Please vote no on Proposition 8 in California

I hate intolerance. One of the things my philosophy agree taught me is that some people will just hold an opinion different from yours and you just need to be tolerant of that view. But some people are trying to legislate intolerance in California with Proposition 8 which will ban gay marriage. Now normally I keep the political stuff on my personal blog, but this is something that I cannot be quiet about when I happen to have a blog that reaches some people in California who can vote and an even larger audience who can donate to help this cause.

Proposition 8 prevents something that in no way harms anyone. I know some people believe that gay marriage will ruin the institution of marriage, but Massachusetts is not suffering from a collective crisis on the subject of marriage since legalizing it. And I know plenty of gay couples living in a relationship that is just like marriage, rings and all, but without the legal perks which seems really unfair. If you have ever suffered from any kind of prejudice you know how crappy it can feel (and I actually have, believe it or not, so I speak from experience).

And come on, Vermont has legalized civil unions! California is supposed to be the state that is tolerant and progressive. It's going to seem really stupid if California actually bans gay marriage after it was found to go against the State Constitution as it is currently written while these other states are starting to realize that gay marriage or civil unions are not going to hurt anybody.

Now I am tolerant of people who don't like gay marriage. But forcing your dislikes upon an entire state just because you don't like something is not exactly a fundamental principle of what the United States of America was based upon. Freedom of religion is based on the idea that the nation is tolerant of different beliefs, whether you like them or not. If you don't like an idea, don't follow it, but don't force others to not be able to follow their beliefs if it does not harm you. This same basic tolerance should extend outward into the American (and Californian) culture. But it looks like this might actually be a close vote.

So please vote no on Proposition 8. I feel strongly enough about this that I donated $50 to the cause and that is a good chunk of my grocery money for the month (being a Ph.D. student who spends his free time volunteering for an open source project is not exactly lucrative). I feel strongly enough about this that I am giving away money and blogging about this on my 30th birthday.

And if you happen to live outside of California and think the proposition is wrong, please donate. The "yes" vote has gotten a fair amount of money from outside the state, so don't feel like you are meddling any more than they are (and for the record I am registered to vote in California). Hell, if you want to thank me somehow for my open source work or want to get me something for my birthday, donate some money instead.