Proposition 8

Barry and I are very much looking forward to the Shoestring Productions reading at the MIller Center on Friday evening. It’s called Prop 8 and deals with the issue of gay marriage and the Californina referendum that nullified the right given to gays and lesbians to marrry in that state. Lots of money and lobbying was used to pass Prop 8. The Mormon Church poured LOTS of money into assuring that the Prop was passed.
Last week I had lunch with an old friend from college. She is a lesbian. After graduation she joined the USMC and rose to the rank of captain. She was in charge of all basic education for the Quantico Marine Base until the Corps decided that her sexuality made her unfit for service. She was released with no benefits. One her last day in the Corps, a psychiatrist at the base suggested that once she was back in civilian life she should seek psychiatric therapy to “cure” her. She told the doctorlishe didn’t think that would happen! (Until much more recentlly than you would believe, homosexuality was listed as a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association.)
My friend is a fine woman whose life was truly upheaved by her dismissal from the USMC. She developed a severe alcohol problem that she has since overcome, but she has many health problems. She worked in a factory for many years and lives in a trailer. She’s not desitute – her factory job provided her with decent benefits, and she has many good friends. She is a strong woman who seems to have little is any bitterness about what the USMC did to her future. She is a true and loyal friend, and I am proud that after all these years, we still get to have lunch and a long chat whenever she comes to PA.
Last week I told her about the Shoestring Production that we were going to see, and she said how happy she was to see the huge progress that has been made in this country during her lifetime when it comes to rights/tolerance/understanding/acceptance of individual sexual orientation. (In my opinion, we haven’t come far enough!) But, as she said, once not too long ago, biracial marriage was illegal in many states, and in those where it wasn’t illegal, biracial couples were often not accepted, and they and their children were often treated cruelly. Many college students, I know from recent discussion, can’t believe this was ever the case. Maybe in the not too distant future gay and lesbian marriage will also be accepted without a second thought.
“And miles to go before I sleep.”

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