Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Proposition 8. There is so much that comes up for me when I write these words that I am finding it difficult to know where to begin. Like many of my gay brothers and sisters here in California, I was shocked by the passage of such a blatantly discriminatory and bigoted law. I truly thought the people of California had moved beyond this. I felt that maintaining our image of being on the forefront of societal evolution and advancement would be enough for people to swing this vote in our favor. I donated money. I talked to my fiends and family. I put reminders in our school newsletter. I voted early. In short, I did what I thought would be more than was necessary for victory. It never occurred to me that an electorate willing to vote for an African American would also be wlling to vote to deny the rights of my group: Gay Americans.

I was despondent that Wednesday morning, and all I could focus on was the news reports that African American women were somehow the deciding factor in 8's passage. I felt hurt and sadness and rage. I wanted to yell "Shame on you!" to the first black I saw. I found myself looking around me at the people driving their cars and wondering if they had been one of the 52% that voted to take away my marriage. I wanted to go out and start an initiative that would somehow set them back as far and make them feel as bad as I did right then. No matter where I turned or what I did, thoughts of this betrayal by my fellow Americans would not leave my mind.

My class that morning was taught by an African American woman, and as I sat in my usual seat wondering again how this had happened and what my next steps would be, she walked into the room. Before even putting her things down, she walked up to me, put her hand on my shoulder and said, "I voted No." It touched something deep within me. My sadness was not dispelled, and my anger was not diminished. But I realized that 52% is a lot more than African American women. 52% is all kinds of people, and it is counterproductive to begin laying the blame at the feet of one particular group. Don't get me wrong, those minorities who voted for this terrible thing should feel ashamed to their very cores, but in a 52% world, I realized that for each minority who voted to take away my rights, one stepped up and voted for me to keep them. That is what I focus on now.

I also think the time to let this decision be decided nicely by the electorate has passed. Like any struggle for their rights, the minority must agitate until those rights are RECOGNIZED NOT BESTOWED! By putting this up for a vote, there is the message that this issue is for anyone to decide. It is not for anyone to decide but my spouse and me. And to all those who say this is the will of the people, I say the true purpose of our Founders was to protect the minority from the will of the majority. My marriage is mine. No one's but mine. Keep your fucking morals out of it!

And to all of those who think it is time to go back and raise more money and make more phone calls and wait two more years for another election cycle, I say you are so out of touch it is scary. The time is NOW! I refuse to wait two more years for what is mine. I refuse to be satisfied with having rights only in California. I refuse to put my rights to yet another vote. It is time to show people that they need to back off. I'm hearing in the news that supporters of Prop 8 are asking why we don't just get over it. I want to know why THEY don't just get over it! Why don't THEY just quietly shake their heads and realize that this is the way of the world? Why don't THEY just stop the bullying and move on to something else? Why don't THEY stop coming up with these discriminatory ballot initiatives? Why is it my responsibility to "get over it"?

Fuck that shit! I am just getting under it. I am just setting my shoulders into the yoke I have lived with for my whole life. I am planting my feet and tensing my muscles. I will throw this yoke off my shoulders once and for all. And I don't need any one's permission to do it!

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