a shame that it is taking so long to overcome people's ignorance and bigotry.