It means that we care about something. It means we aren't going about life as zombies. As a librarian I'm happy to direct you toward topics that personally offend me when you ask for them. I don't impose my personal ideologies upon you, in fact, when I'm at the library I'm not even going to tell you WHAT I think, personally, about ANY topic - save whether that novel over there is worth your time or not. You can bait me and try your darndest to engage me in your personal belief system all you want - I won't bite when I'm at the library. Many (many) tried in this past political season. I won't even agree with you when I agree with you. It's not going to happen.
All of this is fine and well - any librarian worth her salt should do the same. And while I have no intention of turning this blog into a mouthpiece for my politics, this has always served as my outlet. I need that outlet now, but in a different way than usual. It took a week for my elation of finally voting for the winner in a presidential election to wear off and the horror, again, at the perversion of civil rights by voters to set in. I still read coverage of The Transition with joy, but that joy no longer overcomes how heartbroken I am at the fact that what amounts to personal offense overriding civil rights.
If they had voted in the 50's about integration, would it have passed?
If they had voted then about interracial marriage, would it have passed?
When I boil down freedom, the basis of our government, to its core, its very essence, I believe that a person can do whatever they want to do as long as it does not impinge on another's rights. And here's where some of you and I are bound to disagree: I do not believe that same-sex marriage is harmful to anyone. You can send me as many articles and biased studies as you want, I will never agree with you. Be personally offended all you want about the "homosexual lifestyle", but I will never believe that a gay couple's right to be legally recognized as MARRIED will negatively affect your life. You'll go on living the exact same way you did before. Your 50% chance of marital success will be the same.
We aren't supposed to legislate just because something offends us. Not when it doesn't harm. Same-sex marriage will not erode "traditional" marriage any more than interracial marriage eroded same-race marriages. Let's disregard what the talking heads tell you and what they expound in the pulpit. Let's make it personal - because it is personal. It's not abstract. THINK about what you believe and why you believe it. Make up your own mind. Consider what you would take away. And what it means to those you would directly affect because you are indirectly, personally, offended.
I know some of you reading this don't agree with me. That's ok. If you've gotten this far, I applaud you. I don't think you are the enemy. I hope you don't think I'm yours, and that we can peacefully agree to disagree on this one. Sometimes we can vote in change. Sometimes social change has to be thrust upon us.
What I'll be doing on Saturday.
It'll be my first rally/protest ever.
For my cousins.
For my friends.
For civil rights.
*"Not Equal Sign" image stolen from James Price's striking entry here.