Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
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Black Man In The White House

10:58 pm UPDATE: exciting things are happening 'round these here parts!

***I had made the blog private again early this morning - but in light of today's AWESOME protests outside the LDS temple in Los Angeles, I gotta let this one ride.

Slaves are partially responsible for building The White House. Come January, a black man will call it home. I am so proud of America today. Proud of the millions who stood up and said ENOUGH. Enough of black vs. white, enough of fear tactics perpetrated by the Bush administration, enough of the political bullshit we've grown accustomed to this past decade. ENOUGH. Let's roll up our sleeves and fix our broken country.

My daughter will come of age in a world completely unlike the one in which I grew up. An environment so much less likely to view skin color as anything other than that. A color. But last night's historical victory is only the beginning. The battle is far from over. I look back on the horrible video footage from the civil rights movement of the sixties and can't help but liken the struggle for gay rights to that. It's not a moral issue. Unless you choose to blend religion with government, which, last time I checked, is unconstitutional. It's a civil issue. Everyone, regardless of race, religion, color or sexual proclivity has the right to get married. Yes, they do.

Who someone wants to marry is no one's business but their own. And it especially isn't a church issue. The constitution is based on the separation of church and state. Those of you who have wasted so much energy rallying for a gay marriage ban punishing thousands you will never meet or know... what has it brought you? Joy? Safety and comfort in your own marriage? If you define your marriage by the unions of those around you, well, then you're already in trouble. Because more than half of hetero marriages end in divorce.

So. All you've really done here is hurt and persecute thousands of loving couples who are absolutely entitled to the very same civil rights as you. If you and your church think marriage should be between a man and a woman, then you do that. Marry someone of the opposite sex and build your happy family and go to church and teach your children that, by God, they better hope they aren't gay because you'll only tolerate them marrying the opposite sex. That's your right. But what do you think gives you the right to infringe upon the beliefs and civil rights of others? God? But we don't believe in your God. Can you manage to wrap your brain around that? We don't believe what you believe, so what gives you the right to deny others and define marriage for millions who don't share your religious proclivity? Without LDS support Prop 8 never would have passed.

Twenty years from now, when homosexuals have succeeded in winning the same rights as anyone else, just as African Americans did before them - our children will look back on these years in the same way we look back on the civil rights movements of the sixties and wonder why the fuck anyone cared who married whom. Count on it. And those of you who sit in your pews and in your living rooms telling each other how gay people shouldn't be married, you'll be viewed as the bigots you are. What's scariest to me and every other compassionate human being is your church makes you feel so justified in your bigotry that you don't, can't understand how the rest of us view you. You are self-righteous. Sanctimonious. Yet you feel so justified. Convincing yourself that you are a part of some chosen generation that should mindlessly do whatever you're told to do, regardless of whether or not it jives with rational thought. What if your child is gay? Your sister? Your brother? Just know free-thinking, compassionate human beings see you in the same way that you view those folks who thought your beloved prophet Joseph Smith's beliefs in the institution of marriage were immoral and wouldn't let him practice polygamy back in the 1800's. How dare they dictate who Joseph could and couldn't marry? Right? Do you understand the hypocrisy?

My daughter will be raised during the tenure of a black president. My daughter will be raised to know that no one should be persecuted for the sex of the person they choose to love and spend their life with. My daughter will be taught compassion.. FOR EVERYONE. Not the false compassion espoused by institutions like the LDS church. "We aren't anti-gay, we're pro-marriage between a man and a woman." You can couch it in any terms you like but it's bigotry, pure and simple. And hypocritical. And at the very least - it belongs in your religion and shouldn't be pushed on anyone else but your own damn church members. But what can you expect from a church run by old, white men who came of age before the civil rights movement?

Nonetheless, I am proud to be an American right now. Proud that my husband and I cast a ballot for a better future for our daughter, filled with the hope of things to come. To transition from apathy to very nearly vibrating with the positive momentum Obama has infused into millions of voters; young, old, black, white... To step away from fear mongering and red alerts and Bush/Cheney's constant warnings to be afraid America, be afraid of everything, we must attack before we're attacked, you need us to protect you... and now, finally, begin to pragmatically look at much of what has gone wrong - from economics to the environment, to health care and humanitarian disasters to the way Washington does business and try to fix our way of life. Today is a true changing of the government guards - in every sense. Now, instead of leaving the next generation reeling from all that has gone wrong in our country - we might now be able to leave our sons and daughters with a world far better than the one in which we were born.

Also, I'm now returning the blog to its private settings. I prefer writing for myself (and my daughter) these days. But these past few hours have been so historic and mind-blowingly beautiful that I felt compelled to share. For now, it's back to private again. The baby is due January 22nd. I'm shooting for inauguration day. How's that for a headliner on the newspapers I plan to save on the day of her birth?