Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Victory/Defeat

Barack Obama is now the first black person to be elected to be President of the United States. No matter what side you were on in this election, you have to admit that this is an historic moment. I stayed up last night just so I could tell my neices and nephews that I saw the first black man get elected to be president. Amazing stuff.

I have to admit, though, that I was more intently watching the Proposition 8 race in California (mainly because it was running closer than the presidential election) that would ban gay marriage in the state's Constitution--reversing a ruling by the state's Supreme Court. The local CBS station in Los Angeles is calling the race a loss for gay-rights advocates, but they noted that it's still too close to say for sure.

This makes my heart hurt. I had never felt more defeated, demeaned, and disillusioned in my life than when I watched Texas vote 75% in favor of banning gay marriage in our Constitution. I literally felt physically ill when it happened. I had hoped for more from California.

The supporters in that state are celebrating, I'm sure. But for what? We've let a snapshot of opinions in time decide the fate of real people in a state's Constitution. What was supported by 61% of the population just 8 years ago is now only supported by 51% this year, and will probably be supported by even fewer in 8 more years, but by then it will be too late. Constitutions aren't meant for popular opinion, and only time will show how sad these debates really are.

Most importantly, though, we're talking about people's lives. The supporters of Proposition 8 used scare tactics and half truths to get their point across, spinning the issue as a public policy matter. If only more people could see how little it has to do with public policy and how much it has to do with real people and real lives, maybe things would be different.

5 Comments:

At 5/11/08 9:18 AM, Blogger Jack said...

I know how sad you are -- I was there with you for the defeat in Texas. It's hard to say this, but I HAVE to look at the big picture here. What happened last night is amazing, and I still can't believe it's real. And very real -- there's not a chance of people claiming any stolen votes or only winning by a slim margin. From here, things have to get better. If Obama can show Americans we're not second class citizens, next time around, we can try to start repealing some of these amendments. I have to be happy today and HOPE for CHANGE.

 
At 5/11/08 11:52 AM, Anonymous Donley said...

I'm super excited that Obama is president, but like you said it's SO hard to watch Prop 8 unfold. All those thousands of gay couples in California must be really devastated! And I know that some are hanging on for hope in the last of the incoming votes, but it doesn't look good. I was living in Kentucky during the last Presidental Election and watchas as Same Sex Marriage was banned there too. It was a sickening feeling. However, it was WONDERFUL to even hear Obama utter the word GAY in his speech last night, as he has also done on the campaign trail.

 
At 5/11/08 12:37 PM, Blogger James Hanley said...

I am also unhappy about prop 8, but I can't agree with you that in the future, "it will be too late."

It will not be too late for those who live in California at that future time. It will be not a moment too soon, but certainly not too late to matter to them.

 
At 5/11/08 1:43 PM, Blogger Brady said...

Thanks for your comments guys. It has helped cheer me up. I can't say I'm in a good mood, but you guys are right--I need to look at the bright side. And, there is a lot of bright side to at right now.

 
At 5/11/08 2:22 PM, Anonymous shorty said...

I understand your sorrow.

Here's a rather immense, but real hope: maybe Obama will appoint someone openly gay to his cabinet, someone so comfortable in his / her skin that the world will finally see we are not so different, us straights and gays. All of us, we hope, we yearn for peace, and at the end of the day, we all want to love and be loved.

 

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