A Right To Marriage: Thoughts On Prop 8

Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative banning gay marriages, has polarized many communities. As part of the YO! Youth Outlook Blog-A-Thon on the topic of modern love, youth journalist, Jaleesa Vickers, shares her point of view on Prop 8.


Fresno, CA—I feel very strongly about Prop 8. I was appalled when it passed. I thought that California was a very liberal state. Being a youth in the LGBTQ community, I took the news pretty hard. I am bisexual, and close-minded Californians took my right to marry whichever gender I want to marry away. Some people want to point fingers and argue that it’s not discrimination, but they are clouded by their hatred and misunderstanding that it is. It wasn’t too long ago that many minorities, especially African Americans, didn’t have simple rights, like voting or even drinking from certain water fountains.

People in the gay community are ordinary people who contribute to society. It’s awful that in the times we live in they’re treated like a disease. They work and pay taxes like anyone else, so why take away the right to an aspect of their personal life? Two straight people can marry, get divorced, and everything is fine. But if two gay people who love each other were to get married and live in happiness, it’s suddenly a problem.

It’s never been the government or anyone’s business who a person chooses to be with or even have sex with. So why do people only seem to care when it’s a gay couple? The point is it only boils down to two things in question: money and religion.

People are scared of offending God and the church if gay marriages were to be allowed. Being an atheist, I always ask the questions “If we were created in God’s image, why are so many of us homosexual, or why are we different races? If it’s against God’s will to be gay, why did God make it so people could be gay?” Truth is, no one knows and probably won’t ever know. People are ruled by this fear of going to hell. If gay people want to get married, and take the “chance” of going to “hell,” then that’s their issue.

Although it differs from state to state, one thing that hurts is that most gay couples can’t get social security benefits or take out insurance policies. If benefits in this country are supposed to be equal, then make them completely equal.

On another note, calling “gay marriage” a civil union is wrong. People in normal marriages get benefits that people in civil unions don’t. If it’s not called marriage, it isn’t true marriage. Giving it another name to dumb it down is not the way to go. Either it’s marriage or it isn’t.

Say you’re a straight man wanting to marry your high school sweetheart. How would you feel if the government suddenly said you couldn’t marry him/her? What if they said you couldn’t marry anyone of the opposite sex? That would feel awful. That’s just a taste of what the gay community feels.

I feel everyone should be able to marry whomever, gender, race, and sexual orientation. We are all humans with our own minds, and our personal choices shouldn’t be hindered by the minds and choices of others.

The kNOw Youth Media
The kNOw works to support and equip young people with the journalism and advocacy skills they need to tell their stories and the stories of their communities.

In 2006, over 25 youth began participating in weekly after-school writing workshops where they congregated in the hallway of a two-story building in West Fresno and learned the essentials of creating media and telling their stories. The group evolved over the next five years and is now proudly recognized as The kNOw Youth Media.

Through our program, we create opportunities for our youth participants, who in turn create long-term positive change in their communities. Our approach weaves youth development and youth media innovation to produce our biannual youth publication, multimedia projects, and community forums.

The kNOw began as a project of New America Media, which was the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations. In 2018 The kNOw became a project of Youth Leadership Institute.

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