Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Grief in California

I am grieved at the outcome of California's Proposition 8. The citizens of California voted to invalidate the marriages of nearly 20,000 gay/lesbian couples.

It's clear that the money behind the anti-gay movement came from Roman Catholics and Mormons. The list of those who funded the hate movement is available here.

Want to guess who was the second-largest donor to the Proposition 8 initiative? Our old pal Howard Ahmanson, the same guy who is funding the attacks on the Episcopal Church. (See here for funders).

Today, the day after I celebrated our nation's election of Barack Obama as President-elect, there's another thing that is truly distressing. The delightful turnout of African American voters for Barack Obama surely helped with his election. But the African American vote in California seems to have guaranteed passage of the hatemongering Proposition 8. See the table here.

While I celebrate Obama's election, it is difficult to avoid lashing out at the oppressed people who should be our allies. I am reminded of those lily-white students who went into the Deep South in the '60s to join the Civil Rights movement. And now . . . ?

Now they screwed us. I can't find a kind way to say that.

Read what blogger-friend I.T. had to say.

Finally .... I am dismayed that the Roman Catholics and Mormons pumped so much money into this voter initiative. (I wasn't surprised that Ahmanson outspent them.) They hate us. They truly, viscerally hate us. They have made it clear. Here's an ad that I enjoyed, because it reveals their hatemongering.

I don't know what do next. But something must be done.


Blogger Malcolm+ said...

Tommy Douglas, the first person to lead a social democratic government in North America, the father of Canadian Medicare, chosen as the Greatest Canadian as part of a CBC series and - for the sake of my American friends - Keifer Sutherland's grandfather once said:

"Courage my friends. 'Tis not too late to build a better world."

The California setback needs, I think, to be seen in context.

First, the votes haven't all been counted yet. Mail-in and provisional ballots have yet to be counted, apparently, and possibly early voting results. The upshot is that there are about two million votes to be counted. It needs about a 60-40 split to overturn the contest, but the fat lady isn't even warming up yet.

Second, even if the current result stands, it reflects significant progress over the last time California voted on equal marriage.

Third, this was the most expensive campaign in the entire election nationally, with the exception of the presidential race itself. And the lion's share of that money was expended on behalf of bigotry and hate. Those "on the side of the angels" were out gunned, out spent and out campaigned. They didn't have the resources to counter the absolute and unequivocal lies being told (ie that churches would be forced to solemnize gay unions). Yet despite all this, they could only pull a narrow victory.

So, progress. Incremental progress.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't hurt. Not by a long shot.

The strife is fierce, the warfare long, and God isn't finished yet.

Tommy Douglas, having won seven straight campaigns (two federal, five provincial), was defeated in his bid to return to the federal Parliament. I'll leave you with his words from that evening, where he quoted from a traditional Scots ballad.

"Fight on, my men," says Sir Andrew Barton,
"I am hurt, but I am not slain;
I'll lay me down and bleed a while,
And then I'll rise and fight again."

11/05/2008 10:46 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Malcolm, I appreciate the logic of your comments.

But I doubt they bring much comfort to the gay men and lesbians in California.

Here's my larger complaint: The Constitution of the U.S. wasn't set up this way. When we can hold a referendun on the rights of minorities, our nation has gone far from the constitution. The constitution was supposed to protect the rights of the minorities against the tyranny of the majority. The constitution was clear about that. The "Founding Fathers" intended a representative democracy -- not a direct democracy. What we're seeing here is not merely a blow against the gay/lesbian community ... but the result of an assault against our own constitution.

11/05/2008 10:57 PM  
Blogger MadPriest said...

I suggested a compassion strike. The gay community should stop all voluntary work and all charitable giving. But my bunch went all Christian on me and rejected the idea. Evidently it isn't what Jesus would do. I'm not so sure about that.

11/06/2008 12:41 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Ha-ha, MP. Seems you've managed to attract a bunch of actual Christians over there. Jesus' words about "loving your neighbor as yourself" come to mind.

11/06/2008 7:09 AM  
Blogger MadPriest said...

I don't know how I did it. It's certainly nothing I've said or done. I suspect that some clandestine Quaker group is behind this, somewhere. I never did trust Quakers. Too bloody quiet for a start.

11/06/2008 7:43 AM  
Blogger FranIAm said...

I am sick sick sick at heart over this - I don't even know what to say and I wish I knew what to do.

I just got into an argument with someone over this. My heart is broken when Jesus is held up as defender of hate but it also engages my anger and outrage.

11/06/2008 12:34 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

I am trying not to entertain violent fantasies because they only poison my own soul. Not being a physically violent person, I harbor them only as fantasies. But it is quite a battle right now.

How about criminalizing all marriage? That would be equality!

11/06/2008 6:41 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

I know what you mean, Fran. I am kicking myself for not contributing more for the "No on 8" campaign. But from what I'm reading, the folks on "our side" were monumentally outfunded.

I was gratified to read about the spontaneous demonstration that broke out in L.A. last night.

Sitting here in the benighted Midwest, I don't know how to help. Boycott Marriott? You betcha!

I don't want to turn this into a jihad against all the Mormons and Roman Catholics. But I do want to inflict some recompense, even if just financial pain, on those who supported this travestry.

I'm reminded of Obama's comment that he wants to use a scalpel and not a hacksaw to get the U.S. budget under control. What kind of scalpel can we use against the haters who supported Proposition 8 in California? I don't know. I hope the folks "on the ground" will provide some guidance.

11/06/2008 8:50 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Paul, I'll confess I am having violent fantasies too. If the queers were rioting in the streets, I would be tempted to fly out there and join in.

As a follower of Christ, I just don't know what to do. I want to make the haters pay. But how??

11/06/2008 9:52 PM  
Blogger IT said...

Actually, no on 8 was as well funded, at the end. Just terminally badly managed. the other side had a better ground game and a vicious lying strategy.

And it worked. But only by 400,000 votes out of 10million.


11/06/2008 11:58 PM  
Blogger JCF said...

Another voice from the benighted Midwest, here.

When our Prop 2 banned ssm in Michigan in 2004, we had near jack-squat of No-on-8's organization (or money). NO TV ads. NO bumperstickers. Few leaflets, and fewer signs (they gave me one, for working the polls on Election Day. It was stolen by a bigot while I watched, screaming "That's mine!)

Yes on 2 (which also banned civil unions/domestic partnerships, OF COURSE) got 59% of the vote, and we counted it a "moral victory", because of all the HATE measures passed that night, only Oregon's won w/ a smaller percentage.

California came SO much closer (and didn't ban dp's).

As you can see, I'm in an up mood, for the moment (I'm sure I'll be screamingly depressed again, shortly. Such are the mood-swings of grief)

11/07/2008 1:56 AM  
Blogger Malcolm+ said...

By all means, my friends, lie thee down and bleed awhile.

We'll need your fresh to the next round.

11/07/2008 9:48 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

IT, I'm grateful for the reporting you're doing on other sites.

JCF, I'll confess I didn't do much with an anti-gay referendum was on the ballot here in 2004. I know it would pass in a landslide ... as it did ... with Dubya leading the assault. The damn thing passed 3:1 here in the Stupid Capital of the Miswest.

I am pround of the folks "taking to the streets" in California.

Malcolm, I don't understand what you're saying in your 11/07/2008 9:48 PM comment. Irony? Antagosim? Encouragement? I can't tell.

11/08/2008 11:24 PM  
Blogger Malcolm+ said...

Sorry. I guess I'm too oblique for my own good.

"Lie thee down and bleed a while" refers back to my original post.

My point was to encourage you to feel your hurt for a time, but to gird yourself for the next skirmish.

The struggle continues, and "the arc of the moral universe . . . bends toward justice."

I was trying to acknowledge and honour the hurt you feel today, but at the same time, to affirm that the struggle goes onward towards victory.

11/09/2008 7:26 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Thank you, Malcolm+. That I can hear.

And, BTW, I am so proud of the folks in Los Angeles who are marching in the streets!

11/09/2008 10:02 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home