with Sara and Veronica
We're two moms with different backgrounds, jobs and points of view, writing about our opinions on the political and social issues affecting working moms. We'll also keep our eye on the media and the celebrity mom world to highlight issues that are relevant to your life.
Check out our personal blogs: Veronica's Blog and Sara's Blog
In 2004 or 2005 I was sitting in my optometrist’s waiting room with my, now 5-year-old, daughter. I want to say it was 2005 because I was trying to use a Newsweek to distract her. I picked up the issue and pointed to the man on the cover, “He’s going to be our next President.” She smiled and went on flipping through the magazine. Yes, that man was Barack Obama. Last night she stayed up until just past 10 pm Chicago time to witness history. She went with one of my best friends, her aunt by love, not blood, to vote after school. She was so happy!
I’m still on a high from this and I think all Obama supporters will be for quite some time. Yet what Obama is doing and what we need to be doing is planning for the future. But first, let’s see how the rest of the ballot shook out:
U.S. Senate – Democrats gained 5 seats for a total of 56 seats, not filibuster proof, but a good majority. (at press time a few seats are still up in the air)
U.S. House of Representatives – Democrats gained a lot of seats for a total of 251 seats!
Propositions that were very women or family-centric –
• Florida appears (too close to call at press time) to have voted a ban on same-sex marriage into the state constitution.
• South Dakota, voters rejected an absolute ban on abortion except for cases of rape, incest and severe threat to the life of the mother. Voters in South Dakota rejected an even stricter proposal two years ago that did not include exceptions for rape and incest. [link]
• Colorado also failed in a far-reaching constitutional amendment that would have defined human life as beginning at conception. The adoption of this referendum would have made any abortion illegal and also extended human and property rights to foetuses. [link]
• California appears split on the two big propositions – No on abortion notification and yes on banning gay marriage (also too close to call at press time)
• Oregon rejects a proposition to limit ESL to two years for students.
• Arizona also passes a ban on gay marriage
• Arkansas passes a ban on same-sex couples from adopting.
• Michigan’s stem-cell measure is still up in the air, but looking like it will pass and allow for stem cell research.
• Nebraska has voted out affirmative action.
I look at our country, who and what it voted for and see a glaring area of social change that must be addressed – lesbian & gay rights. There is no denying that we need, as a country, have the conversation about how we want to deal with LGBT rights.
Same-sex marriage:: To me, it is plain and simply about love. Love between two people who want to be recognized by the state NOT by a house of worship, but the state, the government in order for them to use the thousands of benefits that come to married hetero-couples. From hospital visits to inheriting estate as a survivor, these benefits are crucial for us to have a society that treats all its citizens equally.
Allowing lesbians and gays to adopt:: This one still baffles me. Do we really think that having a child go from foster home to group home is better than settling into a loving family that just might be headed by two women or two men? Seriously? Sorry, I can’t think of much else to say about this because to me, children come first and if they don’t have a problem living with a same-sex couple, love them and want to be adopted I don’t see what the fuss is all about.
I know, I’ve heard all the stances on why we can’t have two women raise children…But most opposition to LGBT rights is based in religious texts and I respect that. What I don’t respect is others wanting all of us to live under those religious views. There is nothing about a lesbian marriage that puts my hetero marriage in danger or in need of any sort of protection.
President-elect Obama opposes marriage equality, yet marriage equality is part of the solution to many ills we suffer in this country. Marriage equality would allow for two men to be on each other’s health insurance. Obama isn’t planning on creating a national healthcare system, so we are going to need to make sure everyone can get on our partner’s insurance plan. It would alleviate a widow’s double whammy, allow her to collect survivor’s benefits and live a better life. Immigration is an issue as well. There are 1138 Federal rights afforded to married couples and not civil unions OR marriages allowed by states.
Obama espouses a message of unity and he can’t unite the country until he faces this question of inequality head on.
Please join me and other feminists tonight as we discuss what does indeed come next. The attack on LGBT rights will surely be front and center as well as the continued attack on women’s reproductive rights. What else will be on the agenda? Attend the town forum and propose an issue. That’s the problem with winning an election, you also win the problems that need to be solved. Despite being so tired, I have hope that we can do it.
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