Just over a week after moving into my new home with my fiance, Katie, we were blessed with a little reminder outside our door of the ignorance and intolerance that thrives under laws like Proposition 8. The note read as follows (punctuation added):
"Thank God for Proposition 8#. Fags can't get married. Oooh, that must be a hate crime. Tough shit fags."
I was at work when I got the word, via phone call, from my very frightened fiance. While I had experience with this kind of hatred before, Katie had lived a life almost entirely free from discrimination. She was terrified-- afraid to do the laundry or take out the trash- counting down the moments until I could return from work to be with her.
We filed a report with both the police and the managers of our apartment complex. Now we just have to wait. I catch myself looking out the window every time someone walks by. For about 12 hours straight, I had a horrible ache in my stomach. Every once in a while, I will catch myself thinking that I am overreacting, or that I am thinking too much of it... but then an image of Matthew Shepard pops into my head and I remember the tragic consequences of this kind of ignorance.
Proposition 8, and other laws like it, fuel inequality because they create the idea that some people are more deserving than others. They allow [straight] people to believe that they are above LGBT people. Better than. Worth more. Holier than. Prop 8 allows straight people to feel superior over gay people in the same way that racial inequality allowed white people to feel superior to black people.
The effect of superiority is displayed in the letter that Katie and I received. People who feel better than, or worth more seem to also feel it is acceptable for them to belittle. To crush. To humiliate. To do verbal harm. To do physical harm. To kill.
"Separate but equal" is neither. Remember that.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I read the following note posted online today by a friend and wanted to share it with others.