Tag Archives: No on 8

No on H8

Jeffrey Lowery and David Kramer, domestic partners from Fremont, hold candles in Dolores Park. (Mike Kepka / The Chronicle)

Jeffrey Lowery and David Kramer, domestic partners from Fremont, hold candles in Dolores Park. (Mike Kepka / The Chronicle)

After days of feeling beat up and bruised, the gays, as we’ve been described on numerous radio call-in shows this week, took to the streets to yell, scream, and dance. I cried on election night and felt those tears once again when I turned the corner and saw hundreds of people streaming into Dolores Park. The cheers were passionate and the signs were funny. One of my favorites: I moved to California and all l got was this lousy ballot initiative! I was like, me too! The plan is to take the fight to Sacramento and to the steps of the Mormon Church, which reminds me of another sign that read “No more Mr. Nice Gay!”

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Filed under election 2008, sexuality, Social Justice

More on Prop 8

Our frequent commentor Flyovermiss shared with me me something she’d posted privately elsewhere on the relationship between Prop 8 and the Obama victory, which I found particularly eloquent:

President-elect Obama listed us gay folk among his Americans in his victory speech last night, and the web tells me that’s a first for a president-elect. Since I knew I wasn’t one of Sarah Palin’s “real Americans”, it felt good to be named as such by the man overwhelmingly chosen by Americans to lead us into our future. It felt like possibility, like community, like openness and joy.

Today, looking at the results on Prop 8 in particular, those words feel like ashes in my mouth. The way the percentages work out, a substantial number of California voters went into the polls and said yes we can to Obama, and oh, no, you can’t to me and mine. I’ll be proud to remember the day that America chose Obama as president, but I am also stuck remembering that on that very day, even progressive Americans still denied me and others like me basic civil rights.

KC reminds me to see the positive, to trust the progressive momentum that Obama both represents and channels to bring good things for the GLBT community as well. Part of me thinks she’s right. Another part of me knows that the pall this casts over Obama’s victory, for me at least, can’t be ignored.

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Filed under election 2008, marriage, Social Justice

Alas, Prop 8 May Pass

My relief at Obama’s election was quickly eclipsed by despair, as the polls in California closed the instant the President elect was called on CNN, and the prop 8 race was close. I monitored the polls until 11PM, and expected to know the results when I woke up this morning, only to find that the vote was still too close to call. I listen to a story on Prop 8 as I write this now, with cheering pro Prop 8ers sure of their victory.

I realized at some point last night that the fight would continue: gay rights advocates will fight prop 8 in the court, anti-gay marriage haters will try to have existing same-sex marriages annulled.

I’m jaded, I know, but I’ve lived in so many places that were allegedly the most progressive in the country, and have always been disappointed, feeling either stranded on a small island of tolerance– I hate that word, but I am using it intentionally here– or feeling bitterly betrayed by the shallowness of progressive commitment. I live with the small sliver of San Francisco’s black community that hasn’t been pushed out of the city in the Fillmore district. From this vantage point, in the most progressive city in the most progressive state, I have to ask: What does it mean to be progressive in the United States?

Electing a black president is perhaps one of the most progressive acts of the national American electorate in the history of the United States. But I’m not sure how hopeful that makes me feel about the direction the United States will take. One day into the reality of a President-elect Obama, I am sick of the electorate patting themselves on the back for electing a black person, especially as they use their other hand to casually swipe at the rights of another minority group.

My hope is that Obama will eventually change the conversation, and prompt a civic engagement with a universalist bent that will deliver me and the rest of the world from the divisiveness that rules our country, without compromising so much that no good is accomplished during his Presidency.

A tall order, I know.

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Filed under election 2008, race, Social Justice