In California, there is an initiative measure on the 2008 California General Election ballot (Proposition 8) that if passed would amend the California constitution to remove the legal ability of same-sex couples to marry. It`s a hot topic in California, with many in favor of it, and other who oppose it.
Presidential candidate and U.S. senator John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee supports the proposed constitutional amendment. Releasing the following statement: "I support the efforts of the people of California to recognize marriage as a unique institution between a man and a woman? I do not believe that judges should be making these decisions." (1) Senator McCain`s opponent, Democratic presidential nominee and U.S. senator Barack Obama oppose the proposed constitutional amendment, as does U.S. House speaker Nancy Pelosi, the two senators representing California, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and the mayors of San Francisco and Los Angeles, Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa, respectively. According to the latest poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California, 41% are in favor of the proposed constitutional amendment, while 55% are against it, with at least 4% undecided.
From birth, society channels whatever feelings and activities we do into socially acceptable forms of expression. Our society interprets them and forces us to express ourselves in a matter that they see fit. Whatever you may hear, there is no "natural" human sexuality. What society expects from us, youngsters and teens in particular, is to put off having children until they are economically independent, or at least married. Society expects teens and youngsters to be heterosexually active. But when it comes to same-sex love, society likes to label that as a medical problem, something to be treated by doctors, something that is controlled by nature. The sad fact is that sexuality is not controlled by "nature." The truth is that people fall in love with individuals, not with a sex. Regardless of what your opinion is on homosexuality, gender does not need to be a significant part in our choices.
What we need to understand most importantly is how sexual identity develops. Some blame puberty, others claim society. Yet, it is at puberty that society pressures us to conform to heterosexuality, to be able to wed later on in life. Yet, if you think about it, there is no conclusive evidence that determines that heterosexuality comes from one process and homosexuality from another. What society needs to understand is that sexual identity is more than just the gender of people, or whom one is attracted to and has sex with? Being a sexual being is an aspect that nobody can deny because whether we express ourselves in sex or in other physical affections, being a sexual being allows us to be whole. Being in a relationship allows humans to avoid our primitive feeling of being isolated and to be able to be integrated with humanity.
The idea of homosexuality has been allowed to fester into a kind of hatred that shadows and bullies the lives of countless individuals. Without examining the routine homophobia in our daily lives would be hypocrisy. We shouldn`t laugh at homophobic jokes in the office, or turn a deaf ear when a kid calls another child a `fag` on the playground. We need to support education that includes positive information on gays and lesbians. We need to find a way for discussing homosexuality, yet how can we even begin in a country which has avoided the complexity of race, a topic which for the most part, is undiscussable.
Come November, Californians will be able to determine if same-sex couples will be able to continue to get married in the state of California. Whatever the outcome may be, it`s sure to surprise many.
References: 1. McCain Supports Efforts to Ban Gay Marriage", U.S. News & World Report (2008-06-27). Retrieved on 2008-09-25