It's 52% to 48% for Prop8, with 95% of the votes in. Although theoretically too close to call, we've lost.
Part of this is the fault of the No-on-8 campaign, which never once put up pictures of gay couples, which is what this was about. Instead, they allowed the Yes-on-8 campaign make this about schools and children, which covered the bigotry by allowing the proponents to point at children. They did not articulate clearly the problem with civil unions. And the Yes-on-8 campaign did a blitzkrieg at the end, with ads blanketing radio, the internet, and even a robo-call on election day with a recording of Obama's voice saying he was opposed to gay marriage. I didn't hear a peep out of the NO campaign, which even sent me home when I tried to volunteer on election day.
Which brings us to the second part of the problem, which is the way senior politicians tried to have it both ways. Obama officially opposed Prop8, but it was his words disagreeing with gay marriage that were played. Schwarzenegger promised the Log Cabin Republicans that this would never pass, but he did nothing to stop it. They threw us under the bus.
Was this just about the children, or Christian conservatives? No, because the parental notification-for-abortion proposition was defeated--so there were more bigots out there who wanted to oppose gay marriage than who cared about restricting abortion.
We even lost LA county. African-Americans voted overwhelmingly in favor of Prop8, thus the history-making vote for Obama hurt us badly. Why is it that one oppressed group is so ready to oppress the ones behind them in line?
But what will be remembered by the GLBT community is the Mormons and the Catholics and the conservative Christians their opposition to our civil rights. I want to stand in front of the Mormon Temple or the Catholic churches, with other gay couples, just silently staring at their faces as they walk by, and make them look us in the eye. Our community is outraged at organized religion, and I am too.
Religious bias had a huge role to play, even if not the only role, and my current political goal is to defeat tax exemption. The Mormons and the Catholics get charitable (tax-deductible) donations and turn around and use them politically. Yet my donations to No-on-8 aren't deductable. Let's stop that, first of all.
So, is my marriage still legal? Yes, for the moment. The Proposition itself did not say anything about prior marriage. The Yes-on-8 campaign promised that they would file suit to nullify the 18,000 marriages that have occurred since June. This is a tricky constitutional issue, because it would make a law retroactive, and this would be a big legal change. But a number of Constitutional scholars think that is possible. Meanwhile, our side will probably sue to over turn this on the grounds that this is discriminatory. (Update: First suit to be filed claiming Prop 8 is itself unconstitutional.) If my marriage remains legal, other gay couples will sue on the grounds of equal protection.
Maybe we just aren't ready for gay marriage, you might say. I put it to you that if you had asked for a popular vote on segregation right after Brown v. the Board of Education, then the south would still be segregated--and we would not have a black president-elect, either. If you had asked for a popular vote on inter-racial marriage right after Loving v Virginia, there would still be anti-miscegenation laws on the books. It took 30 years after that decision for a majority of Americans to agree that inter-racial marriage is okay. The Constitution exists in part to prevent the rights of the minority from being oppressed by the mob of the majority. Unless that minority is gay, apparently.
My beloved and I wept together this morning, tears of anger and frustration and hurt. Such a contrast to our mutual tears of joy at our wedding.
Whose marriage will we vote on next?
(In a delicious bit of unknowing irony, the Catholic bishops think this ad is an example of religious bigotry and intolerance. Apparently imposing their religious bigotry and intolerance on us is okay.)
Update: You can find the video here.