Monday, November 10, 2008

Yes, they did…

A bitch is rested, y’all.

Shall we?

On Election Day millions shifted their rally cries from "Yes We Can!" to "Yes We Did!"…but not all of those folks were talking about President Elect Obama’s victory. Anti-equality activists had a series of victories over justice in California, Florida, Arizona, and Arkansas. Like thousands of equality activists across the country, I am struggling to reconcile Obama’s historic victory with the denials of equality passed into law at the same damn time.

In California anti-equality extremists funded the push that resulted in passage of Proposition 8 that bans same-sex marriage.

62% of Floridians passed the so-called “Marriage Protection Amendment,” banning all recognition of and benefits for unmarried couples, both straight and gay.

Arizona went the route of Missouri in 2004, passing Proposition 102 with 56 percent of voter and amending their state constitution to recognize marriage as limited to unions of one man and one woman. Like Missouri, same-sex marriage was already illegal in Arizona and this move is strategic to block any action through the courts.

And Arkansas voters passed the “Unmarried Couple Adoption Ban,” that makes it illegal for any unmarried couple living together in the state to adopt children or serve as foster parents. 57% of voters passed that rancid piece of shit into law. State law and the state constitution already ban same-sex marriage.

When people ask me whether the election of this nation’s first president of color means America has instantly become a more just and equal society, those are the Election Day disasters that make a bitch look at them like they’ve lost their damned mind.

But we have just begun to fight.

An injustice to one remains an injustice to all.

There will be a nationwide protest against passage of Proposition 8 Saturday November 15…I’ll post details on the St. Louis protest as soon as I get them.

And, just for kicks, a bitch would like to point out that man on woman marriage is threatened by a lot of shit…families struggle because of lots of pressures…but same-sex marriage isn’t one of them.

Missouri banned same-sex marriage in 2004…

…and if we had a dollar for every failed man on woman union or divorce filed since that ban this nation would have our motherfucking surplus back.



Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

While it wasn't the fault of blacks this happened since in Cali since we made up only 10% of the voters, our getting the total blame is total bullshit. It was a WTF? moment for me when I learned that 70% of my people in California voted for the ban on same sex marriage, particularly since we've been through so much injustice.

I wrote a post specifically addressing the reasons and problems with this. I invite you all to read:
When The Yes We Can Crowd Said No You Can't


Anonymous said...

Latinos voted for the ban in Cali in disproportionate numbers. Sad commentary that those of us who have suffered oppression don't necessarily recognize its many other faces.

This is the first time in California's history that a civil right has been specifically taken away from a group of people.

Go us.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you posted that, Kit. That was going to be my (blatant) question, "the black voters did it" cause that's all I've been hearing and couldn't find much to the contrary.

Curiosity here - will this national protest on Saturday do much of anything, except show support for the people who supported the decision the Californa Supreme Court already made? And probably piss voters off the "Yes" voters.

Anonymous said...

BTW, Melissa Ethridge has had the best comments thus far:

if she is not "allowed the same right (to marry) under the state constitution as any other citizen. ... I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes, because I am not a full citizen."

"Okay. There is a lot I can do with the extra half a million dollars that I will be keeping instead of handing it over to the state of California. Gay people are born every day. You will never legislate that away."

Anonymous said...

Melissa best hope the case makes it to the Supreme Court before April 15, then.

Frogspond said...

I think we should all get together and amend the contitution to say that divorce is prohibited except for cases of documented abuse.

That would "protect marriage".

Mac Daddy Tribute Blog said...

I was a couple counselor and therapist for years, counseling African Americans but some whites and Africans, mostly Somalis. Almost all my clients talked about the stress placed on their relationship by financial matters. Oftentimes, the men resented the fact that the wife spent so much time away from the home working. Or the wife felt disconnected from her husband, because he was working two jobs or working so much overtime.

I can't recall one couple that came to me about anything related to a gay person that had come between them, that was tearing their relationship apart. And I seriously doubt if my colleagues had this problem either.

Homer said...

I am somewhat skeptical of the poll stating African-Americans voted so heavily for Prop 8- I'd like to see the sample size for that.

Here in AZ, the Mormons and Knights of Columbus largely funded ads stating "Let's Keep Marriage Simple" (!!!). I fully expect those nasty folks to file lawsuits now preventing state and local governments from offering same-sex domestic partnership benefits.

dinthebeast said...

Denial, hate, and fear, folks. Mixed with a jumbo portion of ignorance.
You can't legislate these citizens out of existance; they aren't going anywhere. Nobody's religion will do a damn thing to their biology.
And, like Rachel Maddow said, "It isn't catching" so you don't need to protect your children from it.
That, of course, is my opinion, and while I'll stand up for it, I certainly do not wish to force it upon anyone. So if you intend to continue lying to your children about things that make you uncomfortable, that is your decision so go right ahead. They are, after all, your children not mine. Perhaps it's my shortcoming that I don't understand the burning need to lie to your children. I can accept that. One thing I do understand though, having been a child who was lied to: I held those lies against my parents for a long time, and now I only have one parent with whom to reconcile, should I choose to do so. Perhaps that is something to consider prior to demonizing a whole bunch of people you don't know, and don't know anything about. There is plenty of evil out there to struggle against without inventing hurtful bullshit about things that don't matter that you can't change anyway.

-Doug in Oakland

midwesterntransport said...

mabye i'm crazy, but this doesn't feel permanent to me. it may take some time, but i feel like ultimately same-sex marriage will be possible in this country.

what i vote for is civil unions for all - gay and straight - and "marriage" to be reserved exclusively for religious ceremonies which have no bearing on legal ones.

Wicked Gardener said...

No same sex union has ever threatened my marriage, but a few have inspired it. For the record, I was not one of the Florida voters who passed Amendment 2. Stupid.

Kristin said...

Yeah, I'm with you midwesterntransport. I think this means we gotta fight harder, but man, this also does feel like a kick in the groin! Takes you by surprise, is totally humiliating, and angers the living shit out of you all at once!

Just when I was starting to believe in US, I caught wind of all the hate policies that were passed. Two steps forward, three nasty steps back.

I do feel drastic measures would make a important point because I think if people are so embedded in their ignorance that they can't comprehend the lack of integrity and ethics in what they've done, then hit them in their almighty dollar. I do feel if gay brethren/sistren removed themselves from the tax base and states saw how much significant contribution they made in green, it would drive a point home, STOP FUCKING WITH OUR RIGHTS!! And I hate thinking in extremes cause I know it's not that simplistic, but I guess I just wish their was a way to make a loud scream that would jolt this nation out of complacency when people's friggin rights are being violated. Ya Basta! Enough already.

Now I gotta adjust my afro!!! It's on fire!

Infuriated Faggot said...

Hey ABB! The awesome thing about the Proposition is that it only REALLY serves to get a sense of what the people want. Remember, in order for California to Amend their constitution, the need a 2/3 consensus. Those californians have a fight on their hands!

Also, as one of your readers commented, the Black vote only comprised ~10% of the vote. The unfortunate part is that 87% of that 10% voted to Ban same sex marriage. Hmmm. Okay.

The way this prop lost was the lack of door to door canvassing. The GLBT community really needed to get their asses into some churches and preach about Secular Marriage as compared to Religious Marriage. One fight at a time...

But the great part of ALL of this is that we have a President who says he'll listen to the people...sweet!!! I've got a laundry list of shit that needs to be taken care think he can take care of my speeding ticket? haha

Either way, I still get emotional when thinking about what we accomplished...don't you feel like we overthrown a dictator and given the middle finger to racism (not denying its continual existence, however)...



Infuriated Faggot said...

One more thing...I recommend listening to "Defenders of Marriage" by Anne Feeney (an awesome friend of mine, fellow artist-activist)...The refrain:

"Defenders of Marriage, Defending the institution, from people who want to get Married"

I think heteros are doing more damage than good to marriage by banning same sex marriage!


Anonymous said...

I love you. :-)

Anonymous said...

Quoth Shark-fu: "And, just for kicks, a bitch would like to point out that man on woman marriage is threatened by a lot of shit…families struggle because of lots of pressures…but same-sex marriage isn’t one of them."

Thank you. Just-- thank you.

ChristopherM said...

I have been really struggling over Prop 8 over the last few days. I tried reasoning it out, then I got pissed at the number of minorities who voted for it, then I got depressed. Interesting thing, though: According to this very thorough crunching of the numbers, there is no way the CNN exit polling was correct on the number of black people who voted (10% of the electorate would have been virtually impossible), and if blacks had voted as other groups had, Prop 8 still would have passed.

Why does it hurt more that minorities voted against my rights than when the massive number of old white folks did. I don't know if it should...isn't that really letting them off the hook for their bigotry while holding minorities to a higher standard? Clearly we have a lot of work to do on all sides to fix this. Anyway, for you numbers wonks, here is some interesting data crunching:;jsessionid=9874480084675B3B3303E7B80DE72B9D?diaryId=23580

Anonymous said...

The point of rallies are to mobilize and organize, as well as call attention to ourselves. Of course a couple of them aren't going to do anything. It's what we learn there, the people we make contacts with there, and probably most important - the spirit of unity that pervades there.

There is nothing wrong with anger. When channeled correctly, it can be powerful tool.

What people tend to keep ignoring is that Prop 8 is just one of many ballot initiatives that have passed or are going to pass around the country. Perhaps we should advocate that we wait until all states amend their constitutions to deny people rights that most of them never had in the first place.

I mean, god love our brethren in California, but this call to action isn't just about them.

Fannie Wolfe said...

"I am struggling to reconcile Obama’s historic victory with the denials of equality passed into law at the same damn time."

I am struggling with that too.

Thanks for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Hey there-
Here are some details on that protest, if you still need them:

Event: Join the Impact - St. Louis City
"Protest for Prop 8"
What: Protest
Host: Show Me No Hate with Prop 8
Start Time: Saturday, November 15 at 12:00pm
End Time: Saturday, November 15 at 2:00pm
Where: Old Courthouse


Anonymous said...

To all,

As a straight black woman, I am disappointed that Prop 8 passed. I live on the East Coast, so I heard dribs and drabs about it on the news. As I heard the news about the events, I also heard from a family member ( she's gay), that Blacks and other minorities were being blamed for the passage of the bill. I also heard that the Mormons spent millions of dollars to see that the bill passed, but I didn't see anything about what the gay community did to argue their case in the court of public opinion.

So, what did the gay community do to appeal to Black and Hispanic sensibilities? Or did the gay community assume that we as a community would go along with gay marriage? If this is the case, then I guess you could see you were wrong about the Black community.

Now, before all of you get your Afros all kinked up, I am 1000 percent for gay marriage. All I'm sayin' is that if the gay community didn't court the black and hispanic populations, they didn't do their job.

The gay community forgot that both of these communities are by and large, socially conservative. We a blacks largely get our sense of moral teachings from the church, and isn't that where the civil rights movement started?

Maybe the gay community needed to tell the black community that their right to get married IS a moral as well as a civil issue. Tell the community that the right of two individuals to have their love legally recognized is a fundamental right we all share.

Tell these folks that Yes, as gays we recognized that it was illegal for interracial marriages, and remind black folks that in slavery times, black marriages weren't legally binding.

Remind them all the protests were proven wrong about how society would crumble if blacks were allowed to marry out of their race, and before then, each other.

Gay folks should learn this lesson and if this happens in another state, to directly appeal to blacks and hispanics, instead of just assuming that this community would just go along.

Do a better job of getting your message out.

Shark-Fu said...

Although I agree that the LGBT community needs to step up our outreach to communities of color, I do think some of that outreach has begun and pre-dates this recent marriage ban.

Bridges take time to build and we shouldn't assume no one's building just because both sides aren't fully connected...

...just as we should remain mindful that people of color are part of the LGBT community too.

We've got work to do, for sure...

Joe said...

Thanks for this post. I also love Kit's (first commenter's) blog post on the subject. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Still lots of hard work to be done, but this bruise is going to be sore for awhile.

I have faith that we will triumph.

Blue Girl, Red State said...

We never get to rest. There is always some jackassery to fight. So fight on I must, because I have to look myself in the mirror, and my lesbian daughter in the face.

I am damned tired after thirty fucking years, but I'll be damned if I am going to quit.

I guess that's the peril of winning your first big battle...I was one of those students who built shanty towns on university quads throughout the land and forced our schools to divest from Apartheid-era South Africa.

And don't even get me started on the run-ins I have had with the ultra-orthodox of my own tribe...

Holly said...

I live on the opposite coast from California but I had a sinking feeling about Prop 8 based on the people I know here.

I am continually astounded at the myths people in this "progressive" nation believe.

I have yet to understand why people are threatened by two people who love each other. I thought that was supposed to be a good thing?

God is supposed to be so powerful...couldn't he handle it if it were a pressing issue for him? And if he doesn't why do those who don't hold so much power worry about it?

So to continue down that line of thought...if he doesn't care because he hasn't struck gay couples dead on the spot, then it really isn't about "marriage" but rather about religion. A civil union does not have to take place in conjunction with a religious ceremony. So I come back to the "why is this a big deal?"

My oldest daughter is an atheist. She is also heterosexual. But she will not be married in a church, instead there will be a civil ceremony. Does this make her union less....what? because it isn't in a church in front of some god that we can't prove exists?

I should know better than to even start down this road. Makes me nutz.

Anyway, good post Shark-fu

Anonymous said...

Is there any possibility that the black people exit-polled lied to the pollster, in order to save face? The epidemiologists have long known that certain methods of asking questions of a sexual nature are more likely than other methods to be accurate. People will admit to acts more readily when anonymous mailed questionnaires, as compared to face to face interviews, are the format used. I could imagine someone voting No on 8, and then telling the poster, OF COURSE I voted "Yes" on 8 (can't you see that I am a Godly respectable person?).


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