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I can't believe it.  I'm watching MSNBC and Keith Olbermann is giving an incredibly powerful Special Comment... on gay marriage and Prop. 8.  He is literally tearing up over the hatefulness that led to the passage of Prop. 8.  He reminded us of the Loving v. Virginia case only 40 years ago, that one third of the states back then didn't even allow interracial marriage.  Oh, and slavery, where their marriages weren't recognized either.

Keith is making an appeal to the better angels of our humanity.  Damn powerful stuff.

Everyone needs to watch this.  It'll replay at 7pm PST/10pm EST and again at 10pm PST/1am EST, around the last 10-15 minutes of the program.  Keith closed with a plea from Clarence Darrow.

I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar Khayyam. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all.

So I be written in the Book of Love,

I do not care about that Book above.

Erase my name or write it as you will,

So I be written in the Book of Love.

Sorry for the short diary, I'll update it with the transcript and video once they become available.

I want to highlight what I wrote yesterday in a diary about what we're actually doing about this.

Meanwhile, down here at UCLA, we Bruin Democrats just had a retreat today to discuss what the club will do for the rest of the school year, now that the election is over.  One of the main things the club decided upon is to work on restoring gay marriage in California.

We had a very productive day throwing out ideas and such.  I helped tie in some of what dday wrote about what went wrong in California.  Basically, the California Democratic Party is going to be useless, and we can't wait around for California's version of Barack Obama to appear to rally our troops.  We're going to implement what Howard Dean asked of us, at a local level.

Prop. 8 passed in L.A. County by a slim margin, and that simply should not have happened.  We're going to try to educate people here and change their minds.  First, we start a coalition at UCLA, which should be easy enough, given that over 80% of UCLA voted against Prop. 8.

Then, the hard part, reaching out into the L.A. community to educate them on the lies spread by the Yes on 8 campaign.  And for that, we're going to need the help of local elected officials.  That's the blueprint.  Maybe we can't exactly make inroads into, say, Inglewood, but what about enlisting Rep. Diane Watson's help?  Maybe the Latino community won't listen to what UCLA students have to say, but if we can get Richard Alarcon to speak to them, would they be more receptive to the message?  For the Asian community?  How about asking Judy Chu or John Chiang for assistance there?

So yeah, call it microtargeting if you want.  But we need to make some serious inroads into those communities.  If any of y'all have more ideas, I'm all ears.

What do you guys think of our plan?  How can it be improved?

Update: Transcript now available!  (h/t pinsomniac)  This part just says it all.

If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not... understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don't want to deny you yours. They don't want to take anything away from you. They want what you want -- a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

Only now you are saying to them -- no. You can't have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don't cause too much trouble.  You'll even give them all the same legal rights -- even as you're taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can't marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn't marry?

I keep hearing this term "re-defining" marriage.

If this country hadn't re-defined marriage, black people still couldn't marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal... in 1967. 1967.

The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn't have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it's worse than that. If this country had not "re-defined" marriage, some black people still couldn't marry...black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not "Until Death, Do You Part," but "Until Death or Distance, Do You Part." Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are... gay.

Update II: Video!

And here's the YouTube version if you want an easier embed.

Originally posted to BruinKid on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 06:00 PM PST.

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