I was reading the Rolling Stone review of MILK last night, (I know Jamie, I shouldn't read them and spoil the experience for myself) and came across a startling fact.
Harvey Milk, (who later became the first openly gay man elected to public office in California, on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors) was fighting against a "California Proposition" of his own. The year was 1978, (one year before I was born) and "Prop. 6" was hoping to ban homosexuals from teaching in public schools in California.
One week before the election, with public opinion polls showing nearly 61% in favor of the Proposition, Ronald Reagan wrote an editorial in opposition to it, in which he stated, "Whatever else it is, homosexuality is not a contagious disease like the measles. Prevailing scientific opinion is that an individual's sexuality is determined at a very early age and that a child's teachers do not really influence this."
Just let that sink in for a second. The Godfather of Conservatism was against this bullshit proposition. Good for him.
And even though it ultimately failed, similar propositions had already passed in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Is this something we also should have let voters in states decide for themselves? At what point do we realize that it's not our place to take rights away from people? We cannot, and should not vote on civil rights. They are our birthright. We're have them from the moment we're born, no matter how much voters might want to take them away.
I can't wait for the California Supreme Court to finally overturn Prop. 8 early next year, on grounds that it's unconstitutional. And 30 years from now, let my son look back on this moment in history and wonder, "Why the fuck were they even debating that in the first place?!"