Happy Friday all,
As both I and Media Lizzy have opined, California’s Proposition 8 ballot initiative (a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage) was a huge step back for gays & lesbians, civil rights in general, and an embarrassing black eye for America (again). On November 4th, Proposition 8 passed by a small majority and thus gay marriages, which have been going on for some time now in California, became illegal. This Proposition has eliminated the rights of gays & lesbians to marry.
To say that gays & lesbians are disappointed would be a gross understatement. Click here, here and here to view some of the pictures and videos from the last two nights. There have been near-riots in both Los Angeles and San Francisco.
There are two main issues at hand when discussing the passage of this proposition. First is the role of the Mormon Church in this, and secondly is the issue of Barak Obama’s election and the people who came out to support him.
The Yes on 8 (support of the ban) raised about $25 million, and about $20 million has been identified as coming at the behest of the Mormon Church. This enormous and lopsided amount coming from one identifiable entity has raised the very serious question about the “church’s” role in this election, and whether moral and legal boundaries were crossed in their advocacy and support of the initiative. Several petitions and websites have been started to launch a campaign into investigating this, and attempting to revoke the IRS’s not-for-profit status of the Mormon church because of their heavy politicking.
The second overriding issue is the very serious questioning of the role of Barak Obama’s campaign to turnout large numbers of minority voters across the nation, and the way it might have affected Prop 8. President-elect Obama had stated that while he did not agree with the notion of gay marriage, he believed that a constitutionally mandated state ban on it was wrong, and thus came out against Prop 8. Many in the GLBT community feel extremely betrayed by Obama and his election. To say that the GLBT political establishment was supportive of Obama would be an understatement as well. Gays & Lesbians were working overtime to mobilize the key constituencies in California to vote for Obama. And what happened?
Well, according to many exit polls here in CA, this is what happened to Prop 8
– White voters voted against the ban, overall
– Hispanic voters were split about half and half
– Black voters supported the ban by about a 70% margin
Yeah…you can connect the dots there.
Even in “uber-liberal” Los Angeles County, the marriage ban passed. Many in the GLBT Obama campaign are feeling extremely betrayed – as almost 1.5 MILLION people who voted for Barak Obama ALSO voted for the ban. The anger and frustration is so thick that people literally cannot contain themselves – hence why you’re seeing people out marching on the streets for 2 nights in a row now.
Some other disturbing trends…
California voters approved a statewide ballot measure that would mandate that poultry farmers who use cages to contain their livestock let the animals out of their cages for a set amount of hours a day. California voters also rejected a ballot measure that would require minors to give notification to their parents or other parental authority if they were going to have an abortion.
So let’s get this straight…the chickens get the right to have free-time from their cages and 16 year olds don’t have to tell an adult that they’re having an abortion, but gays getting married is just too much? The f*ing Fosters Farms chickens got more rights out of this election than the gays did! Who is a voter who votes to let a 16 year old have an abortion without telling an adult but votes against gay marriage??? I just don’t get it.
I don’t really know what to predict going forward, but there are a LOT of pissed off gays out here in the west. I don’t know what will happen, but in some ways, this whole incident just woke up a sleeping giant. The money & talent in the gay community is unmatched – look for some kind of coordinated response. Either there will be a revolution, or we’ll have to wait another 10 years for a run at marriage equality.