Friday, November 14, 2008

My Weekend Crush

The First Amendment is one of the most plain-spoken yet powerful and profound pieces of writing I can think of.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It's powerful because it lays out in just 45 words some of our most basic and unalienable rights. It's profound because it maps out the guiding philosophy of our democracy. In short, it makes us who we are and shows us what we believe. Namely, it tells us that we are free. We're free to speak our minds. We are free to worship (or not worship). And we are free to protest our government. Powerful stuff, good stuff. The stuff democracies are made of.

So it is with an eye to our First Amendment and our Declaration of Independence with its assurance of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness that I look toward the National Day of Protest Saturday.

Nov. 4 was a watershed for the gay community. As we watched the election results we felt every emotion all at once. Pride and Anger. Elation and pain. While we were overwhelmingly overjoyed at the historic election of Barack Obama, we were also overwhelmingly saddened by our fellow citizen's decision to ban gay marriage.

The dichotomy of a country electing its first African-American president on the same night it uniformly discriminated against another group's civil rights will one day be looked back on with shame. Dreams deferred doesn't make the dreams realized less amazing. But they are a reminder that the struggle for all men and women to be truly seen as created equal is far from over.

Still, if there is to be a silver lining the passing of Proposition 8 and the country's other anti-gay initiatives it is that we, as a community, are now galvanized. Many of us tend to live in our own bubbles; we surround ourselves with make-shift families and like-minded friends. This is how we have survived for decades, centuries. But Nov. 4 was a reminder that there is a wider world that still wants to deny our essential personhood. And we need to let them know that that is not OK.

Make no mistake, the debate over gay marriage isn't really about marriage. It's about legitimization. In our society, marriage is the most legitimizing force for any relationship. While the anti-forces say they want us to have the same rights as them and that they just want to protect the “sanctity of marriage.” But what they really mean is your relationships are not worthy. That we aren't worthy. It really couldn't be simpler. And it really couldn't be more wrong.

So this weekend my crush is on all of you who will exercise your First Amendment Rights at the National Day of Protest Saturday. Find the location nearest you and let the world know that we are all free and all equal. Let them know that our love is worthy. We are worthy. Fight the H8. Happy weekend, all.

23 comments:

Lezlie Mac said...

Amen.
Protesting in spirit from overseas.

I'm looking forward to the day we will look back on these events and see how ridiculous and nonsensical it all is. Equal is equal. We'll get there, that's all there is to it.

Lisa said...

"the debate over gay marriage isn't really about marriage. It's about legitimization. ...While the anti-forces say they want us to have the same rights as them .... what they really mean is your relationships are not worthy. That we aren't worthy. It really couldn't be simpler. And it really couldn't be more wrong."

You have just stated right here what this whole debate is really about. THANK YOU !!!

If, in this nation, 'All men (and women) were created equal', then all men should have equal access to marriage rights.

Also, this issue has nothing to do with religion. We are talking about 'Civil Marriage' here. This is about how our government views marriage. It doesn't matter how anyone's religion views marriage. Thank goodness for separation of church and state.

Jennifer said...

I'll be attending and protesting in Hartford, CT tomorrow! :)

Lopey said...

When I found out about this, I sent out an e-mail to every campus group I'm a part of and a message to every SINGLE friend on facebook, calling them to join. This has the potential to be so HUGE. It's almost strange, looking forward to making history. What it is most though is exhilarating. Personally I was waiting for more outspoken forms of protest BEFORE Prop 8 passed, but it is better late than never. Prop 8 has turned into a catalyst for one of the biggest movements in the fight for LGBT equality, and I can't think of a single thing I could possibly do this Saturday that would be more important than joining the protest.

Your friend, Rusty said...

I'll be protesting in the Inland Empire, CA - Hemet.

Sarah in Chicago said...

I'm going to be there here in Chicago!!!

They're forecasting snow here in Chicago for the weekend, but screw-it, it'll just show how angry and resolved we are.

I'm with DS on this one, I'm crushing on everyone doing this in every state :)

madmags said...

Ah, yet another beautifully written post by Ms. Snarker. The sad shame is that those who need to read this the most will never see it. It should be on the front pages of newspapers everywhere!
O.K. That is not going to happen. So, let us take it to the streets across America tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

"Still, if there is to be a silver lining the passing of Proposition 8 and the country's other anti-gay initiatives it is that we, as a community, are now galvanized"

I have been protesting last week in both West Hollywood and Silverlake CA and this has been an amazing hope inspiring experience. I have never felt our community like this before and I worked against the Knight Proposition in 2000 -- this is going to change. And we will all tell the stories to future generations about how we demanded our rights back. It is exciting and after the deep despair and sorrow I felt on Novemeber 5th I am happy to have found this lining.

This saturday will be amazing.

Anonymous said...

Why I Still Think Marriage is the Wrong Goal:

http://makezine.enoughenough.org/prop8.html

maria b. said...

Im not in the united now but i will be protesting anyway,
I just arrive from work, i cross the gay neighborhood and 2 old ppl stop me to say:
" We are soldiers of Maria, not soldiers of crisht, would you...".
I said "Sorry i'm late, the other sinners are waiting for me"

WTF ? Don't they have their church to shit on us than now they come to our streets?

Im waiting for the day of gay and lesbian in the front of a church asking them to be gay cause is the RIGHT thing.

Indiference is the worst virus of this social welfare state.
Brothers and sisters in the united states take the streets and say it out loud.
Can someone remember them "The Merchant of Venice"? when the shylock says:

"...To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else,
it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and
hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses,
mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my
bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine
enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath
not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs,
dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with
the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject
to the same diseases, healed by the same means,
warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as
a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not
revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will
resemble you in that..."

Is not a revenge thing for me is just a respect thing for everyone everywhere, we are all humans at the first then you can listen of mariah carey music is you like it cause is your choice but don't push me to hear it too ( even if her high tone can open the door of a parking car ).

christina said...

i think that prop 8 has been a blessing in disguise. thanks to the HUGE prop 8 movement (those obsessed with denying us the right to marry), they have sparked a huge movement.

if the june supreme court decision had gone unchallenged, maybe we would have remained in our bubbles, gotten married and stayed under the radar. but THANKS to the prop 8 folks, this issue has gone not only national but global. not since ACT UP has our community been energized & galvanized. the world is watching.

Anonymous said...

Dear DS,

Thank you for a wonderful, eloquent post - as usual! I agree that the fight for marriage equality has become about much more than marriage. That's why the anti faction is so strident and so frequently engages in ugly, scurrilous attacks. Keep on keepin' on, Ms. Snarker!

Ann

P.S. - The editor in me is constrained to point out that the word is "inalienable," rather than "unalienable" (assuming you were echoing the Declaration of Independence).

Anonymous said...

Oops, my internal editor was wrong, it is "unalienable." My apologies DS!

Ann

Missiz Me said...

This is my "protest demonstration" in spirit. I hope you like them...

http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=uQxv-e_5v_A
http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=3nlbGT8s770
http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=XXOugQ_vmXE

Anonymous said...

Did the protest with my mom, dad, and both sons. It was an amazing and wonderfully energizing experience!!!

-Dree

Katherine Simon said...

Protested Tuesday in Santa Monica, CA... Big turn out for something that I never even saw flyers or anything for. Protested Los Angeles today.

I don't know how long this battle is going to be, but if we remember how mad we are now, how mad we were on the 4th, we'll find the strength to make it.

Blink said...

Thanks for always getting to the heart of the matter so eloquently, DS.

Ben Varkentine said...

At the protest here in Seattle yesterday, there was a "Focus on Family" type who kept saying how we had to "Surrender (to god)!"

Every time he said "Surrender," a guy in the crowd would say "Dorothy!"

I figured you'd get a kick out of that. I know I did.

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

You betcha we were out there in Pittsburgh protesting little gay hearts out! Despite the cold and constant threat of rain, spirits were high :)

ohio*LEZ-girl*in*NYC said...

Hey There,
I protested here in NYC on Saturday. You're right, and to quote President Elect Barack Obama when he lost New Hampshire in the primaries, "We're fired up and ready to go!" I went with my girlfriend, my roommates (who are straight), and a friend.

It felt amazing to be in NYC, at City Hall, protesting something this important. The thing is, it's not just about Gay or Straight-it's about a community of people being denied basic human rights.

I think you make several good points in this blog, the most important being that we need to remember to make sure that our voices are heard. We need to not only demonstrate in the streets, but speak out to friends, family, co-workers, etc.

I was taking the subway home tonight with a friend tonight and she asked what the whole "Prop 8 thing" was about, she really didn't know. People need to be educated.

Thanks, DS for this blog, it was amazing! Keep up the great work

Rocky said...

The protest in tiny Santa Cruz, CA drew about 700+ people yesterday. All ages, all colors, all pro-equal rights. It was a great day to be gay. (but aren't they all?)

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