Vote No on Proposition 8

In four years of blogging, I have rarely ventured into the political arena. I see this space as a place to discuss technology, life at Sun, the socialization of technology, and to provide commentary on music, books and comics. I am way under that long tail of content, and happy to be there.

But - four years ago, I appealed for people to vote, and on Election Day 2008 here in the US, I feel compelled to do the same. And this time it's another friend that prompts me to get politically active with the keyboard.

Tom is one of those friends who makes it feel like you've known him your whole life. I can go two years without talking to him on the phone, but the next call has the social context of a weekly update. We keep up with each other through blogs, email, pictures, holiday cards, and lifecycle events. I got him to play ice hockey (no small feat for a Los Angeleno who believes cold is a place you go skiing, not a weather pattern); I assisted on his first goal; I consider him my linemate for life. Been like that for 26 years. He's the kind of guy you want to have every happiness life can afford. And I'd like to see that happiness legally extended to Tom's husband George.

Which is why I think Californians have to vote "no" on Proposition 8 today. Tom and George are a happily married couple who should be afforded every Constitutional right to their own pursuit of happiness. More important, they should have every legal right to take care of each other "until death do us part." The bulk of the effort in making a marriage work is dealing with life's curve balls. Why would you want to regulate that?

Taking away that right - and that's what laws do, they tend to regulate what you can't do - scrapes too close to the Bill of Rights and I personally find that notion very wrong. At Sun, I'm the executive sponsor of our Asian Diversity Network, an employee resource group that makes sure we recognize, celebrate and benefit from diversity in our workforce. I am not technically identified as Asian, but a large number of engineers who work for me do affiliate with the ADN, and I take their representation at Sun quite seriously. Change the wording in Proposition 8 to affect any other employee resource group and you have a scary set of laws -- but as Terry McKenzie points out, laws that were on the books in California during our lifetime. Why reset such legal precendent?

You can read more of Tom's thoughts on California newspapers urging "no" votes, on the reasons he and George got married, on the myths and distortions hiding in a variety of rhethoric, and most important, get a sense of why legal recognition of same-sex marriage is critical.

It's important to Tom and George, so it's important to me - another of those long-tail recommendation effects.

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Hal Stern's thoughts on software, services, cloud computing, security, privacy, and data management

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