Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mixed Emotions

Not too long ago, I posted a blurb that got me thinking about the differences between the Blue candidate and the Red candidate. Until I found said blurb, I had only half heartedly been following the whole election process, the selection of the candidates and subsequently the entire Presidential race. After reading the blurb (so shoot me...I like the word blurb), I became even more interested. I already knew that I liked B.O. and that I wasn't sure about J.M. but I wanted to make sure I had all the information. I wanted to be informed. I started researching more into everything. Honestly, everything I read just made me like B.O. even more. J.M. still had my respect, I agreed with some of the things he stood for, but I was still wary.

When people read that post, I got a couple of emails and one comment saying how glad they were that I couldn't a Canadian. At first, I took exception to that. It ticked me off that because I had posted something that was so clearly pro-Obama, it would provoke a comment like that. It bothered me that because my choice of candidate (if I could have one) was not as they wanted, that they would be glad of my inability to vote. Then I thought about it. It's a fair comment, an honest opinion and one that I respect. I have often thought the same thing about people whose choice of political party differed from mine. "Ugh...I wish they couldn't vote". How ridiculous of me to think that....if we didn't all have different opinions, how boring would this world be?

The more I thought about it, the more I realised that it wasn't the comment that upset me per se, it was the fact that NO, I couldn't vote in the U.S. election. I got over it, and I tried to keep this blog as politics free as possible. I think I did fairly well. I have continued to watch everything play out, discussed things with friends and family, and sat quietly by hoping to see history matter what that history was.

I have many American friends - Republicans and Democrats alike. We've discussed things at length and it's always nice to hear thoughts and opinions that differ from mine, even if I don't always agree with them.

This past Tuesday night, I was happy to see that much hoped for history realised. I came rushing home from a PTA meeting and switched the channel on my Hotty Hubby (much to his non political dismay). To hear that Obama had won the Presidency, that such a monumental event had taken place was amazing. I had tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat and JOY in my heart.

I honestly did NOT think that I would see this happen in my lifetime. I had always hoped I would, but I certainly wasn’t holding my breath. So to see history being made, my day became that much better. I feel like a collective weight has been lifted off the world’s shoulders. I see hope in people’s eyes, and happiness in their voices. I am looking forward to seeing what this charismatic, intelligent and people minded man can do with his country, and by extension the world, in the next 4 to 8 years.

On the flip side, I was also incredibly happy to hear John McCain's speech. FINALLY it seemed like the man was back. My respect came back for him somewhat as I listened to his amazingly gracious speech and heard him announce his support of the new President Elect. What hurt to hear was the Boos from the crowd each time he mentioned Obama. I fully understand the disappointment of not seeing your candidate make it to the White House but that was immature and quite frankly annoying. Kudos to McCain for silencing it.

So that was the happy moment for Tuesday....seeing history made, and seeing the hope all over so many people's faces...amazing. I honestly hope that he can bring the people together and help dig the US out of the hole that it has sunken into in recent times. Whether you are Red or Blue....I hope you'll support your new President.

As the title of this post suggests though, I have been having mixed emotions. Not about the Presidency. No...I was happy to see B.O. make it. My sadness - and that's exactly what it is, sadness - lies in the decision that came about in California.

In the midst of my joy over the election of Barack Obama, I was at the same time saddened to see that Proposition 8 had been passed. It was not that long ago that I danced around my living room doing my “happy dance” as Ellen Degeneres announced that she and Portia De Rossi were getting married. I had yet more tears in my eyes as I saw the beautiful pictures of them on their wedding day, not to mention reading about all the other folks tying the knot. It was another wonderful piece of history….an extension of what we had already achieved here in Canada. Since 2005 it has been legal here in Canada for a same sex couple to marry. It makes me proud to say that.

I have many gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered friends. To see those rights taken away, the same rights that are awarded to me, makes me mad. It angers me, as it does many people that I know, that the religion card can be played to prevent same sex couples from marrying, but it does not matter one iota that I got married in a park with a Justice of the Peace officiating and took ALL mentions of God out of our vows.

Like many of you out there, and many of my friends, my focus was on my husband on my wedding day. I entered into an agreement with HIM. I promised to love and cherish HIM. I vowed be with HIM forever. God had nothing to do it. God was not invited. I wasn't interested in God that day. Does that sound harsh? Probably. Could that statement alone alienate some of you? Possibly, though I hope not. I would hope that you can see beyond the lack of God in my marriage ceremony. Did the powers that be, the ones that decide if my marriage is more legal than another's, care that God wasn't asked to the party? No….because I married a penis, not a vagina.

And yet, if my beautiful, wonderful, loving friend Kelsey (I love ya hon!) wants to get married down there in San Diego….Sorry babe! No can do!

Screw that noise.

I'm disappointed. As a friend of mine said recently on her own blog

I thought California was a little more progressive but I guess not.

I'll second that.

I sincerely hope that someone takes another look at this. I really do.

Alright, I'm hopping down off my soap box now, preparing for the onslaught. Be gentle.

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  1. It was a remarkable day for the United States. It was an embarrassing day for California.

  2. Growing up in CA, I always thought they were more progressive then that as well. It's so sad that it is not.

    This whole election has brought out the ugly in so many people...I only hope that we can all get past that and that the changes coming will be huge.

  3. There's been a whole lot of ugly simmering under the surface for a long time. It took this election to finally bring it to a head, and now that it's out, maybe the festering wound can heal. One can always hope, right?

  4. That a black man is taking office as the leader of our country and the free world is an amazing feat. It happened far sooner than I had ever believed.

    That a gay couple might be legally married in our country, no holds barred, will also happen. And, I'm certain I'll live to see it.

  5. It's been bittersweet here in CA.
    I look forward to a day when people are not voting based on fear and we can cleary distinguish between laws and basic human rights.

  6. Very thoughtful post, Meg! God wasn't invited to my wedding, either. On purpose. I was getting married to my hubby, RP. Not God. Nuns do that.
    The situation in California is disheartening. Imagine if the millions of dollars that were spent on the anti-prop 8 helped feed hungry or homeless THAT would have made a difference!


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