Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Prop 8 pushback

If the election were held today, Prop8 would probably lose. (So where was this energy BEFORE the election?)

H/T Mike in Texas

Update: Here's an interesting suggestion to continue the pushback:
Yesterday I called a woman’s spouse her boyfriend. She says, correcting me, “He’s my husband,” “Oh,” I say, “I no longer recognize marriage.”

The impact is obvious......Fun. And instant, eyebrow-raising recognition. Suddenly the majority gets to feel what the minority feels. In a moment they feel what it’s like to have their relationship downgraded, and to have a much taken-for-granted right called into question because of another’s beliefs.


James said...

Well, Mike, you sure said a lot in a few words!

David G. said...

Complacency ....

Till the HATERZ rolled through!!

James said...

I just published on my blog that The California Fair Political Practices Commission will investigate the Mormon Church's allegedly unreported contributions to the campaign to eliminate marriage equality in the state.

IT said...

But no one has told me what happens if they are found guilty. A fine? so what?


IT said...

Incidentally, and O/T, I am now cross-posting some of my posts at
TPM Cafe and Daily Kos.


James said...

If they are found guilty, the least "punishment" will be $5,000 per offense. And there is a good possibility they could have tax exempt status revoked for "a time" or permanently.

JCF said...

I saw this report on Olbermann last night.

Frankly, I'm a little wary. "If the vote were held today", means that Pro H8 ads would be running, also. We've learned things in hindsight, but so have they (don't think they wouldn't have edited select images from the post-H8 protests, to STRENGTHEN their case that we're "religion-hating"---that WE are the bigots!---to strengthen their case).

[And don't forget, of course, that earlier polls showed Prop H8 failing. Turn-arounds happen. :-( ]

I hope that the Cal SC will overturn H8...

...but if they don't, we (in the Marriage Equality movement---in Cal and elsewhere) are going to have to go back to the drawing-board.

We can't assume that "Oh, NOW the majority 'gets it'!"

IT said...

THey definitely don't JC, and frankly I am not the least sanguine about overturning this proposition. OUr friend PRimrose has depressed me plenty about that.

we won't win the next time either unless we really coalesce this movement.


Cany said...

Regarding "what" happened...

I'll tell you what happened, from my POV.

1. While the supporting sides scared the holy crap out of Christian believers (saying things like your church will HAVE to marry lgbt folks or that they could lose their 501 if they didn't), there was nary a comment in advertisements on the point and no explanation of the "Massachusetts" example (long story short... the church was a responsible steward for this public land, denied a gay couple the right to marry on public land... well you see where this is going. Had NOTHING to do with the church per se.).

In other words, we did (and I use the collective we here because all of us opposed are involved) not do a proper job in explaining what the prop did and did not do on this front.

2. Little or no substantive outreach to the African American and Latino communities. BIG mistake. In the AA community, the term civil rights has a distinct meaning. Some were upset that this meaning was applied elsewise, some didn't understand that rights were ALREADY extended and would be revolved (and this not just in the AA community, but broadly) and some don't understand rights as including holy matrimony or any other kind of matrimony (see below).

3. Even though a bizillion people ARE married, few GET that this is not a religious institution, but a legal contractual one. No one addressed this at all.

4. No ground game. There should have been a ground game. Especially in CA where Obama was safe, the ground game should have been usurped by prop 8 folks to organize and literally knock on doors.

5. Political assumption. This, to me, means that people ASS-UMED until very late in the game (and by then, it is too late) that CA and liberals and independents voting for Obama would likewise vote no on 8. That assumption NEVER should have been made.

6. Too little money for campaign too late and campaign not run well or early enough. Speaks for itself.

Just my humble opinion.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Dear IT,
I'm so sorry that I did not catch your comment on my blog sooner.

It was very nice of you to come by my blog and leave warm wishes for my daughter and new daughter-in-law.

Now I am going to have to come back and scour your blog for a wedding photo of you and your beloved's loving gazes.

Congratulations and may you continue on the road of life together always with much love and and support for one-another.

And Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Pagan Sphinx

JCF said...

Heh: IT is kinda shy re pics, PS (among other things!).

But this picture (accompanying "The Agony of Waiting" thread, below) is of IT and BP's (that's short for "Beloved Partner") newly-wedded hands.

Love is a hands-on thing. ;-)

TheraP said...

IT, I'm doing some heavy duty thinking about alternative ways to address the bigotry issue. And I'm thinking of turning the "hospitality" idea on its head and the new image is "foot washing" (as a metaphor). I'm considering a "non-threatening" way of "killing people with kindness" via some kind of "service" to people in need at this time of financial crisis. I've been thinking that the Obama grassroots network could be mobilized to canvas neighborhoods almost like a census - finding out who is elderly or unemployed or disabled or otherwise in need - and then mobilizing different groups to address the needs. Churches could be involved. Students. Dems. Repubs. Unions. Etc. And it seems to me that if the gay community became massively involved in person to person service like this, you'd not only change hearts and minds as volunteers rubbed shoulders, but also as volunteers and those in need rubbed shoulders. The idea is to make society so appreciative that values and perceptions might change, barriers erode, and hostility trickle away. (We're out to "heal" the country!)

The reason I'm thinking like this is that legal battles alone don't change hearts and minds, only laws. And it's a type of counterinsurgency campaign that's needed here - with changing hearts and minds as part of it.

Society should be hospitable to you, as I wrote in that one post. And that message is still worth giving. But there's nothing like "turning the tables," so to speak, and demonstrating a desire to reach out (and make the gay community indispensable!) by caring for your neighbor at a time like this. (This issue is bigger than the gay marriage issue - but that's what makes it so "creative" as a tactic!)

Mind you, I'm not in any way suggesting that you fail to care for your neighbor. But I think this offers a tactical addition to the effort we're engaged in of making sure everyone is given a place at the table in this country.

This is a thumbnail sketch and I plan to run it by a bunch of people, including some people with access to govt officials, and ideally reaching the Obama transition team (I know one person who had a consulting role with the campaign - a psychoanalyst who's a community psychiatrist). So a bunch of people in the community as well as people I know over the web. I'm going to try and use every angle I can think of here. If you find this idea intriguing, let me know. Or if you think I'm way off base, let me know that too. And anyone else who wants to can chime in as well.

I'm trying to pull a lot of things together and put on my biggest thinking cap. And I'm prepared to put a lot of effort into "sowing seeds" to get something like this off the ground. It's an auspicious time for change. And a time to try new tactics. Non-threatening tactics. (not that you're out to threaten anyone - but we're up against scared people here!)

TheraP (fear not)

Jane R said...

Cany, very good points. Thanks.

IT said...

Well said Cany. The question is, whether we have any leadership that can deal with these defects...and it's not clear to me that we do, yet.

TheraP, it's a sweet idea, but I don't htink it's very practical.


TheraP said...

Thanks, IT. I value your perspective. And no point in trying something that's not workable. (however, I hope and pray that as part of universal health care at the very least, we can ramp up public health and do some kind of careful census of people in need)


IT said...

TheraP, you need to remember that I am the major cynic in these parts!


TheraP said...

So I should maybe run this idea past others? Just when I thought I was off the hook? And could play hooky? Ok, I might do that. I totally know I am too idealistic (for my age or any age). I think I never got the memo! If it were up to me, there would be no bigotry. And everyone would simply get along. Why won't the world do this for me???? (and for you... and for everyone!)

Thanks for the heads up on your cynicism. :) (I bet BP balances that with idealism. Run my idea past her!)


IT said...

Today, BP and I were walking through a local mall doing Christmas shopping. We held hands as we walked.

BP noticed that a woman near the expiring "Linens'n'things" storefront stared at us as we approached, and then craned her neck to continue staring at us as we passed. BP commented on it after we were some distance away. The woman was not smiling.

We are careful where we hold hands, depending on the neighborhood and the crowd. We don't hold hands in remote areas or around groups of young men. We felt safer in this mall which is in a well-off suburb.

But the woman's look worried BP.

Yeah, I'm a cynic.

TheraP said...

That makes me so, so sad, IT. So sad. My heart goes out to both of you.

I just left a comment on your last TPM blog. I didn't address the "fear" issue in my comment there. Instead I kicked around an idea I was thinking about this morning. Sort of a spin-off of the marriage police. Maybe another angle to all of this.

Some people are terribly threatened by change. If they don't want it. Even though others are thrilled by it, rejoice for what they perceive as a right claimed. So I wonder if the lady with the "look" imagined her mall was being invaded by two protesters.... It's like people in alternate universes that are side by side! But one side is saying: "This is the only universe!" And the rest of us are saying... there's room enough in this universe for all of us.

You have reason to be a cynic. I totally understand that. But still, you're peacefully holding hands. What's wrong with that?

When my husband spent time in India and Pakistan, long before I met him, he was amazed that men in both countries, who were friends, would walk on the street holding hands. They would sit and talk together, for hours, holding hands and looking into each other's eyes. It was normal there! They couldn't look into the eyes of a woman. Verboten! But to hold hands with a man or gaze into his eyes in friendship - totally fine!

My husband, from Spain, was not comfortable that other men wanted to hold his hand. He learned to keep his hands in his pockets.

On the other hand I recall being shocked in college, when a friend was visiting and we linked arms as we walked across campus. Someone told me that "didn't look good." It was news to me! And it saddened me too. That kind of thing makes a person self-conscious - for something that should not be a problem, but a sign of caring.

Just a couple of random stories here. But part of this big picture.

Anonymous said...

There are no protesters invading any malls; the protests are over. All that the lady saw was a couple of middle-aged women, carrying shopping bags, and holding hands. We aren't androgynous or "butch" in appearance; we look like any other pair of suburban women out shopping. I suspect that's what she found so shocking.

You see, one of the BIG arguments on the prop8 front was that the pro-H8 people want to defend their children from even knowing we GLBT exist. Of course, the lunacy of this is clear; nothing will change because we're already out there. Kids in school cannot help but learn there are gay folks. WHehter or not we're married legally.

BP and I used to be far more circumspect, but we've had it with "passing". All of us gay folks have to claim our identity, and be willing to be seen. THat's the only way to fight the ignorance.

And women like the one we saw will be shocked to find out who and where we are.

And some of us will be endangered by the bashers and the haters--for regardless of whether they are driven by fear or hate, we will be at risk as they strike out, as you say, against change. Against "them".

WIsh us luck.


TheraP said...

Sorry, IT. I was being ironic when I said you were peacefully protesting. I realize you were just being yourselves. More of this needs to happen. (and it is sort of like your quiet protest - the protest for the right to be yourselves)

Ok, I get a much better picture now - the total shock for the lady who wants to believe you only exist as a caricature (if you exist at all). But you're like the two women on the corner one block away from me. They look just like anyone else. We've got 2 guys behind us. And a couple more women down the other side of the street. And for all I know there may be more. But nobody's walked down the street holding hands - yet.

And yes, "passing" isn't good either way. And "hiding out" in "marginalized groups" doesn't move us forward as a society either.

If you ever go to Spain on vacation, just so you know, people stare. It's not impolite. They do it to everyone! It's very strange to be the object of stares, but as one of my nieces once told me (in Spanish) "Anyone can tell you're not from here."

Many years ago, even married couples in Spain did not hold hands. (I had to press my case!) Women there didn't whistle. I mean whistle a tune. But I did! I know it's not the same degree of moving things along as you and BP have to face. But again.... these things are cultural. That's what we need to emphasize. Our nation is too insular in many ways. (especially in some quarters)

You definitely have all my best wishes. For luck and love and health and happiness.