Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Behind the 8-Ball

Election seasons get heated. I get that. People get passionate about their politics. I totally get that. But as I've driven around these past few days and seen yard signs proudly displayed for “Yes on 8: Protect Marriage,” I simply don't get that. Actually, I get it. I understand that there are people who believe gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people should not be allowed to marry, let alone exist. I just don't get that in the year 2008, there are people who still think it is OK to publicly flaunt their prejudices so openly. Proposition 8, for those unfamiliar or living outside this big goofy place we call California, would permanently amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage. So all those happy, smiling, beautiful couples who got married this year thanks to the state supreme court overturning the previous ban on gay marriage would have their unions invalidated by the state. Wow, so much for family values.

At first, I wasn't too worried about Prop. 8. Public opinion on the issue had shifted. People were more accepting. Massachusetts led the way. And just last week Connecticut joined us in equality. Plus, hey, this is California. But then I started to see the ads. These horrible, despicable, hateful ads play to people's most base fears. Children will be taught gay marriage in schools! Churches will lose their tax exemption! Run for your lives, the gays are coming! (I can't bring myself to post or even link to their bile, so search “Yes on 8” yourself if you must...just be sure to have a strong stomach). And then I heard how the “Yes” people had raised more cash than the “No” folks, in spite of high-profile donations from stars like Brad Pitt, Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw and T.R. Knight and support from big names like Ellen DeGeneres, Margaret Cho and a slew of other famous folks. Thankfully the “No on Prop. 8” folks have pushed back forcefully against the hate. Still, I'm worried.

There is no way for me to not feel this vote viscerally. Each “Protect Marriage,” sign I see is like a kick in the gut. Each house I pass sends a pang through my body. The people in that house think I shouldn't be allowed to marry. The people in that house think I don't deserve the same rights as everyone else. The people in that house think I am fundamentally wrong. It hurts – it hurts a lot. This is not what America is all about. In the land of the free and the home of the brave, what is more free than letting people marry who they love and what is more brave than accepting someone despite his or her differences? Who I marry doesn't diminish who you marry in any way, shape or form. Love is love. Hate is hate. Which do you want people to feel as they walk down the aisle? Come on, California, vote No on Prop. 8. Protect love.

36 comments:

Dana said...

I feel the same way over here in Florida about Amendment 2. We don't even have the right to marry in Florida, but I still feel the pain in my stomach every time I think about people voting on whether we ever will. It feels like a direct attack on me as a person. Thank you for posting about this today.
-Dana

pisze said...

It blows my mind that Prop 8 and other legalities such as the Federal Marriage Amendment could actively discriminate again a single group, just one group of people. And this is why people's stance of "tolerance" (thankyoubutnothankyou, Palin) will never work. We need to move beyond tolerance and embrace acceptance

Megan

Anonymous said...

I dont get it why they legalize gay marriage and then get people to vote!?

I wish you all good luck + keep my fingers crossed for you!
over here in austria we are not allowed to marry and I'm afraid it would not change anything if they would ask the people...

:( babs

Teresita said...

One slim hope for the anti-Prop 8 side is that Obama's coming landslide has a down-ticket coattails effect that depresses turnout among those inclined to "protect" traditional marriage by making a rule no two gals (or guys) getting hitched.

Anonymous said...

I was in CA last weekend for a wedding (gay not straight) and was very surprised over the number of vote yes on 8 signs that I saw...not that I should as Orange county is not very progressive. I sincerely hope it doesn't pass, hopefully gay people will not be complacent and will get out there and vote no.

(Hugs) for you in this horrible time. Sometimes people are just ignorant and don't get how much it hurts.

madmags said...

In the end, hate never wins. I hope it doesn't now.
I will pray that those supposed "family values" folks get a clue that they are not the only people deserving of happiness on this earth.
Good luck. :)

imthey said...

The more I hear about people who are so vehemently opposed to gay people having the right to marry the angrier I get. Here we are in 2008 with a failing economy, war in Iraq and Afghanistan, etc. and there are people still out there who somehow find that love between two consenting adults of the same gender is what will destroy the world? I truly agree with the statement Hate is not a family value!

"If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us." -Hermann Hesse

I live in Florida where I keep hearing that our Amendment 2 is going to pass... I've been trying to get the word out in my state to say no to Amendment 2 and hope that Californians will say No on Prop 8 as well.

Tina-cious.com said...

I live in Connecticut and I only know 2 people in California -- but I spread the word and donated all that my meager income could afford.

Our love and hearts are with you and hope for the best.

...and that love and decency wins out in California.

Anonymous said...

Most of the people who oppose GAY marriage probably don't hate us. They just aren't ready to accept it. We can't shove it down their throats. Social mores don't change overnight.

Calling them haters because they disagree with you is counterproductive, IMO.

Anonymous said...

There are people who are not ready to accept it, and there are people who OPPOSED.

J9 said...

The main issue with all of the Yes on 8 signs I see, is that they are being given out by the mormon church. If everyone who had them in their yards, or on their cars had to pay for them, I think we'd see fewer. I've even had a person approach me during a school field trip to tell me why I was supposed to vote yes on 8. Seriously. I'm spending money to support No on 8 because it is the only way to show that equality means EVERYONE!
J9

lamazone said...

"If you don't like same sex marriage, don't marry someone of the same sex." Wanda Sykes

Claudia said...

Silver lining?
I just went into YouTube to see some facts, and here they are:
No: 2550
Yes: 471
That's the amount of videos there are for each "point of view", if you will. It still scares me that some people think that gay marriage is not important because there are domestic rights and that's the same thing. It's not. But at least on YouTube, No on Prop8 is winning...

Jessie MacRae said...

Thanks for all your support against this insidious maneuver by the religious right!

A person down the street from me put up a Yes on 8 sign. I finally got so sick of looking at it every time I passed by that I wrote them a letter. I told them that this is more than just ideology, and that if it passes, real, ordinary people will be affected. I told them their precious churches won't be harmed, and the only children who would be harmed are the children of gay parents, who might not be able to get insurance together or visit each other in the hospital.

They took the sign down. Who knows why. Maybe my letter worked, or maybe they don't want anymore attention from queers. But, at least I don't have to go home with dread and anger in my heart.

Lady Lovelace said...

Good luck in that Prop 8 thing. From a UK-based point of view (or at least the view of the liberal friends I talk to about these things) I think we are surprised that this is such an issue in California. The hatred by the Vote 8 lobby just seems so strong! It is a stark reminder that these battles are NOT won, and that there's no guarantee that politics and society will develop in an ever more progressive direction.

On a happier note, if I may just take you off topic a little... I was greatly amused by an article in "The Daily Telegraph" (a rather old-fashioned and right wing English newspaper).

The flashing on the front of the paper proclaimed "How Tina Fey became the most powerful woman in US politics", complete with headshot of the lovely Ms Fey all Palinned up.

The commentary is a bit meh, but it amused me nevertheless. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/uselection2008/sarahpalin/3197805/Sarah-Palin-dives-in-poll-ratings-as-Tina-Fey-impersonates-her-on-Saturday-Night-Live.html

May I just add that I have been reading your blog for over a year now, and dearly love my slice of Snark every afternoon. Please keep the blog up. And, if you are ever in London, I'd love to buy you a pint...

Oh, and THANK YOU for introducing me to the delights of a certain Rachel Maddow. Though Britain doesn't really do commentators / partisan presenters like the US - and normally I regard that as A Good Thing - I wish we had someone like her here. We shouldn't have let her leave after her scholarship at Oxford was over!

Anonymous said...

My partner and I are trying to figure out if we should rush out and just get married before election day. We aren't sure if they are going to grandfather those who got married in or nullify them if 8 passes. I really want to have a wedding and do it right but... I also don't want to miss out on the chance cause a bunch of dipwads allowed their fear and hatred to control them.

On the positive side my republican mom and dad and all her republican friends are vehemently anti-8. :-)

Anonymous said...

I was feeling optimistic earlier thinking, "the voters of California couldn't possibly pass Prop 8," but those ridiculous "Yes on Prop 8" commercials do have me a bit worried. When I saw pictures and videos of Ellen's wedding, I thought, "who could ever vote against all that beauty and love?"

Anonymous said...

I understand how horrible and wrong this discrimination is, but maybe it's the institution of marriage we should fight against. Even if same sex marriage becomes legal, marriage still discriminates against others who decided against marriage. I understand having the option should be an inalienable right, but I think the real problem lies in the actual institution of marriage.

emilie said...

i know how you feel. i felt the very same way a couple of days ago, when driving through my generally-very-open-and-accepting oakland neighborhood, where i have personally never felt any homophobia. I was on my way home, and there was a whole intersection littered with 'yes on 8' signs.
my first reaction was a fact check: i called my roommate to make sure prop 8 was the prop 8 i thought it was. and then i screamed. I got home and threw stuff, i felt like pulling some sort of itty-bitty-titty-committee- style guerilla action, i was pissed. WHEN DID MY OAKLAND NEIGHBORHOOD GET SO HATEFUL?
all i can hope for is people who THINK before they vote. hell, people that vote at all. it's about equal rights, not moral values. i wish more people could see that.

Lopey said...

I have staunchly held my ground against changing my voter registration to North Carolina, a swing state and where I go to school, because I know that not voting in the California election right now is something I just can't afford to do. It chills me how the polls for Prop 8 keep swinging back in forth, for and against us. I know that my friends and I will all be voting against Prop 8, but the uncertainty of this amendment's future disturbs me to no end. I'm almost glad I'm not home right now to see the "Protect Marriage" signs, and yet, at the same time, I wish I could fly out and go door to door, if only in my neighborhood, making sure people have the FACTS, and not that bull that Pro 8 groups are spoon feeding them.

Penny Cillin said...

It absolutely boggles my mind that this is even an issue for people anymore. I believe that they think about gay sex and gay marriage more frequently than I do. Well, gay marriage, anyway.

Don't hate
Marry your mate
And celebrate!

jGrrl said...

In Canada this is finally a non issue politically and legally but it affects us all because what if this prop 8 crap goes through and what if other places start to follow the lead and start rescinding rights? I wish I could help in some way, the best I can do from here is yell real loud at the guilty and offer love and support to the poor innocents. We're with y'all, most all of us Canadians, know that.

Oriana said...

This is so unfair... Its just the right to get married, WE DESERVE IT!!! everyone deserves it!

Anonymous said...

So my partner & I have been together for 11.5 years. We are finally getting legally married on Sunday!!! We would have waited, 5 months is NOT long enough to plan a wedding. We just don't want to be stuck if this passes. The coolest thing is that all of our ultra-conservative neighbors asked us how they should vote. Now that they know us & our kids personally, they want to help us. They realize that our marriage won't change theirs, and thay can still tell their kids that they disagree with gay marriage, but they disagree MORE with discrimination! Nobody on my block will even put up a 'yes on 8' sign. Now then, I'm off to be tolerated and do my part to stimulate the economy by planning a wedding!!!
-Dree

Anonymous said...

I just returned from sunny California where I married my partner of 14 years. I knew of the upcoming vote but still can't believe Californians could possibly vote the same as Texas on the issue.

Our wedding brought California a great big heap of cash. Do you suppose we could sue the conservatives there for a refund if 8 passes?

let me dance said...

who says that you don't have same right as others.
i'll send to them my hulk.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad, but also a little sorry, to hear that someone else is taking this as personally as I am. I've been getting so upset by all of the ads on tv and the radio, and especially by the stickers and signs I see. I wonder if the people who drive those cars see my sticker and feel as outraged at my existence as I feel hurt by their beliefs.
I've been thinking a lot about the saying "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Does democracy really mean that I have to defend someone else's belief that I am less of a person?

Uclagrl1986 said...

In California in June the courts finally allowed gay marriage, but within hours crazy religious zealots (most from out of state) gathered enough signatures to get this ruling put on the november election ballot, hoping Californians would reverse the court ruling..

So as of now, we still have gay marriage but on Nov 4th Californians will got to the election booth and vote on whether they want gay marriage in their state.. and all the couples who have been married before will lose their marriage licenses if Californians vote against it..

The last few months have been very interesting.. In Polls Californians supported gay marriage and it was winning with a double digit lead... Even Arnold Schwarzenegger came out and stated that prop 8 was a waste of money and he would vote no on it.. Everything looked good..

But then..

Things changed...Sadly.. Polls are indicating that there is 5% lead in the ban for gay marriage.. its really sad... Crazy religious groups instead of using their money to help with charity, especially during this tough financial time.. have given endless millions to the people who want to ban gay marriage in California.. Many of these groups are from out of state and have no business interfering in our state's affairs.. The mormon church alone has donated 15 million dollars to ban gay marriage...

Of all the people, the mormon church, I forget sometimes but isnt this a religion that still in some sects supports Polygamy.. The governement has how many times found pastors marrying underage women to older men who have other additional wives... If anything people need to protect marriage from that group over us.. Its so hypocritical.. It really boggles my mind...

I just dont get it.. why dont these religious organizations use their money to help people who are losing their homes.. people who are struggling to put food on their table.. This is so ridiculous... This is what is wrong with america, the honest hardworking people are the ones who struggle, while the greedy elite waste money.. on massages for their companies.. and guess who pays for it?? the tax payer.. the honest hard working people who have entrusted their government to protect them.. and what is the government doing.. there putting money into wall street.. 750 billion dollars into wall street.. HEY W how about u help out the people who are losing their homes.. not the greedy assholes on wall street.. grrr.. this pisses me off so much..

Getting back to the the main issue here..

The religious right is so involved going after the gays, they have lost their own morale..

Making ADs that have so much HATE in them its disgusting.. It makes me embarrassed to be a Christian...

Every day for the last 3 weeks, I have been blessed with this Anti- Gay Marriage ADs..
The ADs are so hateful.. and every time i see them i wanna throw something at my TV.. or or.. i wanna file a complaint to the FCC.. these ads are very hateful and offensive...

The AD that irks me the most is an ad showing Gavin Newsom saying " whether you like or not" while the narrator says "Californians dont have to tollerate this".. I dunno about most people but i thought religious instutions believed in tolerance, i guess you can be tolerated as long as you arent gay..

So hypocritical.. So NON-Christian...

Also in this same AD the narrator also states that the court who reversed the ruling has " Imposed gay marriage on Californians" becasue it isnt the will of the people..

IMPOSED??!!!!??

WTF...

Oh my goodness poor victims.. Same sex couples are IMPOSING their rights on you... Im so sorry... your poor eyes...

I will definitly show up on Nov 8 to vote NO on 8...

I hope many others will do the rite thing and remember these words " We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

INCLUDING GAY PEOPLE...


- UCLAGRL1986

Tina-cious.com said...

ANONYMOUS: I think that's BRILLIANT! All the married couples SHOULD sue California for at the very least -- a refund of their fees -- but I'd go for the whole kit and kaboodle -- tell them you want a refund of your wedding!

Liz said...

I live in Canada, where gay marriage is allowed, even though the current prime minister had an open vote on the issue in parliament shortly after he was elected the last time (he's pesonally opposed to it). Fortunately, the vote came out in favour of gay marriage.
I was wondering if there were many Say No to Prop 8 lawn signs as well. Or is there a fear of repercussions if people were to do that?

Melody said...

From what I understand, the ban would not apply retroactively to couple who marry before the ban, which is bizarre because then you would different sets of rights for the same group. I also understand that the big Yes movement has been spurred by Mormon groups out of Utah who have spearheaded fundraising efforts and mobilized volunteers. It's disgusting, and it makes me even angrier that it's being pushed by people who don't even live in this state. This is a civil rights issue and everyone needs to stand up and be counted. No! on Prop 8. Although it seems like they have the advantage, I agree with Teresita below that the volume of people Obama will drive to the polls may very well keep it from passing.

faith dubbya. said...

hello! one good thing that i'm aware of (and please correct me if i'm wrong) is that our governor of california, the terminata, specifically said that he will veto any proposition trying to amend the california constitution - he said this after the wonderful ruling by the supreme court of cali in june 2008. he also said that he will continue to abide by what the supreme court justices in california decided on the matter of marriage between two people (even though he had his own lawyer there arguing against gay marriage!). soooo, to me that means that these anti-gay organizations for prop 8 (most of them aren't even in california) can spend all the money they want to ... ahnold will not pass it - even if it does pass (and i truely feel that it won't pass!). he will not disobey the supreme court's ruling on this matter! has anybody else realized this?

angelina (in oakland) said...

We have to remember that amendments CAN be repealed. Not that we can stop working to prevent this one from passing. My love and I are getting married on 10/31; I cry when I see the 'yes on 8' stuff, or when I think about it. Thank you for your post!

Lucy said...

I just fell in love with your words. I love your mentality and I can relate to you. People recently began to put up their yes on prop 8 signs on their lawns. And it breaks my heart that the people living in this country don't fully believe in this country's words. This country is the land of freedom, equality, liberty, opportunity, and i can't remember the other one. But it seems like no one truly believes in it. Prop 8 will eliminate the country's description. So why live in the USA when you don't believe in what it stands for? Why even vote when you're against its definition?
I hereby stand in favor of "NO on prop 8" and will do my very best to inform others of prop 8's discrimination. I really hope people open their eyes and vote on it so it doesn't pass.

squeebs said...

I vote for Christine Lahti as a Future Weekend Crush.

Sarah said...

America is about a lot of things America is not supposed to be about, unfortunately.

Good luck with the vote!