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6 comments | Wednesday, November 05, 2008

With 92% of the precincts reporting(as of 9:30 AM EST) supporters of Prop 8 are leading 51.9% to 48.1%. Many in the gay community are holding out hope until the last minute but it looks like this battle has been lost...for now.

I'm opening up this post to get your thoughts on the results of Prop 8 and what you think our community should do going forward to secure equality for EVERY citizen under the law.

What do you think went wrong?

What could the No on 8 campaign could have done differently?

What do you think this means for the 16,000 gay and lesbian couples married in California?

Was huge black voter turnout a factor in passage of the amendment?

Are black gay organizations not doing enough to combat homophobia in the black community?

Do you think marriage equality will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court?

It'll probably be a few days before I can write a complete analysis of Prop 8 in CA, Prop 102 in Arizona, and Amendment 2 in FL , but I want to leave you with two different perspectives on the initiatives from LGBT folks that really hit home with me that I found on the web.

"Here in my odd world of California, there is a weird comparison that can be made between Propositions 2 and 8.

Proposition 2 is described in the initiative as follows:

The purpose of this Act is to prohibit the cruel confinement of farm animals in a manner that does not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs.

So in my mind, perhaps the saddest commentary on "liberal" Californians sense of equality and fairness is to say that in my home state where, to this point, 63.3% of its voters found the mistreatment of farm animals something worthy of being legislated against, and 52.8% of voters believed eliminating the fundamental right of gays and lesbians to marry worthy of a state constitutional amendment.

Whether or not Proposition 8 ends up being defeated or being approved by California voters, one way to look at the Prop 8 vote is in light of the Proposition 2 vote. And that is that a larger percentage of Californians are against mistreating farm animals in how these animals are caged than are against mistreating gay and lesbian human beings by eliminating their fundamental marriage rights. Put simply, If one evaluates by the votes cast and the percentages of the votes cast, the rights of farm animals appear to be more important to Californians than the rights of gay and lesbian human beings." -Autumn Sandeen

"As for those of us who were married in the state of California since June 17th, please remember that we have built strong relationships against all odds, with little support of friends, family, and/or society since the history of time. I am going to fall asleep next to the person I love, the very same person I've been committed to for the past ten years, the same guy I married July 3rd, and I will awake next to that same man and keep that promise I made to him regardless of what the voters of California say about my relationship; and together, he and I will continue our fight for full equality. I hope that the rest of you will be with us in that fight."-Mike


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

What happened?

The No on 8 response was too damned nice. To much kumbahyah "we're people too" and not enough "Those religious fanatics are baby eating nazi's who assault on civil liberties will not stop with us."

There was a lack of imagery detailing the potential horrors of religious bases persecution, not enough fight.

The moment the No on 8 group saw that it was close, they should have vilified the fuck out of the opposition; called them out on their lies and willingness to manipulate children to get their point across.

The man backers should have been excoriated in public.

And worst of all, the gay men and women who say back an said "oh it couldn't happen" did nothing have to fucking suck it up that they didn't do a damned thing! That they just talked and did not hit the street or upbraid No on 8 for hitting with a warhammer instead of a feather.

November 05, 2008 10:52 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I am pleased that the gay organizations WORKED to make American inclusive. My suggestions would be that we (1) begin a strict boycott to send the message, we are not going to be violated. (2) We need financial and working support of organization that have a LGBT dimension. (3) We need to have a site that is unbashingly direct in noting any efforts, words or policies that are unquestionable against our MOVEMENT. (4) Lastly, we need to begin to LIFT UP a spokes person who can talk, travel and organize. I want a black person, a white person, an inner city person, etc.

November 05, 2008 6:17 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Maybe it's because I'm outside of the US and so I don't have a full picture, but as I scanned the press over there I just didn't see (gay)people being vocal enough about the issue, there was hardly any visibility. What I thought I noticed was an eleventh-hour effort by a few noteable people to take up the cause. Not enough was done, period!
I thought not many people showed that they cared about how this was going to impact on their lives. I think there's a trend of not many people being involved in serious issues. I see this in the blogs and other publications that I read from time to time.
But I also blame organisations that are supposed to be looking after black gay issues. As far as I'm concerned they need to rethink their priorities and do more to fight for gay rights. Engage the public from time to time, engage the authorities, let gay issues be heared all throughout the year. Let us see images of positive black gay people. The more visible these images, the more people will see that gays are as 'normal' as heterosexuals. Let's demistify homosexuality.You can't change all people but others will be inclined to have a different mindset.

November 06, 2008 1:50 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Where is the gay Dr. Martin L. King, Jr? Where is the gay Malcolm X? Where is the gay Rosa Parks? Where is the gay Emmet Till? Why aren't we turning our murdered brothers and sisters into Emmet Till-like figures?

The homophobes certainly have THEIR leaders, usually preachers and certain politicians who demogogue the gay issue for their own purposes.

November 06, 2008 6:47 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

A few weeks ago, Sarah Palin mis-stated something that President Elect Obama said about it being a shame that the Civil Rights Movement stopped being a grass roots campaign when the courts started getting involved. I've heard this arguement before, some people feel that Black people would have greater economic and social equality if change had not been forced through the courts. While I can understand where they are coming from, my view is that people's Civil Rights shouldn't be left up to public opinion.

This is where I think gay rights groups are doing the wrong thing. While there should be a grass roots effort to communicate with people and tell them who we are and why we feel as we do, we should not be lending validity to the idea that it's okay for the majority to decide who has rights and who doesn't. Voting on issues like marriage makes no sense, especially our marriages won't have any impact on heterosexual marriages. More gay people need to start standing up and demandin equal treatment. I don't understand why there aren't more of us flooding the courts over issues ranging from employment protection to marriage.

November 06, 2008 8:12 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

One more thing. I've seen a lot of people blaming Black voters for this, but Black voters only accounted for around 10% of the votes cast. Voters from every racial group approved this measure, and it wasn't Black people who bankrolled the effort to take away people's rights. Yes, Black people voted for the measure in much higher percentages than any other racial group, but Black people aren't solely responsible for the ammendment passing.

November 06, 2008 8:20 PM


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