In the heat of the Nov. 4 election, there are myriad issues that could be considered more pressing than gay marriage: the economy, health care, education, war, our infrastructure. But Proposition 8 has become a major issue that has raised fervent comments from people on both sides. Thus I desire to make my own voice heard, as it cannot be heard at the ballot.

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Isabelle D’Arcy

I, too, am of the opinion that children (like myself) should be protected. But unlike the argument in favor of Proposition 8, I assert that we should be protected from the notion that inequality is, under the law, just. If parents truly want to protect their children, I say protect them from discrimination, from learning that it’s us and them, from believing that it is OK for a group of people to be subjected to living without the same rights because it’s “not natural” or “it’s a choice” (as if being gay is transmitted through osmosis).

The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman, and for many this is sufficient reason to vote for Proposition 8, which seeks to ban gay marriage in California. However, I would argue that the Bible also says “Wives submit to your husbands, as is fitting to the Lord.” Who decides what portions of the Bible to accept as valid, and which to disregard as outdated? While obviously there is much to be learned and admired in the Bible, to base opposition to equality on a text proven to be off on several occasions is both hasty and superficial.

At least we can all agree that our nation prides itself on freedom. We have long been a place where others seek refuge from discrimination. And in this American spirit, we should grant the same equality to those who are gay, as we do to those who are not. Despite your personal feelings regarding homosexuality, our tradition of liberty for all, and of the separation of church and state must be preserved, in this case by the defeat of Proposition 8.

I am too young to vote. I am a child of a new generation and I see the world through different eyes. As a child, it upsets me to hear my classmates call someone a “fag” or say “that’s gay” in a derogatory way. It upsets me because despite the gains we have made in racial equality and to some extent in gender equality, our society has not yet reached a place where teaching our children equality for all is a “no duh.”

Andy Warhol once commented: “They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” Just as women lobbied for the vote and civil rights supporters marched in protest, we, too, must take this opportunity to stand for equality, so that the next generation will be free from the disrespect and disdain today that is shown to those who are gay. We need to change the culture. And a start is by voting “no” on Proposition 8. No to inequality … and yes to truly protecting our children’s futures.

Dos Pueblos High senior Isabelle D’Arcy is co-founder of Kids Speaking Up, a local group working to educate youth on social, national and political issues and inspire them to write.