Wednesday, November 04, 2009

All you need is...

There will be a time, in the not too distant future, when everyone will look back at this pathetic process of asking strangers for permission to be equal and shake their heads. Make no mistake, that is what this state-by-state begging for marriage rights is about – letting others decide if the words the founders wrote really ring true. I know that in the end, fairness and love will prevail. But the passage of Question 1 in Maine yesterday, repealing the rights of gay and lesbian couples in the state to marry, is just another reminder that equality is a process.

Progress is never easy; it’s slow and it’s painful and there are always setbacks. Last night, just like a year ago, I felt that familiar queasiness in the pit of my stomach because voters picked H8 over love. But progress will happen, it always does. Humans evolve, it’s in our DNA. That’s how we made it out of the primordial ooze the first time and how we will climb out again when it comes to gay marriage. Still, just as there will always be progress, there will always be those who try to stop it. They hate without reason, they fear change of all forms. But the small-minded bigots’ days of telling us how we can live are numbered.

The thing is, I believe in the deepest, most optimistic part of my heart that there are more fair-minded people than hateful ones. But, for whatever reason, they don’t all make it to the ballot box when it comes time to stand up and be counted. Those who hate progress, they’ll always make it to the polling places. Extremist will go to any extremes to ensure their views are enforced. But with what looks like a domestic partnership victory in Washington State, the inclusion of GLBT anti-discrimination protection in Kalamazoo and out candidates coming out on top in Chapel Hill and Houston, the tide is slowly turning.

So now we stand at a tipping point in this struggle for equality for all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Will those who believe that marriage is a basic human right finally come together and say enough is enough? Will we have a president who has the courage to say that equality cannot be voted away, but must be given unequivocally to all? Will we finally cut through the fear and loathing that cloaks these discussions and realize, as a people, that love can never be stopped? Yes, yes we will. The only question now is when.

26 comments:

shelly said...

It might be small(er) potatoes, but my hometown of St. Petersburg, FL just elected their first openly gay city council member.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/elections/st-petersburg-retains-incumbents-votes-in-first-openly-gay-council-member/1049258

Someday "openly gay" won't qualify as news, but this, at least, is a little more progress.

Anonymous said...

tears. that's all.

Steph R said...

I honestly thought you'd post about Winslet's court win.

The Voracious Vegan said...

Gay rights = HUMAN rights! You are right, there will definitely come a time VERY SOON when everyone will be shocked and horrified that consenting adults were not allowed to marry whoever the hell they wanted to marry! It is ridiculous and it makes my brain hurt just thinking about it. Love is love is love, the more of it there is and the more we celebrate it in any form, THE BETTER! Fabulous post!

JadedRogue said...

Being from Maine, not only is it hard to have lost, but hard to look @ your neighbors now and wonder how they think of you. Hate crimes will go up in Maine, but the next question for me is: Now what?

sara said...

depressing. thank goddess tank top tuesday was right there to cheer me back up. oh, and better election news in houston tejas: out lesbian annise parker has the lead going into a run-off for mayor.

Team Serrins Springfield said...

It's time like these that I have to keep reminding myself of what Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice."

Thanks for reminding me with your faith and your optimism

two cat scene said...

You could all just join us up here in Canada. The US will be begging to have some of their best and brightest (and newly, legally, married) back. AND no more fighting with HMO's. C'mon, we've got lots of space!

the crustybastard said...

Way to discretely avoid the elephant in the room:

R E L I G I O N

kimber p said...

this is why I love this blog so much..we get stuff to ogle, stuff to ponder and stuff to keep the fire lit under us...

Linda said...

apologies if you've seen this before (and if you've posted about it already, Dorothy), but this ad from Ireland about gay marriage pretty much sums it up...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ULdaSrYGLQ

in love and strength from Scotland,

fairly butch

Anonymous said...

We can sit and sulk about the defeat in Maine, or we can do something about it.

The religious groups message about gay marriage is one based on fear and misinformation. More of us who are in committed relationships need to get out into the public and normalize our relationships to counter those fear-based messages.

Basically, what we do in our everyday lives is no different than those who spread the message of fear. We shop at the same grocery stores, our kids go to the same schools, we go to the same restaurants, we go to work, we pay bills and so on. What we do in the bedroom is somewhat "different" than what they believe, but that is the one aspect the religious folks focus on. I honestly believe those folks are just anti-sex and are completely repressed.

So, change the message to counter the fear.

yvanka said...

Oh, I'm conflicted. I'm thrilled that Ref. 71 appears to have passed in Washington, but I'm also distracted by the fact that it's too close to call. Too close to call! How could my friends and neighbors be so thoughtless as to vote against something so basic?

And. AND! Where in the world were our voters? Statewide turnout was some appalling number - something 'round 35%. *sigh*

But thank you, Dorothy Snarker, for your excellent blog, and your articulate, passionate defense of our rights. Keep on keepin' on.

Anonymous said...

R-71 in Washington is close, however, according to the Seattle Times website:

"trends appeared to favor passage of the measure because more votes remained to be counted in the counties that were approving it than in the counties that were rejecting it, according to a Times analysis."

Counties surrounding Puget Sound in western Washington, by far, have more of the population compared to eastern Washington, and I believe only about 30% of the ballots have been counted in King County, which includes Seattle.

While the vote count looks close now, by the time the King County ballots are counted, I truly believe the margin will grow to approve R-71.

kate said...

Please remember that not all religions or religious people oppose same-sex marriage. Some of us are even gay AND religious.

This was a lovely write-up, Ms. Snarker.

aardvark said...

I'm....
really really upset.
To say the very least.
Every time something like this passes, I feel like someone has punched me in the stomach.

WTF UNIVERSE?

The Balls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nycrouge said...

I got gay married in Connecticut last week, so seeing civil rights snatched away from the residents of Maine really made me thankful of what meager rights my wife and I have in New York State.

Anonymous said...

Well said! Thank you for the encouraging words. We need it right now.

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

A lot of the divisiveness in our country right now reminds me of when I was a young child, growing up during the 60s with civil rights and the Vietnam War protests. Any progress made will only be made, if history serves as a model, with one side pushing harder than the other side, enduring the fight for years, against all odds.
Things never stay the same, but how same sex marriage rights will change in a lasting manner is yet to be seen.

Anonymous said...

Kate said, "not all religions or religious people oppose same-sex marriage."

You are absolutely correct. Those religious leaders who support equal protections under the law need to be just as vocal as those who opposed equality. So far, I have not seen that, or have I seen the gay community (here in Washington, anyway) seek out their support.

It's going to take more than the gay community to demand equal protection under the law. I, for one, would like to see our Predident repeal DOMA and Don't Ask Don't Tell. So far, nothing from him.

Anonymous said...

I've been upset all day. I live in Maine and I'm a bisexual, which my boyfriend knows (and is totally comfortable with) but his friends don't (and neither does my family). The things that his two "yes on 1" friends say kill me inside. My favorite part is when I try to have a conversation with them and try to ask them why they believe what they believe, they immediately tell me that I'm attacking them and that I'm calling them hateful and bigoted.

The only positive thing I can think of is that many people in my family who voted yes on one spoke of being supportive of civil unions. While separate but equal is not right, in my opinion, most of them a few years ago didn't even believe that those should exist. So at least, in my own family, I do see evolution happening. And the "dont' discriminate on basis of sexual orientation" has been on the ballot three times, so I doubt this is the end of voting on marriage in Maine. (Sometimes I wonder if marriage between people of different races would be legal in some states if the federal government hadn't stepped in. How much longer do we have to wait for that in this case?)

I heard a rumor that they used almost the same commercials here that they did in California. Does anyone know if that's true?

triplestripe said...

*preaching to choir*
On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Article 16.
* (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
* (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
* (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

it says nothing about "except gays". this is a human rights issue. why are we still denied this human right?

Anonymous said...

i know i'm lucky to be living in canada. we didn't let every tom dick harry and jane decide who should have rights. the elected government - who works for the right of all (yah right) made that decision. good luck USA. it's tough slogging and really, a national embarrassment for a country that espouses freedom.

CallmeEG said...

I'm from Kalamazoo and it is encouraging that the vote finally came to a head and equality won. It has been a hell of a battle; both sides have been passionate in their convictions--though one side clearly flawed. We've had religious leaders taking both sides, conservatives supporting equality, and vice versa. Having a sense of finality that now we can live in our own city without fear of housing or employment discrimination because of who we love is less of a threat. It's a small step, but we'll take it. Keep writing, Ms. Snarker.

Stephanie said...

Thanks for mentioning Kalamazoo. I did the direct mail for that campaign, and we had many more wins than losses Tuesday night, though they weren't covered in the media. Washington State, Annise Parker headed to a runoff in Houston and Alex Wan headed to a runoff in Atlanta help lessen the blow.