Wednesday, November 4, 2009

We lost, again

48% of Maine voters believe in fairness and equality. 52% believe in ignorance and bigotry.

We've seen this before. As shown by Gallup, not until 1991 did a plurality of Americans approve of inter-racial marriages. Indeed, one might argue that the landmark Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision of 1968 sped it up, and even then, the electorate only caught up with the law 30 years later.

So I should wait 30 years? Demographics suggest in 30 years I have a reasonable chance of being dead. In the meantime I remain a very angry, frustrated, second class semi-citizen.


Karen said...


I am so sorry. I don't think this is going to take 30 more years, but it is already taking much too long and is causing much too much pain.

MarkBrunson said...

I am furious beyond words.

Ann said...

Woke up to this very sad news.

Ann said...

Good news in Washington state and Kalamazoo and NY.
Does not balance Maine loss, though - as a loss for justice cannot be balanced.

Ann said...

And MP adds his fury and sadness here

Frank Remkiewicz aka “Tree” said...


While the loss is saddenning plese do not give up the battle. We keep the issue in front of voters until they recognize equality and act on it.

Erp said...

It is getting closer though.

klady said...

This was heart-breaking news. While I'm glad the hate-mongers lost, for the moment, among our neighbors in NY's 23rd, such short-term political results pale compared to the failure to achieve (this time) long-term equality for all citizens. Yes, the battle will be won someday, but today is another day for mourning what has been lost for now.

Counterlight said...

People's rights should never be put up for a vote. Minorities by definition will always lose.

What surprises me is how well lgbts do in these elections, especially recently. I can remember the days when lgbts regularly lost at the ballot box by 20 point margins.
I seriously doubt racial minorities would do so well if (God forbid) their rights should ever be up for a vote.
I'm not sure the rights of straight white middle aged men would survive a vote either.

james said...

I'm posting this at my blog, but it needs to be here, too.

"Grant unto us, Almighty God, in all time of sore distress, the comfort of the forgiveness of our sins. In time of darkness give us blessed hope, in time of sickness of body give us quiet courage; and when the heart is bowed down, and the soul is very heavy, and life is a burden, and pleasure a weariness, and the sun is too bright, and life too mirthful, then may that Spirit, the Spirit of the Comforter, come upon us, and after our darkness may there be the clear shining of the heavenly light; that so, being uplifted again by Thy mercy, we may pass on through this our mortal life with quiet courage, patient hope, and unshaken trust, hoping through Thy loving-kindness and tender mercy to be delivered from death into the large life of the eternal years. Hear us of Thy mercy, through Jesus Christ our Lord – Amen."

Paul said...

Nate Silver is seeing a very sharp urban/rural divide in the Maine results. Maine is a very rural state, and that may have hurt our chances as much as anything. On the other hand, Proposition 71 in Washington state appears to be winning.

PseudoPiskie said...

Too many people fear what they don't know. I have asked local homophobes if they know any LGBT people. They invariably say No or they say, Yes but s/he is different, not like the others. I don't ask if they know the folks at the hardware store or the former florists or a professor or teacher. I don't out people but.

We need a massive coming out party including clergy, especially in the RCC and the Morg. Until people see LGBTs as being like themselves, they will believe every nasty thing they hear, especially from their churches and their single news source. And, frankly, all many know about gay men is what they "know" about AIDS, see in photos of Pride parades and hear about bathhouses. They don't want to be associated with that.

IT said...

You are write, PseudoPiskie. WE have to come out and come out again.

Paul, the rural/urban divide can't explain the vote by very similar margin in California.

The bad guys LIED and GOT AWAY WITH IT.

David said...

Personally, I'm sanguine about this issue in the long term, considering how much public opinion has shifted in just the last 10 or 20 years. But then again, I can afford to be - no one's telling me that I can't marry who I wish, and no one's trying to make me a second class citizen because of it.

I'm with Counterlight. Nobody's Civil Rights should ever be put up for a vote. We're supposed to be a Republic, dammit. Rule by law, not by the mob...

Ann said...

Exactly David - with Counterlight.

Rev. Raggsdale said...

I know it's not much consolation, but you all will never be second class anything in my book.

It's hard not to be disheartened but on the bright side, look at what a 10 year old boy from West Fork, AR said recently when he refused to say the Pledge in class:

"Their son told them last weekend he had decided to no longer stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance at school because he didn't believe there is liberty and justice for all, especially when it comes to gay rights. "To say them (words) and not mean them would be a lie," [his father] Jay said."

This made big news in our state because a substitute teacher tried to coerce him into it and the kid tolk her to "Go jump off a bridge". If a 10 year old kid from a small town in the Ozarks can see it, how far have we really come?

Malcolm+ said...

By way of small consolation, it is worth noting that despite fearmongering, lies and a pisspot full of money, the forces of hate could only manage a narrow victory. Four points is far from insurmountable.

But I suspect that, today and for a few days yet, that consolation is so small as to be meaningful.

Grace and peace.

IT said...

Dear Maine,
You can't say I didn't warn you, back in May, what to expect if you put the rights of your GLBT citizens to the popular vote.

The lies, the ignorance, and the divisiveness happened just as I predicted. The haters told vicious lies, and they won.

I know just how your GLBT citizens, their friends, and their families feel this morning. Because we still feel that way.

And as I told you before, you have deeply injured your community. People don't just "get over" being told they are second class, that their families are not worth protecting and that their love is meaningless. People don't just move on from the insults and the bile. Now, every interaction is tinged with doubt: did this person vote against me? Does this person hate me?

Workplaces will be on edge. Civic interactions will suffer. Churches will be split. There will be deep, deep hurt.

Maine, you have torn the heart out of many people. And that damage will linger for a long, long time.

I'm so sorry you did this. But you can't say you didn't see it coming.


Paul said...

There is an old saying: You have a right to your own opinion, but you don't have the right to your own facts. Yes, the lies won. You will find no argument here.

I included the link to Nate Siver's blog because he usually has pretty good insight on polling and election results. The comments on that article are pretty good, too.

IT said...

Nate thinks there is a
effect in the polling. That term comes from CA, where when Tom Bradley ran for governor, the polls under reported the opposition to him. The effect is thought to represent the unwillingness of people to admit to a live pollster that they hold a prejudicial view of a candidate or an issue.

A poster over on Daily Kos commented that he saw a sign in rural Maine saying "Prepare for Sodom and Gomorrah". Another poster comments that the election was between "No" and "Ick" and "Ick" won.

As long as the rights of a minority are put up to a vote, it will ever be so.

JCF said...

Nate thinks there is a Bradley effect in the polling.

Gay is the New Black!

I was somewhat cushioned, by the fact that I expected it to lose (i.e., that the Haters would win <--I literally just typed "sin"! >;-D)

It won't take 30 years . . . but it may be another 10, before we hit a tipping point.


it's margaret said...

God bless your righteous anger IT.