Monday, April 6, 2009

Will of the people?

I'm sitting in my empty classroom listening to what sounds like a ferocious storm and thinking about things.

I was all set to write a blog about my day "off" (which really wasn't a day off), but when I signed into Blogger, the first thing I saw was that the governor of Vermont is all set to veto the equal marriage bill that's about to come across his desk. I am saddened, disappointed, angry... but not surprised. I'm also wondering if I should be writing about this in a blog that is supposed to be tracking my progress towards the publication and sale of my novel. However, I also want the novel to be an important piece of the GLBT movement, and I'm upset enough about this to write about it, so here goes.

It seems to me that many in the anti-marriage camp are extremely hypocritical. I've been reading over and over that it would be "wrong" and 'unfair" to overturn Proposition 8 in California because it would be against "the will of the people". Yet it is not against the will of the people for the governor to overturn a bill passed by legislators elected by the people and encouraged by the people to pass the bill.

Yes, I know that the veto system is in place in order to stop any one part of a government from gaining too much power, and that mayors, governors, and even the President would be reduced to being figureheads if they had no say about what bills were passed into law. But civil rights should not have to be legislated in the first place, and it is frustrating to see the LGBT movement making progress, only to be turned away at the last second.

I can't help wonder why there is so much hatred towards the LGBT community that the only way we ever get any kind of equality is through the court system. And then people complain that the will of the people is being "usurped" by the courts. Why are basic civil rights ever subject to the will of the people in the first place?

I wish I was able to address this issue fully in Shades of Gay. There are a couple of references to it, but the novel can only focus on so much of the LGBT movement. Since it's focused on the lives of three teenagers, I have chosen to focus mainly on the safe school issue. I just don't have the room to express my opinion about every aspect of LGBT life. Maybe there's some other books in my future. I don't know.

I do know that the governor of Vermont's expected behavior is shameful. Vermont was one of the original 13 colonies that broke away in pursuit of freedom. Now it is denying freedom to a portion of its citizens because of the whim of one person.

It's time for such things to stop.