No matter how you look at it, Proposition 8 is discriminatory and hateful. By using your voice and vowing to Vote No on Prop. 8 this coming election, you can help send a message that Californians wont tolerate the law dictating and defining who we love and our right to choose who we share our lives with.
If Proposition 8 were to pass, it would continue to reinforce discriminatory notions of the LGBTI community. Enforcing the idea that being “gay” or “lesbian” is wrong. So as the rest of the country looks to California on this controversial issue, on our stance on Prop. 8, will we be able to look back after November 4th and say that we’ve progressed or that we’ve taken 2 giant steps backwards?
As a Japanese American woman in her mid-20’s, the thought of marriage has crossed my mind. What if someone told me I couldn’t marry someone because of their race? Their opinions? Their blood type? I wouldn’t know how to react, I’d be furious. You and I both would probably stand there and ask, what does that have to do with two people, who are willing to exchange vows of commitment to one another, promising to be there through sickness and in health, ’til death do they part?
Marriage has historically been a battleground for discrimination. This is apparent in cases such as the Cable Act of 1922, which was later repealed in 1936, where women who were married to foreign nationals (some Japanese) were forced to forfeit their US citizenship. Fortunately we have made progress in this nation in the 1967 Supreme Court ruling of Loving vs. Virginia, which lifted the ban on interracial marriages. We have already battled marriage on the grounds of race and ethnicity, now the fight is for gender and sexual equality!
How do we continue to teach future generations about equality, social justice and acceptance? Will we teach them to love openly and to be open-minded, or will we teach them to discriminate, judge others, and fear what they themselves do not understand?
The choices we make in our lives should be our own. The choice to love someone shouldn’t be dictated by the law. And how we define the term “marriage” should be at one’s own discretion.
Nakayoshi, like its parent organization, the National Japanese American Citizens League, vows to vote No on Proposition 8 this upcoming election. We encourage you to join us in this vow if you haven’t done so already (I have!).
The JACL has been an advocate of marriage equality for years, recognized as one of the first non-LGBT organizations in the nation to support this issue, they have joined the “No on Prop 8 Equality for All” campaign in efforts to ensure that all Californians are given their fundamental rights to equality, freedom and fairness regardless of their sexual orientation.
Below, we hope you take the time and read a letter distributed by the JACL Northern Western Nevada Pacific District, asking for the support of all Nakayoshi members to act, educate and vote No on Prop. 8.
Dear Nakayoshi Young Professionals,
The Northern California Western Nevada Pacific District (NCWNP) of the National Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) has joined the “No on Prop. 8” campaign in support of marriage equality in the state of California.
As a civil rights organization with nearly a 75-year history of advocating for the fair treatment of all people, the NCWNP District reaffirms its stance first taken in 1994 by the National JACL to support marriage equality and the right to choose one’s partner. JACL encourages every voter to oppose Proposition 8, which would amend the California Constitution to restrict the civil and human rights of thousands by recognizing marriage as valid only between a man and a woman.
When the California Supreme Court overturned the ban on gay marriage on May 18th of this year, National JACL President Larry Oda stated, “The JACL commends the California Supreme Court for its decision regarding marriage equality for all Californians. We believe all people should have the right to marry whom they choose.” Proposition 8 “would blatantly deny a specific group of people the respect and dignity of equal treatment under the law,” Oda added.
Domestic partnerships limit the rights of couples, while marriage equality protects the rights of all couples.
Civil rights organizations that are part of the anti-Proposition 8 coalition include (a partial list) Asian and Pacific Islander Equality (Los Angeles and San Francisco), Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California and Chinese for Affirmative Action (San Francisco).
Regardless of how you feel about this issue, please help guarantee the same fundamental rights and equality of every Californian.
Join us in voting “No on Prop. 8” on November 4th.
Sincerely,Megumi Kaminaga & Jenn Suzuki
NCWNP Youth Representatives