This Thing Called Courage

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Prop 8

(This is from today's Daily Kos, and was written by Kos. Wj\hile it's a day for celebration, it's also a day of mourning for GLBT people and their allies.)
Proposition 8
by kos
Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 02:25:04 PM EST
What a night of contrast, going from celebrating the first African American president and the defeat of another anti-abortion ban in South Dakota, to the narrow victory of the hateful and bigoted Proposition 8 in California. It seems that in the culture wars, we're winning on race and abortion. The new front lines are gay rights and immigration.
Immigration took a back seat this cycle (thanks to McCain's wobbly status on the issue), and the one race in which it played a huge role -- PA-11 -- embattled incumbent Democrat Paul Kanjorski survived a spirited challenge from hateful anti-immigrant activist Lou Barletta. The anti-immigrant forces still haven't been able to gain much traction, but they bear watching. The issue will be back in full force in 2010.
But for now, the flashpoint in the culture wars is gay rights, and I have to say, as wonderful as yesterday might've been, losing Prop 8 hit me hard. That California would vote for a black president with a margin of 61-37 and then shit on gays was horrifically disappointing. We have a long way to go. The anti-Prop 8 campaign wasn't helped by a shoddy operation that most observers who interacted with it admit was incompetent and ill-suited to wage a statewide campaign. While the Mormon Church flooded the state with ground troops for the fight, our side had no ground game. Inexcusable, but borne out of a complacency that I myself shared. No longer.
I admit, I was feeling run down yesterday, crawling across the finish line after a long marathon. Losing the Prop 8 battle has re-energized me. I'm ready for a rematch in 2010.
Perhaps the best solution, and one mentioned before, is to give all couples civil union licenses. Gay or straight, it's irrelevant. Then leave the "marriage" thing up to individual churches. They can decide if they want to be bigots or not.
But I doubt that happens anytime soon. So it's more likely that we'll get to do this all over again in 2010, fighting and arguing and spending tens of millions of dollars over whether it's still okay, in this day and age, to discriminate against an entire class of people. If nothing else, there will be more of us, and less of them in two years:
CNN exit poll
Vote by Age Yes No 18-29 (20%) 39 61 30-44 (28%) 55 45 45-64 (36%) 54 46 65+ (15%) 61 39
That's why the Mormon Church and their bigoted allies are so desperate in this fight. Young people aren't afraid of the gays. They're on the losing side of history.
And I'm not just ready for this fight, I'm eager for it.


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