Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy and Sad

Tuesday night I stayed up until 3:30 a.m. to watch the end of the 2008 election, when President-Elect Obama stood in front of a huge crowd in Chicago and gave another inspiring speech. I cried along with everyone else who believed that the United States needed a new direction. The last 8 years have been a disaster for us and for many around the world. I am hoping that President Obama can end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, can begin to do something about global warming and can help keep people from losing their homes. It felt like a new era in the United States.

Before I went to bed, I checked the status of Proposition 8, which was on the California ballot. It looked like it was winning.

When I woke up on Wednesday morning, after only 4 hours sleep, I checked again. It looked like Proposition 8 had won.

Proposition 8 was put on the ballot in response to a recent decision by the California State Supreme Court that said it was unconstitutional to deny the right to same-sex couples to marry. Proposition 8 would change the constitution so that they did not have that right.

This is the first time in the history of the United States that voters have voted to change the constitution to take a right AWAY from someone.

There are many kinds of discrimination and prejudice that still exist in the United States, but it was ironic for me that on the day that the first Black man was elected President of the United States, California took rights away from another group of people.

I know many gay and lesbian couples who were so happy to be able to get married legally in the past few months. Even though I myself was not planning on getting married, I feel the pain that they feel now that this right has been taken away.

The United States is supposed to be the land of freedom, equality and justice for all. But on Tuesday, voters in California made a decision that will affect people for years to come. Their decision to take away this very important right sends the wrong message to people in the United States and around the world. I'm happy to have a new president who I think can bring positive changes to my country, but I am very sad about what happened in California on Tuesday.

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