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The saddest news, which mars the great triumph of last night, is that it looks like California, by a slim majority, voted to accept hate and bigotry into their state constitution. It is a huge step back for equal marriage rights, but it's more personal than that. Today, hundreds of couples in California who yesterday were married, are weeping. Trying to console one another.

The ludicrous system which allows CA residents to vote on civil rights on the ballot, to amend their constitution so easily, has allowed hate to flourish and triumph. The big news is that if a right wing religion from another state spends a decade and millions of dollars, they can rip loved ones apart and take away their dignity, their right to be there for each other at the end of life or in the hospital, they can encode their hate into constitutional law.

But this is a marathon, as I have said elsewhere. This is not over. To my gay brothers and sisters, I say, mourn today. And I give this advice. Don't leave your pain in the dark, with your friends and allies and partners. Let the country see what they have done. Let the sundering of the civil bond between already married partners in California shine in the spotlight. Let them see your sorrow. At work, on the television, at the movies, on the street, in the park. Let them see you cry. Don't hide from this hate. Show us how you love. How you hurt.

I say that if you do not shrink back from this, if you boldly come before Californians, the American people with your heart showing, there will be a backlash against hate. There will be human beings who will see themselves in your shoes, though they never thought to change their attitude or be your ally. Yours is the human story, a human struggle. Let us see.

As I write this, my throat's constricted, my eyes are wet. Let them feel it. Let them see. Let them see.

Originally posted to lynne1 on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 06:19 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Fight hate (13+ / 0-)

    with love.

    And my love to you all who are personally affected by this terrible setback, both in CA and across the country.

    I'm not giving up. I won't, ever.

  •  I will try once more. (6+ / 0-)

    How does the battle proceed?  GLBT people cannot defeat homophobia by ourselves.  Can we generate some ideas?

    Something to move forward on?

    •  I made a vow to my son last night (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luckylizard

      That when I retire in 10 years, I am going to do everything in my power to get another amendment on the ballot to take this hateful measure out of our constitution.  Both he and I think 10 years might be long enough for the old people to die and the younger generation with their more accepting souls to replace them.

      It is a marathon and not all of us who voted against that measure are part of the LGBT community, we are simply for equal rights.

      There are bagels in the fridge

      by Sychotic1 on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 06:37:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Try we must, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rserven

      but this time, we need to not underestimate our enemies. I live in S.California, and it was not until the last two weeks did I see the No on 8 people out there in force. The yes on 8 people were more organized, more professional, and they mobilized their people long before we did. This election might not have been the right time to fight these forces. However, I am encouraged by the closeness of the vote, and I think with re-education and a more concentrated effort, it can be won in the future.
      The way the yes people used the schools, and the churches to spread their message, we have to be smarter and out think them. Perhaps we can start by saying how these people are wasting taxpayer money, because such an unconstitutional initiative will certainly be fought in the courts at the expense of the California taxpayer. Maybe it is always the economy that gets to people.

  •  So let's do (5+ / 0-)

    another referendum in two years and this time, prepare for it. The Yes on Hate people out-organized us and benefited from turnout.

    This is an extreme disappointment, but in the end, we will win.

    You hide-rated someone unwisely. Then hide-rated me for demonstrating my point. Remove it, so I can get back to working for O'bama. - Stupid person

    by MBNYC on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 06:22:18 AM PST

  •  It's not over (4+ / 0-)

    Our fight has just begun.

    I'll diary my thoughts on what this result means later, after I have had a chance to organize my thoughts.

    The fight continues.

    But the difference starting today is this: in January, Democrats will finally control the White House and the Congress.

    The next phase of our battle begins with the good guys in control of the levers of government.  That will matter.

    Hannity is a hate crime.

    by abrauer on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 06:26:33 AM PST

  •  New weapons have been added with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anotherdemocrat

    Obama and the gains in the Senate.  

    As much as they can put referendums on the ballot, it's going to have to come down to doing "damage" within the system from the top to change it for the better.

    What it's going to come down to is re-aligning the SCOTUS as the fights continue, because you can damn well bet it's going to there.  You can still challenge these things as violations of the 14th amendment, I believe.

    We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty.

    by TheStormofWar on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 06:35:08 AM PST

    •  But first (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anotherdemocrat, terabytes

      Put a human face on this. Talk strategy and method and all that, but in the end, this is about bringing America towards understanding and acceptance. We can't do that with mere anger. We can with the human story of this.

      And there is no more heartrending human story than that of what is happening to married CA couples today.

      •  I'd rather see straights outraged and not hiding (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anotherdemocrat

        ..their pain about this.

        Political Expediency: Its The New Black!

        by BentLiberal on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 06:42:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          anotherdemocrat

          I won't stop either.

          I know a lot of allies who were, are, and will be a part of this.

          Please, if anything, I hope that homosexuals out there don't feel ALONE. You're not!

          •  No, but you're calling for Gays to express their (0+ / 0-)

            pain.
            '
            You should be calling for straights to take action.

            Political Expediency: Its The New Black!

            by BentLiberal on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 06:55:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well duh (0+ / 0-)

              Are we really going to do this? Pick at each other when we're on the same side? Of COURSE we "straights" will keep fighting - even moreso now, because we know we can't relax (hey, I'm in MA, we have gay marriage to protect here, and though it seems settled, there are those who keep trying to overturn it here too).

              That's not what this diary is about, though. This is about relaying how human this story is to those who have not yet had a chance to see it. To change their minds so that the next battle will be winnable.

              •  I still think you're barking up the wrong tree (0+ / 0-)

                Are we really going to do this?

                Don't know what "do this" means, but if it means I can't disagree with your diary, then I'm not into it.

                My basic point - I think it's ludicrous to come out, the morning after the vote and say, "Gays, you need to fix this."

                Political Expediency: Its The New Black!

                by BentLiberal on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:20:51 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That is so NOTwhat I am saying (0+ / 0-)

                  Wow, you really misinterpreted this diary beyond all wildest expectations.

                  And by "this" I mean tear each other apart over stupid shit.

                •  Hmm (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  terabytes

                  Let me put it this way:

                  This was a diary to advocate for not pulling up the covers, licking the wounds in private and then emerging in a year to try to refight this. Instead, share the hurt with the American people so they can see what they have done. This could make a leap in understanding possible for many on-the-fencers who voted for this.

                  As a straight woman, I am hurt by this, but in a very abstract way, as much as I support (and write about) the movement. MY marriage isn't on the line, there's no WAY I can really feel the pain that CA gay couples are feeling. I can't accomplish what I have laid out here, only those who are directly hurt by it can. Therefore, this is something that the community itself must do, as they are the ones who are in the true pain. Pain can lead to sympathy, but only if the people you want to have sympathize see what you're going through.

                  What I'm going through? It's nothing compared to what gays across the country are going through, and I can't pretend it is. That would be disingenuous.

  •  A victory for same sex marriage in Connecticut (4+ / 0-)

    Voters defeated a proposal to hold a Constitutional Convention that could have overturned the Connecticut Supreme Court's recent ruling that legalized same sex marriage. It is down 59%-41% with 96% of the vote counted. I don't know why this didn't get more publicity.

    •  Good news (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anotherdemocrat

      in the midst of bad.

      I think we can forgive people for feeling the sting of seeing couples in jeopardy in CA. (Or being those couples. I can't even imagine. I take for granted the security of my own marriage, but gay couples can't afford to.)

      We can assess the real battlefield in the weeks ahead. Today should be for letting people feel what they need to feel.

  •  I think we have to start working on the churches (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard

    I belong to two very welcoming churches, so I have trouble wrapping my head around messages of hate mixed with Christianity. But I think there needs to be dialog with the places that are more passively intolerant -- not the ones that send people out marching in the streets, but the ones that maintain the illusion/delusion that those people are "out there somewhere" and are not your, ahem, neighbor. (not to mention thinking that GLBT people are not in the choir, serving in the homeless ministry, serving as ushers, and sitting in the pew next to you)

    We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty - Firefly

    by anotherdemocrat on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 06:42:41 AM PST

    •  But they ARE doing those things, (0+ / 0-)

      though not always openly.  There are a lot of choirs that would be without directors and their best singers if the gays left.  Combine that with the number of instrumentalists who are gay and the churches get a lot quieter.  

      Gays are often over-represented in the helping professions: nurses, doctors, teachers, social workers.  How many people want to be taken to an understaffed ER because they have dismissed all their GLBT folks?  

      People don't see what they don't want to see.  If their neighbor's kid is a little swishy, they will blame it on a hundred different things rather than admit they know "one of those people."

      Some have been advocating for civil disobedience but marching in the streets may only increase the fear that drives most of the passive intolerants.  I wondering about a national "sick" day.  Might not hurt folks to know just how much they depend on "those people" in their daily lives.

      -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

      by luckylizard on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 09:45:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not hate. (0+ / 0-)
    My mother, 87 years old, is not a hateful person.  She is steeped in traditional marriage, and will stay that way.  She doesn't hate gays and lesbians, but firmly believes that "marriage" is between a man and a woman.

    Her thinking has not evolved.  Sad, yes.  Hate, no.

    Keep trying.

    If I write something even barely above the threshold of human intelligence, it will be interpreted as genius.

    by MoronMike on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 06:55:03 AM PST

    •  It is hate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MahFellaMerkins

      for those who encoded this in the CA constitution. The people who produced the movement have a problem with hate - they need to judge others inferior to overcome their own insecurities.

      Many of the people voted for it are not hateful. Those are the people that can be reached by humanizing this story for them. Your mother is the reason we can win this.

      People like my own mom in white-bred New Hampshire. She says stupid things because she doesn't know how they hurt people. If she knew, if she walked a mile in others' shoes, knew people personally, I don't think she'd ever do it. Those are the persuadables.

      But make no mistake. This was driven by hate. Hate and fear.

      •  Sorry, that's not hate. (0+ / 0-)

        You really need to look at what that word means before applying it to everyone who voted for Prop 8.  My mom also voted against the mandatory notification for pregnant minors.

        If I write something even barely above the threshold of human intelligence, it will be interpreted as genius.

        by MoronMike on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 10:27:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Uh, dude (0+ / 0-)

          I just agreed with you.

          I said that the backers of this prop (Mormons, etc) are the haters. Only people who hate and fear would spend this much time and money just in order to hurt a subset of people.

          Then there's the average person who voted for it, the squishy middle, the ones who have not yet humanized the gay population due to lack of experience (they don't think they know anyone who is) but who would be able to empathize, if you can just reach them with the human story of what gays go through, what they really are - which is, just like anyone.

          Obviously, your mom and mine are of the second category. Caring people who don't realize just how callous they are being by voting for something like this.

          I VERY clearly differentiated this in my comment, if you will go back and reread it.

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