As I stood out on a street corner in my hometown of Granite Bay, Calif., with my youngest brother, I questioned my sanity. It was raining, I was cold, and I was tired of getting yelled at by people in the cars that drove by. Needless to say, it didn’t help that moments later, someone chucked a giant Slurpee at us, adding to my already soaked clothes.
I was a senior in high school, so my attitude wasn’t always as positive as it should have been, but I felt like standing at an intersection with a “Yes on 8” sign was pointless, especially since I didn’t think it would pass.
My parents were called as “coordinators” for the Yes on 8 campaign, which meant that, as their children, we would spend countless hours passing out fliers, distributing signs, knocking on doors and standing on street corners in the rain. I was also not too happy about putting a “Yes on 8” sticker on the back of my car window either, which ultimately led to my car getting keyed and the word “bigot” written on my back window.
Eventually, my mom realized I wasn’t too happy with the whole situation and had a little talk with me. She explained to me that I had a choice and didn’t need to be a part of it if I didn’t want to. I figured it would be best to remain in the middle and not take a stand on either side of the Prop 8 issue, but that didn’t exactly pan out. You were either for it or against it.
My reasoning for not supporting either side was mostly due to the fact that I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I had homosexual friends and family members, so I was worried about offending them. That was until a conversation I had with a teacher changed all of that.
I stayed after class one day to go over an essay I had written when my teacher asked me my opinion about Prop 8. I thought the question was inappropriate, so I tripped over a few words and deemed it a good enough response. She could tell I was uncomfortable with the question, so she simply told me to “figure it out for myself.” I didn’t necessarily respect that teacher, but I decided to take her advice.
I finally did find out where I stood on the issue. I read countless studies about the effects of marriage on children and in society. I formulated my opinion without my parents, teachers or friends looking over my shoulder and came to the conclusion that I supported traditional marriage.
I stopped wavering when people asked me about how I felt concerning Prop 8. When the sticker on my car was ripped off, I replaced it with a new one. When we stood out on street corners, I started to smile instead of count down the minutes until I could leave. I was glad that I was standing up for something I believed in.
When Prop 8 passed, I was surprised, but grateful. After all, I had watched my parents and ward members diligently work to get the proposition passed. The majority of Californians agreed with my stance and decided to uphold traditional marriage. However, that victory was short lived.
On June 26, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples would be entitled to federal benefits and that it wouldn’t keep California’s elected and court officials from backing away from a voter-approved amendment to the state constitution, thus facilitating same-sex marriage.
I actually think same-sex couples deserve the same federal benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy, but I was disappointed that the Supreme Court decided it knew better than the people.
I think this is a frightening precedent to set. When the majority of the people have voted in favor of a law, it should be upheld. I mean, isn’t that the beauty of a democratic system? We the people have a say, something most other countries don’t enjoy.
However, that “voice” is being silenced by nine justices. That is a lot of power in the hands of a small group. And when that small group gets to make a decision for a country that didn’t directly put it in that position of power, I believe that is a scary thing.