Wednesday, 5 November 2008

The Sun Also Rises

There is so much to be awed by, touched by, mesmerized by and captivated by on this the day after. My cynical half is wrestling with my etherial half.  I want to bask in the glow of sanity returning to the world.  I want to relish the historical magnitude of the moment.  I want to shade my vision with rose-coloured specs, but I find reality invading at every turn.  Please do not misunderstand me.  I am beyond thrilled at the events of the past 24 hours.  I was personally drawn into the pure universality of the moment, when I found myself texting my Viet Nam- traveling parents electoral college updates so that they might in turn, keep their tour companions informed of the doings back home.  They were starved for information and when Ohio turned deep blue, I could almost hear 20 North Americans scream in joy from Ho Chi Minh City.  It is just that I know that in spite of the results of last evening, there is still a long way to go.  My progressive nature will not let me forget the battles for equality that were waged and lost yesterday.

The state of California passed Proposition 8 by the narrowest of margins.  This initiative will overturn the legalization of gay marriage in the state and will entrench a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Arkansas saw the approval of a ballot initiative that will prohibit same-sex couples and unmarried straight couples from adopting and Florida and Arizona approved marriage protection amendments that, in Florida, defines marriage as a bond between straight couples and renders invalid any other union that is "treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent." In other words, they have effectively eliminated any hope of even a civil union surviving in the state. Colorado citizens had the great sense to reject granting personhood to the unborn fetus, but they are very close to banning affirmative action.   

While a tremendous blow for equality was struck yesterday, there is still a segment of the population that society deems acceptable to marginalize.  Until all people are given equal rights and equal protection irregardless of race, creed, religion, sex or sexual orientation we cannot truly bask in the full glow of Mr. Obama's magnificent victory.  I am fortunate to live in a country where the issues of gay marriage and women's reproductive rights have been rightly consigned to the dustbins of history. Among my many hopes for an Obama administration is that my American brethren will come to understand the true empowerment of equalization for all.  And, while I want it to happen all at once, I take tremendous comfort in the enormous leap forward that was made yesterday.  

Baruch atah Adonai,
Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam
Shecheyanu, vikimanu, vi-higianu
Lazman Hazeh!!

Blessed are You
Adonai our God
Ruler of the Universe
Who has given us life
Sustained us
And enabled us to reach this day!


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