the U.S. Constitution:
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
[note: the words all in bold are my highlighting for emphasis.]
sadly, there has been a struggle in this country to secure the equality of all men - the Civil War, Women's right to vote, the ERA to name those that have been the biggest struggles (still the ERA has yet to be passed. you just have to note the inequity of pay between men and women for the same jobs.)
one of the most vocal fights of inequality for the last couple of decades has been against the LGBT community, most notably through the anti-marriage amendments that keep sprouting up in various states. right now the fights are focused in Arizona, in Florida, and, most viciously, in California.
Arizona seems to be a given, even though the state legislature and courts are in favor of equal rights but without the word marriage. Florida looks as if the Amendment 2 is not going to pass, but probably the biggest reason for that, rather than being LGBT focused, is that it would forbid rights for straight people who live together, usually the elderly in Florida, who could lose benefits they already have.
Proposition 8 in California is the most contentious. The state Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is a denial of rights provided for in the California Constitution. of course, the wingers and christianists in the state know that the only way to overthrow the court's ruling is to change the state Constitution. Proposition 8 is meant to do just that.
there have been many reports of vitriolic speech and physical altercations being used by those who like to deny rights to others in the state; of the Mormon church funding a major push for the proposition's adoption; and with the fear that is being used to spread the lies and innuendo. the rhetoric is monumental.
again, throughout our history, there have been those, and they are the ones usually in political power, who think that some people are more equal than others. they believe that if the definition of marriage is open to all, their own marriages will be diminished. yet, in those states and countries that allow same-sex marriage, research has shown that it has had no effect whatsoever on the institution of marriage as it has existed for centuries. no straight couple has become less committed because of same-sex marriage; no relationship between a man and a woman has been diminished; and, maybe most important, the divorce rate in opposite sex marriages has still maintained its 50%+ level.
the fight against Proposition 8 in California is being monitored closely. other states are looking to see that, if it is passed, it can give them the nod to spread the inequality to their own states. the conservative base of the fundamentalists in the Republican party are in the last throws of maintaining the influence and political clout they've had for the last several years. their agenda has fallen apart in almost all areas. they are being turned back by the U.S. electorate. the emphasis on Proposition 8 almost seems like a last ditch effort to keep a hold on something. there is one problem with their logic.
the most used argument by the christianists and wingers is Leviticus 18:22
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
however, they forget what is 26 lines following it in Leviticus 19:18
Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
yes, most christianists believe that Jesus said this. they fail to understand that he quoted from the Torah, being the devout Rabbi that he was. his use of the message of Leviticus 19:18 cannot be denied nor ignored.
and, by it's words, it conveys that all men are created equal. no one is more equal than anyone else.
if i was a California resident, i would vote NO on Proposition 8. if you live in California, please prove to the rest of the country that all men are created equal by voting NO on Proposition 8...