Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Election Results

(Originally posted on MySpace on Sunday, November 09, 2008)

I don't think there's anyone alive right now who doesn't think that the last week was an extremely historical one. The United States finally overthrew a few centuries of racial fear and suspicions and elected the country's first Black President, Barack Obama, into office. It certainly was something that I never thought I'd live to see in my lifetime and for the first time in a long while, it brought on a ting of pride towards my fellow countrymen. I almost believed I lived in a logically correct-thinking country again. The joy I saw on the faces and heard in the voices of my black friends and those on my TV screen was amazing and it made it hard not to get caught up in the celebration over the beginning of the end of a bad national period. I even saw one black man on TV channeling the old Martin Luther King Jr. speech by yelling, "Free at last, free at last" into the television cameras, showing just how much this meant to a people who never thought they would see this day.

Of course, "free at last" is a relative term, especially when those same people who were celebrating a new freedom ignored the lessons of history and in large part voted to deny freedoms to another minority. The discriminatory Proposition 8, outlawing same-sex marriage, passed here in California and in large part it was the election of Obama that did us in. More minorities, especially blacks and Hispanics, came out to vote than ever before and it was those people, who are largely religiously conservative, who managed to push the vote towards passage of the damned thing. (I also blame the fact that the so-called "good religious people" who were in favor of passing discrimination and bigotry into the State's Constitution did not let their religious beliefs stop them from using scare tactics and out-and-out lies to persuade these people to vote their way. I do take some solace in knowing that this proposition only passed due to these lies. Some people will do anything to get their way. I guess they'll ask their god for forgiveness at a later date.)

At first I was angry. Now I'm just…well…disappointed. I shouldn't be surprised. Ignorance and bigotry are equal opportunity employers. I knew this wasn't going to be an easy fight and it always seems that with every few steps forward, there's another step back. It's a fight we're destined to win and I truly believe that in another decade or two, people will look back on this whole thing with the same disbelief and embarrassment that most people now look back on when it comes to race relations. Less than ten years ago, a vote against gay marriage got 62 percent of the vote. Now it only got 52 percent and a good part of that was because of the lies that will be revealed as people become more familiar with us, as they have over the last decade or so.

In the meantime, the fight goes on. At least three challenges to the proposition have already been filed in court, with a good half dozen more coming soon. The proposition didn't address the 18,000 same-sex marriages already performed, so for the time being, Skip and I are still married in the eyes of the law. It's going to take awhile to work its way through the courts and I'm expecting more defeats, but many more victories. There will be people claiming that the courts are manned with "activist judges", ignoring the fact that almost every civil rights case has been decided in the courts, including "Loving vs. Virginia" in 1967, which finally nationally legalized mixed-race marriages. (They also forget or ignore the fact that the same religious arguments used against gay marriage were used against mixed-race marriages way back then.) But in the end, we will overcome and eventually I'll be able to face a TV camera and say "Free at last" myself.


Unless something catastrophic happens over the next week, I'm going to try to put the politics on the back burner for awhile and concentrate on more pleasurable subjects for the rest of the year. I'm hoping to finally get to my Buenos Aires trip next week and I still have tour stories I want to tell. It's been way too long since I've told one of those. We'll see how much I can actually get to this week as our good friend, Nate, is arriving from Oregon this weekend for a trip to Goth Day at Disneyland and a week of other fun experiences, including Skip's birthday. I'm going to be pretty busy, but what else is new these days?

Thanks to you all for reading these (almost) weekly rants and conversations. I really appreciate the support. Despite my disappointment this week, I'm still feeling hopeful for the future and I'm still going to enjoy the hell out of life while I have it. I hope you all feel the same.

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