A friend of mine used my letter as a writing exercise in one of her classes…

This is what she wrote me:

BEGIN:

Man, oh man… WHAT A DAY! 🙂

My Prop 8 writing exercise turned into a huge debate in one of my classes, and the debate transformed into a wonderful socratic seminar session with 100% student engagement. That NEVER happens! My students thoroughly enjoyed your posting and their involvement in class was enhanced tenfold. Thank you.

Here’s a writing exercise I received from one of my students. The assignment was to argue for or against Prop 8 and write a reflective conclusion of your posting. This 10th grader has been in the states for less than two years, so keep that in mind. (Oh, and he only had 30 minutes to write this.)

STUDENT RESPONSE:

A lot of money was spent in protesting for and against prop8 and it was under a major discussion amongst American voters prior to the election today. The content of prop8 brings about many controversial arguments. Should gay marriage be prohibited? The proponents of prop8 insist that marriage is sacred and it should be a structure shared between a man and woman and even the definition in dictionaries strengthens this claim. These proponents also use their religious background to support gay marriage ban. However, this notion that only heterosexuals should be allowed to legally marry ignores the natural right of all human beings, freedom of choice.

Most colonists migrated to America because they objected to the tyranny of European monarchs. Now, the proponents of prop8 are making the same mistakes committed by European monarchs, not taking into consideration that every human being should be able to pursue their happiness. The supporters of prop8 are endeavoring to force people to have traditional marriage because they are worried about telling their kids that it is okay to marry someone of same sex?

People that are close minded should reference the principle of Enlightenment and free themselves from religious confinements instead of limiting themselves to what the bible says. The philosophy behind the principle of Enlightenment is that people should have the privilege to abolish anything which suppresses people from what they want. Yes on prop8 campaigns use kids and sex education as a selling point but the proponents do not realize that voting yes would create more confusion for kids of the American education system because American education system teaches ideals of philosophers like John Locke, Rosseau and Montesquie who have all argued that we should free ourselves from society’s limitations. Why don’t the proponents see that their argument is flawed? Do they really want to betray their kids’ rights and prohibit gay marriage while antithetically teaching them theories of philosophers who say that we should free ourselves from suppression in any
form to be happy?

Freedom of choice must be guaranteed to promote every individual’s pursuit of happiness. It’s only right to have a choice and no one should be forced out of achieving what they dream of, especially in United States, the country that is heavily constructed by the philosophy of Enlightenment.

Lastly, I have never met a gay person in my life and I can hardly believe that a guy can love another guy. But if I was old enough to vote, I would have voted no on prop8 for the straight guy.  END.

So, if this 16 year old straight kid who has been in the country for 2 years can figure this out… what is taking everyone else on earth so long???

An update in 4 Parts…

November 7, 2008

PART 1:

So, as most people know, there have already been a number of rallies in West Hollywood since the election.

Last night I was hosting a female friend of mine visiting from the east coast.  BTW, she went through a ‘gay’ phase and is now married to a man with 2 kids that she adores.  My point is, she gets it.

I took her two blocks up the street to a famous bar/restaurant called “Barney’s Beanery” and it was packed with presumably all straight people watching football (because that is what we do).

This bar had a sign on it’s front door declaring “FAGS – STAY OUT!” until 1984!  Yes, I said 1984.  You remember Boy George singing Karma Chameleon, right?  Yeah, THEN.

All of a sudden, there were 5 LAPD patrol cars that blocked up the intersection and no one knew what was happening…

Then we could hear the yelling from outside and I saw another one of the Protest marches coming right by the bar.  I told my friend I need to go outside and experience this.  She got her camera and started taking pictures.  A few other people spilled out of the bar and it was the conversations around me that gave me hope…

A girl behind me said, “This is just so wrong.  I can’t believe that they had their rights taken away.”  And another guy next to her ‘ditto-ed’ that sentiment.  Another male said, “I voted against it.”  And when the crowd passed by everyone standing outside was cheering and yelling in support.  Just as they were doing inside when the Broncos scored a touchdown.

It reminded me of when a football team is on the goal line and they only need one yard for the score… everyone on the team will line up behind the guy with the ball and even if they aren’t touching the ball will PUSH, PUSH, PUSH their teammate across the line for the score.  All in the name of the team.

Let’s hope those that voted Yes on Prop 8 become as weak as the Browns defensive line last night… it can happen.

It was a moving experience for me standing outside a bar that used to not allow ‘fags’ inside and to see such an outpouring of support, albeit indirectly.

It showed me that although there is a LONG way to go to repeal Prop 8, there is an opening in my straight world that will help that process along… I have faith in my people.  You should too.

For a brief moment, my friend and I were able to smile in the midst of such indignity.

That smile didn’t last long as my friend looked at our check… “a pitcher of beer is $18??”

“Welcome to L.A., darlin’.”

PART 2:

I want to highly recommend the followin blog by Tom Gregory who is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-gregory/fagots—stay-out_b_141698.html

PART 3:

In other celebrity news, Melissa Ethridge has also posted a rant.

“Why should I pay the same state taxes everyone else does if I don’t have the same rights?”

You can read it here…

www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2008-11-06/you-can-forget-my-taxes

PART 4:

Lastly, my friend, Pauley Perette (you may know her from NCIS) took some of her own video footage from the rally held the day after Prop 8 passed.

This is the email that accompanied her video:

“Yes, of course I was there.
My camera work is crappy because I was crying.
I forget how hateful people are, and when reminded, it sux.
There is lots of video, but this is Rev. Thomas.
And I concur…
“As a person of faith, I will continue to stand up against religious bigotry”.

As a person of faith, and of justice and of civil rights…
I will too.

For all of the pain Prop 8 has caused to good people,
You are loved, You are equal and You are awesome.
Prop 8 hurts all people.
Some just don’t know it yet.

Live, Love and Be Strong.

Bless,
Pauley Perrette

WARNING: This clip will MOVE you.

Thank you for listening.

To all the straight dudes like me out there:

It’s the day before the election.

By the end of tomorrow, my best friend will know whether or not he can be legally married in the state of California.  And as the polls stand right now, it looks like he won’t be able to do that.  And that bums me out, brother.

If you told me when I was growing up that my best friend would be gay I’d have laughed in your face, maybe even punched you in it.  I grew up in a rural area of Maryland filled with mullets, acid wash jeans and the good ole boys that wore them both.  Hell, I was one of ‘em… part of me still is.  I went to Catholic school, a private university and didn’t know an openly gay person until I moved to Los Angeles.

I played “smear the queer”, called my friends “faggots” and if someone did something silly or stupid, I’d call him “gay”.  I simply had no frame of reference.  Perhaps if you are reading this, you don’t either and I can appeal to you in these final hours…

I know every single one of you (whether you are man enough to admit it or not) hopes to find your perfect partner… dare I say soulmate?  Personally, I have visions of finding “love at first sight”, going through the first stages of love where I can’t get enough of this beautiful woman, falling madly in love with her, marrying and living happily ever after where we both die peacefully in our sleep holding hands.

Guess what?  We aren’t the only ones that have those feelings.  Gay men and women have the exact same dreams that we do, because that is what PEOPLE do… dream.   We dream of what we want to be when we grow up, the kind of house we want to live in, where we are going to vacation and what our perfect relationship looks like.  And just like all of us straight guys where we prefer blondes over brunettes over redheads, there are some people that prefer others of the same sex.  That’s really all there is to it.  Believe it or not, they aren’t doing it to spite you.

I know that some of you who oppose same sex marriage want to make this into a huge deal where the door will be open for people to marry rabbits and aliens and anything else you can imagine, but the simple fact of the matter is, that argument doesn’t work.

My gay best friend doesn’t want to marry a rabbit any more than I do.  Or an alien for that matter.  (Although I would have sex with that hot alien chick on the new Battlestar Gallactica.)

I am in the entertainment industry and since moving to L.A., I have met hundreds of gay guys and I have to tell you all a secret… “Shhhh… they are people EXACTLY like you and me except they happen to like other dudes.”  I know that seems weird to you.  It did to me too when I first moved out here, but since then I have observed them and taken notes and this is what I have found:

OBSERVATION OF THE GAYS:

1)    They have feelings just like you and me.  They experience love, hate, jealousy, disappointment and elation.
2)    Some of them actually have more successful relationships than we do.  Imagine that.  Two people in a relationship that actually works.  What would you give for that?  I’ve looked up to the sky and offered God ANYTHING for a successful relationship.  I’m still waiting and I envy ANYONE that can make that work.
3)    Gays are PEOPLE.  They are entitled to the same things all other people are: the right to vote, the right to free speech and should be afforded the right to marry one another.  It’s simply a matter of equality.
4)    Gays are generally clean.  This has nothing to do with anything, but I wanted to share ALL of the data with you.

My best friend is an amazing singer and one late night, we were hanging out with a few friends and he sang, “Loch Lomond” (look it up).  When he was finished, without even thinking about it, I said, “One day, I want you to sing that at my wedding.”  He was honored.

And then I started thinking about what honor I could bestow upon him to reciprocate.  And it hit me that I may never be able to do something like that for him if Prop 8 passes tomorrow.

I’ve seen him these last two weeks in the throws of a budding relationship and it has been a real education for me.  I’m not used to being this tight with a buddy who also happens to be gay and I have to say there are still things that open my eyes.

He’s in that beautiful, romantic phase of a new relationship where they want to spend every moment together.  I’ve never seen him so happy.  So inspired.  And that makes me happy.  Although it is still hard for me to understand how he can be physically attracted to another guy (we’re loud, sweaty and not that smart), what I do understand and appreciate are the feelings.  And it is absolutely amazing to witness.

I hope he falls madly in love with this guy, they move in together and if they so choose, are allowed to marry one another in the eyes of the law and all of their “fabulous” party guests.  If that happens, I’m sure I’ll cry. (I’m a sucker for weddings).

And in the meantime, I’m going to remain positive and think about what I can do for him at his wedding.  It’s only fair.  As it looks between the two of them now, I better start taking guitar lessons tonight.

So from one bro to another, I’d like to ask this favor:  Please vote No on Prop 8.

Even if you don’t want to do it for the gay guys because you don’t know them, do it for me… a straight dude.

Because I really can’t stand having to owe anyone anything!

Thank you for reading this.

NO ON 8!