Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I encourage you not to read this.

I have had a very hard time deciding if I should
post certain things because of my personal
opinions, especially knowing that most people
who read my blog generally disagree with me.
But, I have decided that this is my personal
blog, something I hope to look back on and
remember certain points in my life.
That being said, I am about to write some
very personal feelings. And I am going to
warn you, some of you might not like
what I am going to say.

Yesterday was an historic day for our
country. 40-60 years ago was an ugly time
for blacks and minorities in this country.
Segregation was the norm, and blacks were
allowed to entertain us, but not use the
same drinking fountain, eat in the same
restaurants, or sit by white people on
the bus. All of us are very aware of this point
in Unites States history. We are taught in school
how the black community banned together, and
some lost their lives, to fight discrimination and
segregation. Our government backed the idea
of a black individual being less of a person
than white individuals. A lot of our generation looks
back on this and we can't quite understand
how anyone could even think this way.

And yesterday our generation spoke loud and clear
about how we felt. We voted and elected an
African American as our president. And I
think we should be so proud as a nation that
we have gotten this far. As Obama gave his
speech, I was moved to tears.

But my pride turned to sorrow today as I got
the news that the majority of people in California
voted for Proposition 8. I also found out that the
Mormon church was 70% of the finances used to
help back this proposition. Surprising to me, knowing
that the Mormon religion had their own struggle with
people discriminating against them for their religious
beliefs. 70 million dollars total was spent to back a
proposition that encouraged discrimination. And I realize
we have another fight coming in this country.

We are at the same point we were, just with
a different group. We allow gays and lesbians
to entertain us. Ellen Degeneres, Will and Grace,
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. We listen to
musicians like Elton John, Judas
Priest, Michael Stipe of REM and Lou Reed.
And yet, we don't allow these people the same
rights that we've had since we were born.
This isn't about allowing people to be gay,
it's about accepting that they are. Acceptance.
There was a time when it was illegal for people
of different races to marry each other.
I know that had we not seen this as discrimination,
it would have affected a lot of people I know today.
People who have married mexican-americans,
latin-americans and asian-americans.
Think about all of your friends who have
interracial marriages and think how it would
affect them if they were told that they couldn't get married.

This Halloween weekend I was literally yelled
at by someone that I know my parents consider
family because of my views on gay marriage.
A simple discussion of politics turned to
anger and hatred. Homosexuality was compared
to pedophilia and bestiality. And it brought me to tears
that people still feel that much anger towards a
group of people, that are only asking to be treated
equally when choosing who they want to spend
their lives with. And isn't that what we are told
as children what America is all about? Equality?

It brought me to tears today to find out that
the majority of California, which is know to be culturally
ahead of the curve, is still stuck in this idea
of discrimination. The majority of blacks and
hispanics voted yes on prop 8. Surprising to me
that the same people who fought so hard
to be treated equally now get their chance
to discriminate.

I have tried my best to not judge anyone based on their beliefs.
But, this issue has really gotten to me. We as voters have
so much power. And it scares me to think that my life
could possibly be in the hands of people that hate who I am
or could be. I am so thankful that I live in a country that
is not allowed to discrimate against me for being a woman or an
atheist. Most places of business can be sued if they
discriminate against a person for their sexuality, and
yet that is exactly what the whole country is doing.

I hope that one day younger generations look back at us
and think to themselves how ignorant we once were.
And I hope more than anything that President Obama
looks back at his ancenstry, and puts a stop to this
kind of discrimination once and for all.

I will leave you, and this post, with a heartwarming
story (at least in my eyes) about a lesbian couple
Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, who have been together
for 55 years! They were married in 2004 the first time they
legalized gay marriage until it was struck down.
And again in May of this year. These two women have spent
their lives fighting for the rights of gays and lesbians
since 1955. Everyone keeps talking about the sanctity
of marriage, when I believe our generation doesn't even take
marriage seriously. I know people my age who have been
divorced twice already. And for two women to last that
long, they deserve to be married. Unfortunately, Del Martin
passed away. And with Proposition 8 being passed, I believe
that will make their marriage void.


Jess❆ said...

Again with the disclaimer! Quit it already.

I have been in tears myself several times today while listening to npr stories. I am proud to have voted for the first Black president.

On prop 8, I was glad to see that there were some prominent and/or vocal members of the LDS faith taking a stand against it. It took a lot of courage. I have a hard time being vocal about this one, but I do think that separate is NOT equal.

Teisha said...

Love ya Jess!

Cathy Clark said...

I love this post and it brought me to tears! You said it all, and it is exactly how I feel.

Tess said...

Excellent writing! I was so disappointed when I heard this yesterday. The story at the end and the last picture made me tear up.. it is so sweet. Too bad your family friend got so emotional about it. It seems that often those who are against it are against it on an emotional level, not logical, making it difficult to have a meaningful conversation with them about it.

Mysti said...

Hey Teish, I couldn't agree with you more on these subjects, and as for the tool who yelled at you (I am assuming this is the same person who I hate with a passion) tell him to F-OFF for me!

Maranda said...

I just want to say I agree seperate is not equal. I think what people do or think should not affect their rights as individuals.

However, I do consider Marriage a sacred covenant between a man and a woman. You're right Teish...a lot of people in our generation don't respect what the sactitiy of marriage is. But that doesn't mean we can change what it is defined as.

I support whole heartedly for gay and lesbian couples to have the right to join in civil unions and partake of the benefits of being a couple.

Know that your opinion does not offend me. What would we be without our beliefs and our opinions...? How would we live together, how would we solve anything in the world? In turn I hope my comment does not offend any of you.

People are people. We are all God's creations, we are all individuals, we are all loved by someone...we all deserve to love. I hope people who treat those who are gay, lesbian, atheist, different from the "norm"(or past "norm") badly can see those people as people...I do.

I do support civil unions of gay and lesbians...just not Marriage.

Muffin said...

That last picture still has my eyes watering. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you wrote. I'm especially sad because everyone in my family is very vocal about being for prop 8 and they really believe that many homosexuals are actually threatening their own lifestyle. I just don't get it. I really don't.

Teisha said...

I am not offended by your opinion Maranda. And I am glad that you decided to comment. I figured my last post about gay marriage might have scared everyone off.

The thing is, we are constantly having to re-define everything. And we have been re-defining the ideas of marriage for a long time. Even Mormons had to re-define marriage when polygamy became an issue. The country had to re-define it when interracial marriage was an issue. I hope this isn't offensive, but there was a time when you and Dave would not have been allowed to be married. No one is asking religions to accept gay marriage in their institutions. But when we choose to exclude a certain group from basic rights because of our personal beliefs, it is discrimination.

Tara said...

Again Teish I have such a hard time commenting because this is such a mixed issue for me. I think your post is very thought provoking and very well written.

I just have a hard time with it because I know why I believe that homosexuality is wrong, but at the same time I have a hard time defending what it does to hurt me personally. So I just don't know how to comment on things like this. I hate that people feel discriminated against but I still feel that it is not the right way to live. It is very hard to reconcile.

I don't know if that makes any sense and I don't want to offend you. I love ya!

P.S. Just to clarify the Mormon church did not personally donate funds - it was from the members. I just wanted to clear that up.

Teisha said...

I'm glad you commented this time Tara. I do understand how you feel, and honestly no one has the right to tell you that you shouldn't feel that way.

I think that people have a hard time understanding that it isn't a choice for most people. A lot of people will disagree, but science has proven that most homosexuals are born this way. I remember Mr. Smith at Hunter talking to us about this. So, when people say they don't think it's the right way to live, they don't understand that it isn't a choice for them. There are people who try deny it to themselves, and feel ashamed. A lot of people commit suicide because they are made to feel like what they are doing is wrong.

I choose to live my life differently then most religious people would condone. And yet none of you guys would ever think of telling me how to live my life. And I know it's because you guys know me, and care about me. And I just don't understand how a group of people can get together and spend so much money to legally tell people how to live their lives as they choose.

Teisha said...

Oh and also thank you for clarifying where the donations were coming from. I was curious about that.

Tara said...

See I totally agree with you there. This is exactly why I feel so torn! I do think that some people are born with those tendencies for sure. It is such a hard issue. And what gives me the right to tell someone else what they can or can't do? While I have a hard time justifying taking that right away from people it is just as hard for me to condone gay marriage because of the way I believe. That's why I choose to sit out of the debate most of the time.

A total cop out. I know!

Tara said...

P.S. I want to thank you for respecting what I believe as well. I have a hard time when people assume that because you don't agree with something you are a hateful bigot. I'm glad we can just have a conversation about it without jumping to that conclusion.

Teisha said...

It's not a cop out. It is an extremely touchy subject, and most people whould rather not talk about it. And I'm glad that most of you guys are choosing to talk about it and share ideas and emotions. I honestly think that's the only way we will progress as human beings. Don't ever be afraid to voice your opinion. Especially with me. I will never judge you for what you believe.

Booth and Tiffany Jenson said...

Do you think that they should allow polygamists marriages to be legal or a marriage between a brother and sister or some other relative to be legal also? I think these will be some of the same type of issues that will come up if these marriages are allowed. You know that I believe marriage should remain between a man and a women at this time in life. I think people do need to stand up for what they believe in and if the laws are changed they need to be respected. I think that it is great that you show so much passion for things Teisha and it is people like that who end up making changes.

Tess said...

I hear a lot about how we will be "changing the definition of marriage" if gays are allowed to be married. Whose definition? The bible and other religions' literature is the only place where marriage has ever been defined as between one man and one woman. Marriage was defined way back in the day by greeks with no such stipulation, before some christian came along and said, no, no, it must be between a man and a woman (I didn't just make that up either, read the entry on marriage in wikipedia). And the idea that it can't be polygamous is far more recent than that. Legalizing gay marriage will never bring up questions about whether to legalize marriage between brothers and sisters, because children born to incestual marriages are often deformed, and this is a real definable problem. There is no such problem with gay marriage. Gay marriage and polygamy are two completely different issues. There is no need to worry that gay marriage will ensure polygamy.

Booth said...

I wasn't talking about brothers and sisters having children together, I was only talking about them being married. Gays can't have children either, unless they already had them or have them given to them. I think polygamy, gay and incest marriages are the same, because they are all people who want to be married to eachother and they are consenting adults who can make these choices. All of these marriages will become an issue if gay marriage is passed, I gaurantee it.

Muffin said...

I actually agree with booth about being able to draw a correlation between gay marriage and polygamy. This is the reason that I have a very hard time understanding why so many mormons have taken a stand against gay marriage. Have they forgotten their heritage? Have they forgotten the extreme persecution that their ancestors went through because their marriages were seen by others as an abomination? Mormons still believe in polygamy - they just have to wait until the next life to enter into that type of marriage instead of having it in this one. The only problem I've ever had with polygamy is when children are pressured into entering that kind of arrangement. I don't see a problem with it if all parties involved are over the age of 21. I certainly wouldn't want to have that type of marriage, nor do I understand how anyone else would want it. However, if that's what they want, if that's what they believe is right for them, who am I to stand in their way?

As far as incestuous marriage, you must admit that if we condoned it, we would also be condoning incestuous sex. Most people will agree, sex can lead to children. It's also pretty widely known that children born of incest have a much higher incidence of problems and birth defects. That's my problem: children will suffer from such an arrangement. This is no longer just a case of two consenting adults. That's why it will never be condoned - despite your guarantee.

Booth said...

Mormons practiced polygamy because there were more women than men. A lot of women lost their husbands when their husbands went off to war. I am sure there were cases where it was abused, but the intentions were good for the circumstances. Incest has been accepted in other times in history and I think our world is headed for a do anything that you want way of living. It just takes time for people to get comfortable with things and then the majority will accept it. It's kind of sad, but the way of the world.

Teisha said...

I have decided officially that to solve this problem once and for all, we will have a good old fashioned dance-off. Christians against gays. I think you know who would win.

Teisha said...

Also, you cannot deny people certain rights because you afraid of the doors it might open. If that were a legitimate reason to deny rights, interracial marriage would still be illegal, and we would still be a segregated country. If there was still segregation, we wouldn't have ever been able to elect the first african american president.

heather said...

Hey Teish, did you get a comment from me on this post. I swear I submitted it, but it's not here.

Either way I'll try again.

I feel bad that you feel so torn up about this. I am glad however that I got to talk to you in person and that I better understand your views and hope that you do mine. Nothing but love!

Teisha said...

There never was anything up from you my dear.