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Prop 8...

Before I go any farther, let me say I'm glad Obama won. I feel like if queer folks don't say that first, there will be a backlash against our community that will be painfully unprecedented. So, again I say: I am glad Obama won.

I'm disgusted to live in California, a state that refuses to give me civil rights, a state where when the contest is between love and hate--hate wins. There will be a lot of coverage on this issue today but the question that's been missing so far and I imagine will be missing today: Does anyone really expect us to be going to any more heterosexual weddings? 'Cause I have three in the next two months and there's no way in hell I'll be in attendance.

It's been tempting with this issue for the campaign to play oppression Olympics. It's an easy jump to compare LGBT civil rights with other civil rights struggles and I have been very very (very) critical of this tactic. Having said that I can't help but make this analogy:

"Well, I know the country club wont let you in and really I think that's just awful, when we voted, as a club, I totally voted against it. Buuuuuut....its such a nice club! And I always dreamed of being part of it and I really want my kids to grow up in a country club so I'm gonna' join. And for real, I totally don't think it's fair that you can't. Sorry! Oh, and hey you should come celebrate with me as I become a member. You don't mind, right?"

Well, heterosexuals, that is *exactly* what you're doing and saying when you get married.

So don't. Don't get married. Cancel your wedding. Maybe you already booked the caterer, but I don't care. Stand with a community in solidarity and choose not to get married until everyone can. And if you're not going to do that, at least don't have the audacity to invite me to your initiation into a club that won't have me as a member.

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Comments

18 comments have been made. Post a comment.

Before I go any farther, let

Before I go any farther, let me say I'm glad Obama won. I feel like if queer folks don't say that first, there will be a backlash against our community that will be painfully unprecedented. So, again I say: I am glad Obama won.

I'm concerned that your first paragraph contains more cynicism than is necessary or justifiable, and is potentially divisive. It also contradicts what you say later on in your piece about being skeptical and avoidant of "the oppression olympics." When I read this, and perhaps it is my lense, I hear an exasperated, "listen people. Hip hip hooray that Obama won, but gay people got the shaft. Do you understand that, a black man might be president but WE ARE FUCKED."

As a queer person in a state (VA) where my rights have been torn away from me piece by piece, intentionally and without remorse, I have to say that there is still hope. And ironically enough, Obama is that hope. Had this legislation passed AND McCain won the election, my knees would be clacking together in fear. But Obama won. Obama WON! With his presidency, we can count on the kind of Supreme Court nominations that will corroborate our reality: that we are not "second-class" citizens and that access to those 1000+ benefits of marriage (which is the point of all of this, is it not? We don't need "marriage" so much as we need the rights attributed to it.) is not a privilege but a right. And wouldn't National freedom to marry eclipse a state-level decision? Isn't the point that all GLTBQ folks in America have access to this right? I think it is. And I know Obama's the guy to make that happen. Call me an idealist, but there is literal, palpable hope.

um, obama does not support

um, obama does not support gay marriage.

I wonder about this. Obama

I wonder about this.

Obama has not come out and said he is against gay marriage. Joe Biden said this, under pressure during the VP debate with Sarah Palin.

Everything Obama stands for leads me to think that he is in support of equality and civil rights protection for all people.

I think, in the heat of the election madness, he was pressured to maintain a more "centrist" perspective. I hope that now that the election is over, he can freely speak words of support for equality for all people.

If anyone can open a dialogue about charged and polarizing issues in the country, it is President Obama. Just listen to his More Perfect Union speech.

No need to wonder

In the primaries when the democrats did the gay debate with Logo, Obama said that he was not for gay marriage, that to be perfectly clear he has always believed, currently believes and will always believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. That while he is for civil unions he will "protect marriage"

He hasn't done or said anything to indicate he'll change his stance on this.

Complicated Times

I get the anger. Being queer I've been on both sides of the fence (in terms of how this will affect me not in terms of whether or not I'm against Prop 8) and have actually been considering cancelling a wedding planned for April. Also, being a person of color in an interracial relationship, I can't understand how people don't see the connections. This "historical election" was supposed to bring us closer, not further, from where we're supposed to be. How can we congratulate ourselves for electing a non-white president and try to pass a law that's inequality is in line with miscegenation laws? It's, first of all, scary and unconstitutional (literally if this passes it will be in contradiction to itself) and, on a personal level, hurtful and overwhelming. We haven't decided what we're going to do yet but please understand that accepting some privilege isn't always the same as oppressing others, especially when you're aware of that privilege, I sit on the margin of several marginalized communities and understand the desire for solidarity with something that doesn't always embrace your needs and identities. Thank you for your thoughts, now is the time for us to look to our common humanity and be aware of how this affects us all.

*nods*

I also understand your anger; I don't live in California, but I was really hoping that Prop 8 would be defeated, as well as the initiatives in Arizona, Florida, and Arkansas, but I agree with some of what Meaghan said-- hopefully we'll soon be in the position to have access to the rights for LGBT people across the country--not just in individual states.

I also feel frustration and anger around heterosexual weddings--and I even had one 5 years ago (but have since come out). I don't want to attend them, I don't want to buy gifts for 30 year olds who already have toasters, etc... but I also feel frustrated that there are SO many huge problems in our society that my marriage rights (really, the lack thereof) aren't my number one priority right now.

I heard the analogy that getting married is like buying a house in a neighborhood that doesn't allow people of color to buy houses. I agree with that, but as a queer person in a state w/ no marriage rights, I feel frustrated by queer couples who get married too-- we don't all have access yet, so participating in the exclusionary system is suspect to me.

Not all GLBTs are for gay marraige ... let alone marraige

I used to be for all that is gay marraige ... the frou-frou ... so-called "rights" and "entitlements" that go along with it ...

But then I discovered the great, brave voice of Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, thanks in part to Bitch. She has really made me think more than twice about many of the issues concerning GLBTQ's. Marraige might be all well and dandy for some of the assimillated. But the reality is that not all GLBTQ's are like Ellen DeGeneres (I had to drop just one name) who were misguided (likely by some inside-the-Beltway establishment such the Human Rights Campaign) into believing that marraige is the definitive answer to solving all GLBTQ ills and struggles. Utne Reader's spotlight on Bernstein Sycamore (scroll down to where it says "More Than Marraige") is dead-on. I urge everyone to check out her writings, and really think about what she has to say which, like it or not, is about EVERYONE, labels be damned. Sure, it was great that Obama won last night, but the work is long from over. Conversations need to be taking place. I say it's more than high-time that assimilated GLBT's begin having some SERIOUS conversations with the likes of Bernstein Sycamore and other "dissenters." The days of the assimilated believing in their so-called rights to live in picture-perfect, 1950s fantasy worlds (that never really were) must come to an end. They need to stop running away and start facing the music. It's time to TALK, and not just from the TV talk show set.

Personally ... I am no longer a fan of marraige, period. EVERYONE should have rights, benefits, etc., marraige be damned. Keep-on, keepin'-on the quest, Mattilda!!

What happened to believing in choice?

Oh Booniesgrrls, (2 r's, that's precious). I totally agree with you regarding marriage and its assimilationist roots. I understand your frustration when dealing with Queer folks who view marriage as a large band-aid to be placed over a gaping wound of many interlocking oppressions and injustices HOWEVER, this is more about civil rights and maintaining equality and citizenship than about any political stance on marriage. Maybe when you get older, get a real job and have property taxes to pay, you will understand the hurt and pain that goes into paying taxes to a state that publicly chooses to ignore, to willfully ignore your right to participate in whatever heteronormative institution you choose.
It's not about a wedding dress, its about having the option of choosing to opt. out. I am not saying I want David's Bridal for all dykes, I am saying I want the chance to wage my own PERSONAL war on marriage while still being showered with the opportunity to take part in institutions my tax dollars, and citizenship afford me. Oh also, on the terms of choice, I am assuming by your trite and hackneyed argument, recited from a WSP textbook near your Mac Laptop, that you don't have any creditcards, shop and any supermarkets or wear clothing, due to the fact that you would then be supporting a capitalist system that thrives on patriarchal control.

gay marriage

I don't think that legalizing gay marriage will solve all the problems that the the LGBTIQ community faces. And it's not about whether gay people all want to get married or even have it be a legal right offered to us. The point is that heterosexuals in this country are granted this basic right and we aren't. Even if marriage isn't taken seriously as it once was, and people don't stay together as long as they used to, they can still get married to any person of the opposite sex. It may be something that you don't feel is a valid institution but the point is that it society considers it valid for heterosexuals. The reasons for it not being offered to homosexuals is clearly deeply rooted in religion and goes against the separation of church and state our forefathers set out. Equality cannot be achieved if we are all just like, okay, marriage doesn't even matter. It doesn't matter if we have it! The point is that the legal system only offers benefits to people who are married (and in some states D.P. and C.U. carry benefits) and without that institution being offered to homosexuals we will never be treated equally under the law.

Something, at least, to be happy about...

What everyone is saying is true. Prop 8 codifies the erosion of queer folks' civil liberties, and the passing of Prop 8 (and what it says about California) still hangs over our heads. But if you're the sort of person who needs to look for a silver lining (and I am):

From Obama's acceptance speech:

"It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America."

Now, correct me if I'm wrong... but isn't this the first time you've ever heard a American President-elect include the explicit addressing of the queer community in their acceptance speech? Have you ever heard a president actually incorporate the queer identity into his canon of sacred American variety like this? I'm thinking about it and I'm really not sure I've ever heard a politician include gay people in the discourse unless in reaction to the marriage inequality issue, and even then usually in the context of a politician trying to justify their bigotry by saying "it's not that I think them gays are bad people, but..." which is a sure sign that s/he does think that. jerks.

ANYWAY, what I'm saying is, politicians trying to appeal to mainstream America usually exclude queer folks, or otherwise only address gayness if it's concurrently steeped in media/political scandal. Here, Obama addressed the queer community as he did the young community, the Asian community, the disabled community, etc. not amidst a controversy... but as a matter of fact, acknowleding the presence and importance of the queer community, just as we exist. It gives me hope.

prop 8

You westcoast people should elope in connecticutWhere we yankees do not believe in proposistions or referendrems.

prop 8

You westcoast people should elope in connecticutWhere we yankees do not believe in proposistions or referendrems.

Prop 8...

I refuse to start this with any excuses.

I was elated when Obama won, not because he is hope, but because he symbolizes the hope within us all that black people in America are being thought of instead of consistently disregarded or being targeted as rapist or gang leaders. He symbolizes the hope within us all that women will be remembered and taken care of when we say No. He symbolizes the hope within us all that the LGBT community WILL gain and maintain their rights. He symbolizes the hope within us all that because we are American we will fight and become a little bit safer everyday in our own towns, cities, states, and country.

He symbolizes America. Every President symbolizes America, they do not become America, they simply become a well known representation. The hope that we all carried within ourselves for this well known symbol to become diverse was not fully achieved, but we got a hell of a lot closer.

I cried for a full day and a half when Prop 8 started to show signs of being passed. The fact that my marriage would not be recognized in a state and a country I am so proud to come from nearly broke me. The fact that I am so proud to represent this state, and it is not proud to represent me, nearly made me throw up my hands and give up.

But I will not make excuses; I will not blame heterosexual couples that just want to love each other as I want to love my wife. I will not blame religious people for forgetting just how revolutionary and progressive their leader was. I will not blame black and Latino communities as the media has for taking away this right. I will not blame a person that is just a symbol, for almost losing my hope.

This is not a new fight, but in the grand scheme of things this is a young and very fragile fight, I should have protected it more.

We ARE are country, some of us have to fight more to make that point, but in the end the only way to win, the only way to protect ourselves, our hope, and our country is to try to listen to each other. To care for each other.

Because simply put, Divide We Are Always Conquered.

~bex

I don't care, but respect MY opinion whether you like it or not

Whatever sexual preference you have is your business and I could care less what you do, and who you live with, but don't try and get into my mind and change it to the way YOU want me to think.

I live my life according to the Bible and if I form my opinion by that source, don't tell me that I should vote the way YOU want me to "regardless" of how I feel about marriage. MY MIND, MY VOTE and stop crying and JUST ACCEPT THE VOTE OF THE PEOPLE OF CALIFORNIA.

Final thought: If you want to redefine "Marriage" why stop there? Let's redefine the word "murder" and say that murder is ONLY murder when using a gun and while we are at it, why not include animals and inanimate objects to define "discrimination" Helloooo!

wow...

It's absolutely fantastic that you live your life according to the rules of a god that many people don't even believe exists, but when you try and push your beliefs onto other people, disqualifying their beliefs and making yours seem the most righteous and true (by comparing the discrimination of gays to discrimination of inanimate objects), that's not okay. You tell people to "stop crying and just accept the vote of the people of California," while back in May the people of California voted YES on gay marriage, and you sure as hell didn't stop crying and accept it. In fact, people like you donated disgusting amounts of money, even coming from out-of-state, in order to prevent certain people from being allowed to get married.

So please, keep your bigotry and fear out of other people's lives. Don't lie and say things like "Whatever sexual preference you have is your business and I could care less what you do," because obviously you DO care, or else you wouldn't be so adamant in your opinions to remove the rights of people with a sexuality you deem wrong, based on the words in a book that is accepted by many scholars and historians to be written in codes.

I respect your right to an opinion, but I won't respect "[your] opinion whether [I] like it or not." You cannot force someone to respect what you have to say, and sorry, but I don't respect bigotry and discrimination.

Final thought: Redefining the word "murder" to say that it is ONLY murder when using a gun is more closely compared to making it so the word "marriage" is ONLY marriage when between a man and a woman. Just sayin.'

The Beast Speaks!

When (not if) same-sex marriage becomes legal, I will accept it and not protest the result. I wish you would do the same until it becomes law. People like you obviously do not accept the vote of the people. You want to ram your opinion down their throat - just as the mayor of SF (and your spokesman) said..."LIKE IT OR NOT!", but now that you did not get the results you expected or wanted, YOU DON'T LIKE IT.

I also expected people like you to consider the writings of the Bible as "bigotry and discriminatory". Some organizations have even attempted (and are STILL trying) to change the Bible to reflect THEIR way of thinking. Why bother?? The Bible was written for Christians who accept it the way God intended it, not to pick and choose what they like and to ignore the rest, but that is not the issue. The issue is voting your conscience and accepting the final result of the majority.

As a Christian I TRY and live by the Bible (I don't always succeed), but as a non-Christian I expected people like you to accept (not agree) with our vote which is based on religious beliefs. Is it that difficult or are you so intolerant of others who disagree with you and vote differently that you resort to calling their religious beliefs as "bigotry and discriminatory"?

The results were not a landslide

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proposition_8#Results

For the record - the voting results were: Yes - 52% No - 47% That's CLOSE, if you ask me.

I have no problem with those "Yes" voters that live their lives by the Bible. However, those people are dismissing the will of the voters that voted "NO." Since when is your "Yes" vote superior to those that voted "NO??" Should those "NO" voices be silenced and dismissed? I think not.

Now to clarify MY previous post on the matter. All I was trying to do was state a differing opinion, indicative of the fact that GLBTQ's don't agree on everything in this world. We indeed have our own issues and problems that we will be spending the rest of our lives trying to fight battles on and sort out. Personally, I'm SINGLE. Never mind my sexual orientation (which, I insist that it not be labeled). We singles have issues and problems, too. For one, we seem to becoming more and more oppressed. It's as if you are not a valid part of society if you are not at least partnered/coupled with anyone. I'm sick of getting "Who's gonna' take care of you when you are old??" crap thrown at me. I'd much rather work on advocating for better standards of living (especially equal, affordable, access to health care) for EVERYONE than rant and vent on about whether or not I am for gay marraige.

If you want to continue fighting for the right to get married, go for it. Marraige is a CHOICE, indeed.

Personally, I just have no interest in marraige. Neither does this person, these people, and the last time I checked, Sasha Cagen is still single, too.

Enough from me on this.

i get that queer rights are

i get that queer rights are important but i think that by fighting sexism and eliminating the whole feminine vs. masculine ideology, gay rights will come more easily. Gender is the root of both issues, but one oppresses half of the world. women (of any sexuality) are raped and silenced in every corner of earth every day.