Musings about music, writing, Portland, my new house, my travels, my family, politics, whatever.....

Sunday, November 09, 2008

What happened with Prop 8?

So I am still thrilled about Obama, still often on the verge on tears when I listen to the news. But the Proposition 8 thing has really been bothering me. It just boils down to the fact that everyone I know is thrilled out of their mind to have elected our first black president, but not many people seem very upset that all over the country people voted to take away civil rights from another group. Maybe, as one friend said, this is a blessing in the same way that GW Bush was a blessing to Obama. As in, things have to be really f*cked up before can we understand how badly we need to change. Maybe.

But I am hurt. A lot of people are hurt. And even though I actually feel like I can say I love Barack Obama, I am angry at him now. Because he says he supports full gay rights, but he is still against gay marriage. Our beautiful new black president-elect would like to deny some of us our full civil rights. Or maybe he's not really, some people say he downplayed his support for gay marriage to get elected. And since a lot of the people who voted for him also voted against gay marriage, maybe that worked. But what he said is that he is against gay marriage but also against banning it. How do we expect people to make sense of that? Does mentioning us in his acceptance speech get him a free pass? Gay people are so used to accepting crumbs, it's ridiculous...

When I was in high school, in the early 90s, I was very active in the gay youth movement in Boston. I helped run my high school Gay/Straight Alliance, I was appointed by Gov. Bill Weld to his Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth (which was later abolished by Mitt Romney, but still exists as a non governmental-entity). I brought a girl to my prom, I was a member of the Boston Alliance for Gay and Lesbian Youth. Later, in Missoula, I got involved in fighting back when the home of my friends Carla and Adrianne was set on fire (with their 2-yr-old son inside) after they filed a lawsuit demanding benefits from the University of Montana. These days, since I moved to Portland, I am less political (aside for volunteering once in a long while). Not many of the people in my life now know much about that activist side of me. But right now, I am feeling the righteousness of my youth, and feeling called to get back to that work in some way.

I have been reading some blogs about this, and would like to share them with you. I'd love to know your thoughts on all this.


  • At November 10, 2008 at 12:19 PM, Blogger Carrie Wilson Link said…

    Go, Jess, GO! I am with you 100%!!!

  • At November 10, 2008 at 1:51 PM, Blogger grammer said…

    I suggest you write to President-Elect Obama and share your thoughts and concerns. You're right, crumbs will not do. Equality is what we're after.

    My friend Teri lives in Laguna Hills CA and her 9-year old son is devastated by the "prop hate" results. Change has begun, but it needs fuel to keep going, it needs us all speaking out.

    I wonder if you could start a Care Petition?

  • At November 11, 2008 at 1:20 PM, Blogger Michelle O'Neil said…

    I'm hopiing Obama would "not" like to deny gay people their civil rights. I am hoping it's a "one step at a time" thing. If he had come out in full support of gay marriage, would he have been elected? Would McCain/Palin be a better alternative?

    I don't know what his true intentions or thoughts are on gay people, and I can't begin to understand the descrimination that you feel. I think it sucks, but I have hope that Obama in the office brings all people one step closer to equality.


  • At November 11, 2008 at 1:38 PM, Blogger Jess said…

    Thanks... I will write in to Obama's new site. I think there are plenty of petitions already, I'll try to post some here.

    Michelle - I am not at ALL suggesting I'd rather anyone else have been elected, NO way. I am still thrilled about Obama. I'm just saying it hurts to be used as a political pawn. But you're right, we are much closer now. Still, to move ahead, we have to work for it and hold him (and everyone else) to doing it.

  • At November 11, 2008 at 5:10 PM, Blogger kario said…

    It's true that no matter who gets elected, we must still continue to be vigilant about making sure our voices are heard. That's one of the most exhausting, discouraging and vital parts of being responsible for our own democracies, isn't it? When I think about the number of years I've spent marching, petitioning, and campaigning for reproductive rights, I've often wondered if it will ever be "done." I know better. If it's worth fighting for, I'll keep fighting.


  • At November 12, 2008 at 6:15 AM, Blogger Michelle O'Neil said…

    BTW....I think it is really amazing that you were out and political as a teen. What courage and strength of character you had/have.

  • At November 13, 2008 at 6:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Jess,

    I completely understand where you're coming from. Don't forget the promises that Clinton made regarding gays in the military, which turned into 'Don't ask, don't tell, in 1992. Prop 8 WILL be overturned but it will have to be a hard-fought battle in the same way that the civil rights movement for racial equality was a hard-fought fight. Wresting power away from the establishment is never easy. I think that guerrilla tactics are the way forward myself. Maybe if all the lesbians married gay men and then had relationships with their same-sex/gendered partners anyway the establishment would realize how problematic and political even straight marriages can be. What do you say? Join me and get married and be gay anyway? I dare you. I mean what would they call it? Adultery? Hah, that's what I say!
    Keep your chin up toots...xH in London


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