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Coming to a town near you... Prop 8 Protests
November 13, 2008 6:14 PM   Subscribe

Proposition 8. Saddened? Curious? Outraged? Happy? Dont Care? On Saturday, November 15 in every state across America and even in cities worldwide there will be a day of action. The response has been so overwhelming the website organizers needed to open up a sister website to handle to traffic overload. In many cases, police are being updated repeatedly by event coordinators with exponential expectations for attendees.

A taste of the action:

Alabama, California, Texas, Iowa, New York, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Washington DC, International
posted by Glibpaxman (114 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wendywell?
posted by Class Goat at 6:20 PM on November 13, 2008


Boy, too bad people didn't invest all this effort back in October.
posted by jenkinsEar at 6:25 PM on November 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


People did invest effort in October.

Problem is, people in favor of Prop 8 invested much more effort -- and were not (to use the adjective used by one of No on 8's own spokespeople) complacent.
posted by blucevalo at 6:34 PM on November 13, 2008


Yeah there was a lot of rallying and work before by No on Prop 8 supporters - and at the 11th hour huge amounts of cash were thrown into the Yes on Prop 8 effort.

I think this is a reaction to that - and shock at finding out just how many people in California aren't subscribed to the perceived norm.
posted by gomichild at 6:37 PM on November 13, 2008


Boy, too bad people didn't invest all this effort back in October.

Yeah, what an asshole I was to put my focus on getting a good President.
posted by troybob at 6:38 PM on November 13, 2008 [5 favorites]


Jenkins, for months Prop. 8 appeared to be losing in the polls. I was one of many married gay men who were lulled into a false sense of security by that. Meanwhile, I was putting all my political time, effort, and money into kicking the worst administration in American history out of Washington. It's not like we were sitting on our complacent asses our here. And I didn't get wind of the massive Mormon effort to bust up my marriage until the last couple of weeks of the election cycle. Snark is easy, and not appropriate in this context.
posted by digaman at 6:40 PM on November 13, 2008 [13 favorites]


i am curious to see how this plays out. especially in terms of media narratives. will it be, "now the african americans got their president and everyone else complains," or "gay rights picks up the torch of the civil rights movement where it left off, helping those on the fringes of society gain access to rights they deserve."

the tone of this weekend's action will have far reaching consequences for a lot of different groups.
posted by Glibpaxman at 6:42 PM on November 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think I might prefer that the police were NOT told where to show up. At least in some of these areas.
posted by DU at 6:49 PM on November 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thank you Keith Olbermann for making such a passionate argument. Half the time he almost looked if he was about to cry and I wouldn't blame him. Here in Canada we allow gay marriage and were still fine. Come on world, wake a up and stop blindly following bigots and learn from past mistakes. I understand we all need a group in which we feel accepted, just don't make it a group that promotes hate.
posted by Sargas at 7:00 PM on November 13, 2008


I think this is a reaction to that - and shock at finding out just how many people in California aren't subscribed to the perceived norm.

I think one of the reasons why people who were in favor of prop 8 got into trouble was because they deceived themselves into thinking that gay rights and legal gay marriage are "the perceived norm".

Not so. This is a revolution, OK? The "perceived norm" is heterosexual marriage. And this, plus a couple of other blunders, are the reason why the current gay rights movement has so badly shot itself in the foot in the last few years. For all the court cases and all the demonstrations and all the money that's been spent in support of gay marriage, what has been the result?

30 states now have provisions in their state constitutions which declare that marriage is only between one man and one woman.

It's got to be the most ill-conceived and ineffective human rights campaign ever.

Yeah, gay marriage should be legal. I think it should, anyway. But that won't happen when gays demand it. No matter how you think the world ought to be, the reality is that gay marriage won't become legal until the majority of voters think it should be legal.

Blathering about how "human rights shouldn't be subject to majority vote" won't make it so. That's how it really is in this country right now. We don't live in an ideal world. (God knows.)

Gay marriage advocates have to make the case to the majority who aren't gay, and convince them. Irate obnoxious demonstrations, and attempts to make it happen through lawsuits that bypass the electorate (which have been the main tactics until now), have not only been useless, they've been massively counter-productive.

What is needed is a few months of calm introspection, and then a total change in tactics and message.

If that doesn't happen, and the movement continues to use the same tactics, soon it'll be 40 states with anti-gay-marriage provisions in their state constitutions. And then maybe even 50.

Let's try something else.
posted by Class Goat at 7:04 PM on November 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


A good start would be to consign the term "breeder" to the memory hole. People respond to contempt with contempt.
posted by Class Goat at 7:07 PM on November 13, 2008 [3 favorites]


Gee, Class Goat, I'm not gay, but on behalf of everyone who is, you can stuff your concern-trolling. Have you been involved in this fight, know anything of its history and politics? Doubtful.

Yeah, gay marriage should be legal. I think it should, anyway. But that won't happen when gays demand it. No matter how you think the world ought to be, the reality is that gay marriage won't become legal until the majority of voters think it should be legal.


Loving v. Virginia? Hello? Most Americans were against mixed marriages, but the law was changed. Were you asleep in history class? You don't get your rights granted by asking nicely and waiting for people to tolerate you. You fight, you protest, you vote, you educate, and you boycott. Which is what they're doing.

Eventually, gays will have the right to marry, no matter how many insanely stupid laws are on the books; but they won't do it by listening to you.
posted by emjaybee at 7:13 PM on November 13, 2008 [12 favorites]


Actually, I'm pretty sure that if there hadn't been civil rights marches, the amendments giving equal rights would have taken a bit longer. The public needs to know folks are serious.
posted by ®@ at 7:14 PM on November 13, 2008


People did invest effort in October.

Not with the same energy or passion. It is really ridiculous, the No on 8 campaign was terribly run, they didn't do hardly any minority outreach (from what I heard). Obviously a "no" campaign is going to be a lot more ad-hoc then a "yes" campaign, since the "no" campaign is just anyone who doesn't like the thing, while the "yes" people will usually be the ones who got it on the ballot.

Yeah, what an asshole I was to put my focus on getting a good President.

California wasn't a swing state.
posted by delmoi at 7:16 PM on November 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think that the strategy is working. Its just not working as quickly as many progressives would like. The court cases and rulings that allowed gay marriage - and the subsequent alterations to state law banning them - opened a wound and forced a conversation in society that would never have happened otherwise.

Most human rights processes begin in the courts with an introduction, "hey, we exist."
Then there is blowback from the population, "maybe, but you arent human"
Meanwhile, attention given to the oppressed softens the general population's heart and eventually progress is made. Sadly... it takes a while for all the bad blood to clear.
posted by Glibpaxman at 7:17 PM on November 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


attempts to make it happen through lawsuits that bypass the electorate (which have been the main tactics until now), have not only been useless, they've been massively counter-productive.

This is actually the best tactic to employ. It will be spectacularly unsuccessful in this case, but in the long run it is going to the the tactic that achieves the ultimate victory. The only solution for CA now is to overturn the amendment with another vote. Efforts are already under way to make this happen in 2010, and every year that goes by makes it just that much easier for those of us on the right side of this to win.

On the federal level, however, popular votes are never gonna cut it. This ends, truly ends when the U.S. Supreme Court rams gay marriage down the throats of the unwilling states just like it always does. We have a system for redress of grievances in this country that is multifaceted and if we're seriously going for equal protection under the law then I think it's absurd to rule an entire branch of government out as a legitimate tactic.

So in the long run, these protests aren't going to achieve much concrete. On November 16th Prop. 8 will still be in force. But a show of (political) force that says we aren't cowed into submission by a puny-ass vote has real significance. It says that we've still got our eyes on the prize and that if they really want to stand in our way they're going to have to gear up for a much tougher row to hoe.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 7:23 PM on November 13, 2008


It's got to be the most ill-conceived and ineffective human rights campaign ever.

Really, because up until a couple years ago I had figured that I would never see this issue being debated within my lifetime.

Fuck anybody who chides me for not being more obsequious to the precious majority in order to attain what should be available within the standards of freedom they otherwise pretend to subscribe to. I meet my responsibilities as a citizen of this country, without complaint, such that I do not need to kiss a bunch of ass to assert the rights due me. That blacks have had to fight for their rights does not make that the model of a movement; that they were put in a position to have to fight shames our history.

And people do respond to contempt with contempt; I was hearing "fag" and "queer" and "fairy" and "tinkerbell" and any of a hundred other names for decades before I even heard "breeder"--and even still, it is a word I rarely hear as an insult.
posted by troybob at 7:28 PM on November 13, 2008 [10 favorites]


California wasn't a swing state.

Nor is it an island.
posted by troybob at 7:30 PM on November 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


The problem with Prop 8 and similar legislation is that given the chance, small-minded people will vote against the perceived morality of homosexuality, not the social logistics of supporting life-committed couples. It's unfortunate, but until people can decouple their personal opinion of something and the necessity for that thing in society we're still going to have to deal with this kind of awful legislation. Even if you're convinced that homosexuality is the ultimate sin, you should at least be able to see that giving seriously committed couples the right to own joint property and inherit it, visit each other in the hospital in case of emergency, receive tax benefits, etc. It's just good for society.

Put another way, what we hear from the anti-gay marriage crowd is "Homosexuality is a sin and therefore I'm voting against extending them their civil rights," when I feel the true Christian sentiment would be, "I believe homosexuality is a sin, but God made them who they are and it's not my right to judge His creations."

Too much bigotry, not enough empathy.
posted by baphomet at 7:41 PM on November 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, if you really want to target the engine room on this one, pick your most self-righteous Bible belt state and start a campaign to get something on the ballot that makes marriage only "between a man and a woman as performed by a Christian clergyman". Don't sugar coat it in the least or anything that might make it marginally constitutional somehow.

I think prop 8 will be dead faster than you can say B'nai B'rith.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:00 PM on November 13, 2008 [7 favorites]


i am considering attending the protest in my state, but i'm unsure what the impact will really be of nationwide protests for a state measure.

being from Oklahoma, though, i am partly just curious to see how many people in Tulsa are anti-Prop 8. i am not expecting a large number.
posted by aliceinreality at 8:06 PM on November 13, 2008


While I unreservedly support gay marriage and want to go show my support at the protest on Saturday, I am very conflicted about it.

I feel that too many protesters have already shown up to protest Mormons and Mormonism rather than bigotry and discrimination. I think the anger people are feeling against the Mormon campaign to pass prop 8 is justified, but using that message to protest just muddies the real issues at stake.

Hell, yes, I would like to see the tax-exempt status of the Mormon church officially questioned and revoked based on their actions in this election, but I think that is a separate issue and not what people should be carrying signs about on Saturday. The people out there who are opposed to gay rights are already a little scared of homosexuality; protests against the Mormons will be perceived as gays being against god just like the scared people have always suspected.


I feel the true Christian sentiment would be, "I believe homosexuality is a sin, but God made them who they are and it's not my right to judge His creations."
posted by baphomet


I agree with you and have been baffled for a long time about how exactly gay marriage could possibly take anything away from straight marriage. I've come to the conclusion that the people opposed to gay marriage (and homosexuality in general) truly think that gay people at some point in their life chose to be gay. As if they woke up one morning and decided to be gay to be rebellious or different or to intentionally sin. And that giving them the right to marry just condones their evil choice.

All I can think is that these people have never had a conversation with a gay person about being gay and what it feels like.

I've never met a gay person who had the power to choose whether to be gay or straight, just like I don't know any straight people who could just choose suddenly to be gay.
posted by Brody's chum at 8:12 PM on November 13, 2008


The nationwide protest is not just about Prop 8. I suspect Prop 8 may be a watershed moment though. Too early to tell, of course. But I kinda think it may fall out that way.
posted by Tehanu at 8:23 PM on November 13, 2008


I support all gay relationships, not the least of them marriage.

They carry no possibility that either party will become pregnant and then, unhappy with the effect on their "lifestyle", decide to kill their baby.
posted by magic curl at 8:28 PM on November 13, 2008


I'll be getting back into NYC at noon, and will be at the protest at City Hall. Straight folks need to show up in real force for this or it will be marginalized in the media.

Maybe the Yes on 8 vote will turn out to be this generation's Stonewall and turn out to be a good thing. Maybe. One can hope. And fight.

What ought to come out of this is a massive but carefully targeted economic boycott, maybe of California tourism? In times like these (you'll notice state tourism boards are advertising like crazy right now, desperate for a few bucks) that might even have an effect.

I'd also favor a massive drive to get initiatives forbidding straight people from getting divorced on the ballot in 10 big states in 2010. Bet we could, too. Confuse the hell out of the Christo-bigots.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:41 PM on November 13, 2008


They carry no possibility that either party will become pregnant and then, unhappy with the effect on their "lifestyle", decide to kill their baby.

Ok, that was maybe a bit more fire-eatery than I would've liked, but you take your allies as you find 'em, right? I'll gladly stand next to you in this fight, mc, even if we'll be standing across from each other at others.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 8:43 PM on November 13, 2008


I'll be at the event in seattle. its during my vacation and i was going to avoid politics after working on the campaign for the last 6 months consumed my life. but damn it all, im strait and everyone deserves just as much love as me.

You know, if you really want to target the engine room on this one, pick your most self-righteous Bible belt state and start a campaign to get something on the ballot that makes marriage only "between a man and a woman as performed by a Christian clergyman". Don't sugar coat it in the least or anything that might make it marginally constitutional somehow.

well, almost everyone. lets do it. alabama? arkansas? alaska? (why do they all start with "A"?
posted by Glibpaxman at 8:50 PM on November 13, 2008


This movement will fail it a choice is made to attack specific groups rather than the injustic itself. The Mormons and the red states are hardly alone in this. They've just pushed the hardest.
posted by Tehanu at 8:54 PM on November 13, 2008


I am sorry for my facetiousness and absent myself from the thread.
This is a serious issue but I find it difficult to take its manifestations on MeFi seriously.
posted by magic curl at 8:55 PM on November 13, 2008


Anti-marriage Christians sometimes table at my college. I ask them what legal rights and responsibilities they don't want same sex couples to have. They have no idea what I'm talking about. I name a few, like property rights or tax responsibilities. There's never one right or responsibility that they don't want same sex couples to have. It turns out what these anti-marriage Christians are against is the idea that the sheriff is going to show up at their church with a court order and a shot gun and force their pastor to marry some homos. That, specifically, is what they don't want to have happen. When I remind them that no pastor is forced to marry anybody in particular, they kind of run out of steam. So part of my answer is to start the argument by reminding these anti-marriage Christians that no pastor is required to marry any particular couple, not by law and not by custom.
posted by eccnineten at 9:43 PM on November 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, if you really want to target the engine room on this one, pick your most self-righteous Bible belt state and start a campaign to get something on the ballot that makes marriage only "between a man and a woman as performed by a Christian clergyman". Don't sugar coat it in the least or anything that might make it marginally constitutional somehow.

Solid genius. Just offhand, I think Alabama's the place to do it.

While we're at it, can we also start a grassroots pro-metric campaign in that state? Only Alabama and New York currently make metric-only labeling illegal at the state level. All other U.S. states and territories have legalized it. Once those two go, the federal level will be easier. And anyway this shouldn't be too hard a sell. Just phrase it "those big-government bastards are trying to take away honest businesses' right to label their product in whatever way is appropriate in order to ship overseas, forcing them to print two labels for every product. Why? Because those New York 'liberals' don't do it. Stop this nonsense. Give industry what it needs. Legalize metric labeling. [this message paid for by Patriotic Americans for Commerce and Capitalism]."

All right, off to Alabama!
posted by Xezlec at 9:54 PM on November 13, 2008


MetaFilter: Difficult to take its manifestations seriously

so, drama queens, maybe instead of all this sniping about who's fault this is, we should turn to the truly important topic at hand: what's the most aww-inspiring, supreme-court-justice-vote-swaying slogan that we can crudely letter onto a flourescent pink posterboard to wave over our heads for the news cameras, incidentally showing off our perfectly sculpted pecs to fans worldwide?

my latest:
Armaggedon.
May soon be here.
But it won't be caused.
By married queers.
BURMASHAVE!

too wordy?
posted by sexyrobot at 9:58 PM on November 13, 2008 [4 favorites]


sexyrobot,

your wording is very.... pointed.
posted by Glibpaxman at 10:02 PM on November 13, 2008


well, i'm known for my sharp edges...

funny story, actually...i just went to dig out the pink posterboards and found that they all already say: CARRIE WHITE EATS SHIT!

i mean, i could write something else on the other side....
posted by sexyrobot at 10:18 PM on November 13, 2008


personally im going to take all this campaign crap i have leftover from being an obama field organizer and wave it around. im sure the press will eat it up - and seriously, for a candidate who talked about respecting gay rights (admittedly civil unions, not marriage) Obamas been rather silent on this hasnt he? SAY SOMETHING - even if its not what we want to hear. sheesh.
posted by Glibpaxman at 10:26 PM on November 13, 2008


well, y'know...most presidents, especially new ones, tend to be fond of waffles.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:40 PM on November 13, 2008


sexyrobot, do you have anything more concise in your slogan arsenal? I need something to put on my sign for Saturday, and I have a hunch clipping your slogan to just "BURMASHAVE" wouldn't be particularly effective. although it would be amusing. to me at least.

My sign will be plain brown cardboard though. I am severely lacking in fabulousness.
posted by needs more cowbell at 12:20 AM on November 14, 2008


H8
posted by sexyrobot at 1:25 AM on November 14, 2008


...thats all it really needs to say, right?

i'm also a big fan of the classic:

FAIL

those are pretty concise...

howabout:

Leave Us Alone Or We'll Do You In The Ass!
posted by sexyrobot at 1:29 AM on November 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


oh, that last one would be really good on plain brown cardboard.
do you have any red paint?
posted by sexyrobot at 1:31 AM on November 14, 2008


I don't know if I want to march around the statehouse building with a red ass, personally.
posted by crataegus at 1:50 AM on November 14, 2008


I am not generally super-political, but I am planning to join this protest, and here is why:

I really, REALLY love my husband. I am a woman married to a man, and if anyone told me that I could not be with him and that it was not recognized, I would be completely devastated. I don't think allowing couples of the same sex to have a public and open way of declaring their committment to each other cheapens my marriage, I think it enhances it in the same way that going to my cousin's wedding will remind me of how unbelievably lucky I am to be married to Mr. Pterodactyl. While recognizing that there are huge numbers of people who do not share my worldview, I find being against gay marriage/partnerships completely incomprehensible; I'm generally quite good at putting myself in the mental shoes of other people and understanding positions with which I disagree, but I am completely baffled by this one. It just does not add up to me.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 4:43 AM on November 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh man, I can't make it! I'm already scheduled for a zombie flash mob!
posted by Legomancer at 5:53 AM on November 14, 2008


Hi all. Obligatory MeFi disclaimer: I am in favour of gay marriage.

One thing not mentioned which I think needs to be considered - one of the toughest sticking points on this subject is CHILDREN. You can find many people who have zero problems with loving couples making a public life-long commitment to each other, and enjoying all the same rights and benefits as hetero couples, but float the follow-on idea that a gay married couple should have the same status as a hetero couple when it comes to adoption and parenting, and you will find that many otherwise supportive people will be conflicted about this.

Since the only requirement for any hetero couple to be parents is that their nasty parts fit together, I myself don't currently have an issue with same-sex couples who wish to become parents. But many people haven't thought this through.

Anyways, just sayin'...

In Canada, same-sex marriage has become legal partially through examination and application of our Charter of Rights, but mostly because of our aversion to conflict (we brag that it's because of our tolerance ;^) ).

The path to success in the US will be through the courts, through challenging Prop 8 and similar restrictions.
posted by Artful Codger at 6:05 AM on November 14, 2008


I'll be at the Raleigh, NC event if any other MeFites want to come out and join me.
posted by EarBucket at 6:47 AM on November 14, 2008


I'm hoping to be at SF. Trying to get bobtroy to agree to let us go as Mormon missionaries who like to make out with each other.
posted by troybob at 6:55 AM on November 14, 2008


I can't wait, can't wait, for Class Goat to eat his words in about five years. Can't wait.

When I was a kid, you could be thrown into a mental institution and forcibly lobotomized for being gay. Now I have husband and a marriage license that will probably not be overturned by Prop. 8 (which passed by only a very slim margin after one of the most expensive initiative campaigns in history), my mother -- who sent me to a therapist when I first came out -- was the joyous witness to our legal marriage, and tens of thousands of gay and straight people are marching in the streets to defend marriage equality.

People like Class Goat would be standing in the doors of desegregated schoolhouses telling black kids, "It's too soon!"

"The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." -- Martin Luther King
posted by digaman at 7:05 AM on November 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


*rolls eyes*

I wish the whole backlash narrative will just go away. The driving force behind this hasn't been uppity queers who demanded their rights. It's been a political movement on the right that has used gay marriage as the rallying point to pass laws that restrict not only marriage, but civil unions as well. It started in the 90s in Ohio when the question involved some employers who received state funds voluntarily offering domestic partnership benefits to qualified employees. Since then, the right has been pushing for premptive bans on same-sex marriage as a wedge to block domestic partnership benefits through a multi-year political strategy.

The right has been just as active at beating the drums on this issue as gay rights activists, and they have done so when neither same-sex marriage or domestic partnerships were even on the table in a given jursidiction.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:34 AM on November 14, 2008


Once again, I apologize on behalf of Ohio, and remind you that the horrific anti same-sex marriage bill that passed a few years ago also made it more difficult to prosecute certain domestic violence offenders, esp. if you are a hetero domestic partner, as I am.

So, you know... keep the homos from marrying AND make it easier to beat your girlfriend... a total win-win for Ohio. (*eyeroll*)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:56 AM on November 14, 2008


I've come to the conclusion that the people opposed to gay marriage (and homosexuality in general) truly think that gay people at some point in their life chose to be gay.

This falls into the "better answer" category (visavis "what's wrong with being a Muslim"). Who cares why someone is gay? Who cares *that* someone is gay? What's wrong with being gay? Let everyone who wants to be married get married for god's sake (literally). I'm with Mrs. Pteradactyl on this one. Oppposition to gay marriage is incomprehensible.

I make it a point to refer to DOMA as Denial of Marriage Acts.
posted by nax at 7:58 AM on November 14, 2008


troybob: please be sure to post pictures ;-)

I see the international set doesn't include Switzerland. I've not seen any missionaries here, either, and don't know if there's a temple. For that matter, I don't know the Swiss view of such a thing as protesting at a place of worship. It might be highly contrary to Swiss ways.

I don't entirely understand all the doom saying though. Last I heard, Prop. 8 is insufficient to stop gay marriage. The legislature has to vote on it, then back to the people again. Seems rather clear. Not that that's a reason to not protest the massive funding for Prop 8 that came from a hated minority that ought to know better.

For your signs: If you're at a Mormon place, all you need to say is: "Remember Missouri!". It speaks volumes. Or, perhaps, "Missouri, Nauvoo... what's next?", but I think that is going too far, and might provoke violence. I don't think we need more martyrs.
posted by Goofyy at 8:23 AM on November 14, 2008


The greatest triumph of the Republican party was to dangle homosexuality, abortion, and evolution in front of the Christians, and have them so eagerly take the bait that opposition to these three concepts has become not just part of Christian doctrine, but the defining feature of modern evangelical Christianity, the clanging bell that brings the frothing salivation at the mouth. All that crap about helping the poor, being honest, not judging other people, doing good to those who wish you harm? Um ... HEY, LOOK OVER THERE! GAY ABORTIONISTS TEACHING EVOLUTION! Christians have absolutely no business petulantly fussing into the private concerns of gay folks while the hungry remain unfed, the sick remain untended, and the poor beg in the streets.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 8:45 AM on November 14, 2008


Anti-marriage Christians sometimes table at my college. I ask them what legal rights and responsibilities they don't want same sex couples to have. They have no idea what I'm talking about. I name a few, like property rights or tax responsibilities. There's never one right or responsibility that they don't want same sex couples to have. It turns out what these anti-marriage Christians are against is the idea that the sheriff is going to show up at their church with a court order and a shot gun and force their pastor to marry some homos. That, specifically, is what they don't want to have happen.

This. I used to hang out on Yahoo's discussion boards, specifically in the Christian section (I was looking for spirited debate), and got into a back-and-forth with some guy who was opposed to gay marriage.

At some point, during one of his rants, he said that he also was annoyed that activists kept on referring to it as "legally married," because what did that mean, anyway?

And I calmly explained that married couples enjoy some legal rights that unmarried couples do not -- property rights, inheritance rights, next-of-kin rights in hospitals...

He responded, "...really? I didn't know that."

"And that's all that 'legally married' means, is that they want a legal acknowledgement of their partnership so they can also enjoy those rights."

"Oh. Oh, wait, I don't have a problem with that, is that all this is about?"

"Pretty much, yeah."

....The next time I saw him, he was arguing in favor of gay marriage.

It does happen.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:02 AM on November 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'll be at the rallies and the march here in Seattle. I've emailed everyone I know, printed flyers, called, texted, I'm going to stand outside a grocery store tonight and talk to people and let them know about the events.

To those that say "Where was all this support before the vote." Fuck you, you're blaming the victims and your "expert" analysis helps no one. Shut up and help. Gay people get bitched at for being too loud all the time and "shoving our agenda down your throat." Now we're getting bitched at for being too quiet. Seriously, get over it. What happened is done and now we have to get to work.
posted by Craig at 9:23 AM on November 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


@ Class Goat

I have utter contempt for everything you've said in this thread. I will NEVER ask for my rights. I will fight for them as a human being with dignity.
posted by Craig at 9:33 AM on November 14, 2008


What happened is done and now we have to get to work.

Seriously. We need all the help we can get tomorrow. It's going to rain and possibly thunderstorm here in DC so I expect turnout to be less than ideal. Plus there's a G20 protest also going on downtown. I got soaked canvassing for Obama in NoVa and this is one of those changes I believe in and hope to see happen in my lifetime.
posted by Tehanu at 9:38 AM on November 14, 2008


Goofyy: I don't entirely understand all the doom saying though. Last I heard, Prop. 8 is insufficient to stop gay marriage. The legislature has to vote on it, then back to the people again. Seems rather clear.

Sadly, that's not exactly the situation. Prop 8 passed, which adds an amendment that does stop gay marriage (and possibly invalidates previous marriages.) The rest of what you describe comes from the reasoning behind some of the lawsuits hoping to invalidate it. The lawsuits argue that Prop 8 makes such a significant change to the state constitution that it's a *revision* rather than an amendment, and thus needed to be done via a different route - which involves legislature voting to put it on the ballot. But that's up to the courts to decide.
posted by needs more cowbell at 9:39 AM on November 14, 2008


I think a lot of Canadians have a hard time dealing with the Sturm und Drang that Americans devote to the issue. It is a moot point in 30 states already (if the numbers given in this thread are correct). Gays in the United States already commonly live in areas that don’t protect all or some of their rights. I don’t understand why people are surprised Proposition 8 passed. It is the norm in the United States to discriminate against gays.

I also detect a theme that California is too good to ban gay marriage, i.e., liberals’ and gays’ self-perception is that California is too heavily populated by liberals and gays for a gay-marriage ban to take effect. Evidently it isn’t thus populated and evidently such a ban will indeed take effect. This explains some of the reaction of surprise that gay-marriage supporters have shown. (“How could this have happened here?”) It does not, of course, excuse the weaknesses of the No on 8 campaign.

I also don’t see any reason to object to gay-marriage supporters’ publicly criticizing groups that voted, in the majority, in favour of the measure, whether they be evangelicals, old people, blacks, Hispanics, or anyone else. Those groups did not win a plebiscite exempting them from criticism.

I think the America-wide protests against Proposition 8 are all very nice, but ACT UP–style tactics do not work anymore. Many protesters will have been born after ACT UP collapsed and will have no memory of it in the first place. And anyone in a state that already banned gay marriage who demonstrates against an equivalent ban from another state has their priorities confused.
posted by joeclark at 9:45 AM on November 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


For those concern about the children:
Liza, who has a twin sister, Katie, had peppered Swanson and Herman with questions once she’d realized that marriages uniting “a boy and a boy” were no longer allowed.

“They can’t take yours away, right?” she’d asked her parents. “They can’t take yours away when you have children, can they?”

“That’s when we realized she was afraid something would happen to us,” Swanson told me by phone on Wednesday. “We said, ‘They can’t take us away from you. We will be here for you forever.’”

“It’s difficult to explain to a five-year-old why it is people don’t want your parents to be married,” he continued. “They’re young enough that there was a chance they could have grown up thinking all their lives that their family was equal and accepted. Now they’re not going to have that chance. They’ll have to spend at least part of their lives knowing that their family is something that people don’t feel is acceptable.”
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:46 AM on November 14, 2008 [5 favorites]


er, concerned
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:47 AM on November 14, 2008


Shepard Fairey, creator of "Obey Giant" and the iconic "HOPE" graphic for the Obama campaign, has a new image for the world. Defend Equality, Love Unites!
posted by digaman at 9:49 AM on November 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


I have utter contempt for everything you've said in this thread. I will NEVER ask for my rights. I will fight for them as a human being with dignity.

And that is a good thing, and I hope you do. But it would be even better if you fought for them with dignity and effectiveness.

There's a difference between "fault" and "problem". There can be issues which are the fault of A but the problem of B. B needs a solution, and A does not, so screaming that it's A's fault accomplishes nothing.

This is such a situation. This issue is the fault of the heterosexual majority, but the problem of the homosexual minority. The minority wants a solution, but the majority doesn't think one is needed.

"They call us faggots! Why shouldn't we call them breeders?" Because they don't care what you think, but you need their good will. You need to convince them that you're good people, people worth defending, people who don't deserve contempt. It's their fault, but it's your problem, so you're the one who has to work to solve it.

It's not fair. But that's how it is.

What this means is that you have to formulate and deliver a message to the majority that they find convincing. Preaching to the choir won't help.

Being irate and ugly and obnoxious certainly won't help; you're shooting yourself in the foot.

A lot of people here are citing the racial civil rights movement in the 1960's. I think many of them haven't really studied the deep tactics which were involved and which were well considered. MLK realized that there were some whites who were actively against him, but that there was a large bloc of whites who didn't really have an opinion either way, and knew he had to sway that middle bloc.

All the demonstrations and confrontations MLK organized were designed to make the white racists look worse than the black demonstrators. That's why when the demonstrators were attacked by cops and roughed up, they didn't fight back. It made the southern cops look like bullies, and TV coverage of it helped to sway the opinion of that center bloc in favor of the demonstrators.

Because MLK knew that this was the fault of the white racists but the problem of the blacks, and that it was a problem he could never solve without help from whites. His goal was always, always to influence majority white opinion in his favor.

Was MLK obsequious? Did he lack dignity? No.

But he was effective. And that's why he won.

That's the key point here: you need them. They don't need you. You can't win this in the courts; you need the majority of voters on your side, and you need to find a way to convince them to support you.

And that means your first step is to find out why they oppose gay marriage. If you assume they're homophobic bigot idiots -- you'll lose. They have reasons to be concerned and while some of those reasons may be ill-founded, they're not irrational. Some of those have come out in this thread. You need to find out what the others are, and then answer them.

Maybe they are treating you with contempt. But if you treat them with equal contempt, you'll lose. And though this is their fault, it's your problem. You're the one who wants things to change.
posted by Class Goat at 10:22 AM on November 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


And anyone in a state that already banned gay marriage who demonstrates against an equivalent ban from another state has their priorities confused.

Your mistake is in assuming this is actually about Prop 8. Prop 8 is a rallying cry; it's a shorthand; and it's a focal point. But this is a protest against discriminatory marriage laws everywhere. Prop 8 is just in particular focus because it's not just status quo discrimination; it's a reversal of past progress made towards equality. (And perhaps also because the popular view of CA is that it tends to swing left on LGBT issues, though I think that's a red herring.)
posted by spaceman_spiff at 10:29 AM on November 14, 2008


Maybe they are treating you with contempt. But if you treat them with equal contempt, you'll lose. And though this is their fault, it's your problem. You're the one who wants things to change.

Mmm, somehow I have a problem with the last line there in particular. No, THEY are the ones who want things to change. They, and their co-believers, are the ones who rallied against the law in Massachusetts, who passed the obnoxious-assed legislation here in Ohio that actually lessened MY rights as a heterosexual domestic partner, the ones who -- instead of "leaving it to the states" (which is what they're ALL ABOUT when it's an issue they care about) decide to cross over into other states and pour millions of dollars into hateful ballot issues designed to remove existing rights such as the rights Californian couples had up until now... stop painting this as "we want things to change" when really it's "we want to restrict people's rights when it doesn't even affect our own..."

ARRRGH. I can't even argue coherently about this, it makes me so angry.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:17 AM on November 14, 2008


I also detect a theme that California is too good to ban gay marriage, i.e., liberals’ and gays’ self-perception is that California is too heavily populated by liberals and gays for a gay-marriage ban to take effect. Evidently it isn’t thus populated and evidently such a ban will indeed take effect.

No on 8 took victory for granted, and part of the reason is exactly as joeclark says. They ran awful, amateurish TV ads. They spent money and time in geographic areas where they felt comfortable and where they believed that people already agreed with them. They poured tons of money into an endless barrage of TV ads in the Bay Area when they should have been running ads in San Bernardino and Salinas and Bakersfield.

But even in supposedly liberal, gay-friendly San Francisco, 25% voted for Prop 8. Prop 8 also won in Los Angeles County. Yes on Prop 8 was more disciplined, more relentless, and more motivated.

California is not the liberal haven that it is stereotyped as being. For political operatives who were running a multimillion-dollar campaign in one of the most competitive and cut-throat places in the country not to have factored that into their decision-making, as appears to have happened in this case, is unfathomable.
posted by blucevalo at 11:21 AM on November 14, 2008


One thing not mentioned which I think needs to be considered - one of the toughest sticking points on this subject is CHILDREN. You can find many people who have zero problems with loving couples making a public life-long commitment to each other, and enjoying all the same rights and benefits as hetero couples, but float the follow-on idea that a gay married couple should have the same status as a hetero couple when it comes to adoption and parenting, and you will find that many otherwise supportive people will be conflicted about this.

Yes, absolutely. I recently had a conversation with my very, very liberal cousin who voted in CA. I asked him about Prop 8, and he said that as a non-resident (he's a dual citizen France/US who voted in the US with his mother's last address, which was in Los Angeles) he couldn't vote on any local/state questions as he doesn't pay CA income tax. Anyhow, I told him what it was about and he said that absolutely, he would have voted against it.

I also told him about the adoption laws passed in Arkansas, and his response just floored me. "Well, I don't know about that one. I mean, should gay people really be having kids?"

I nearly lost my mind.

"It's not that they wouldn't be good parents, but how would the children turn out?"

I could not believe that someone who believed that GLBT people deserved the same marriage rights (on the basis that "all citizens should have the same rights") as heterosexuals should then be denied the right to have children. It broke my heart to hear that someone who considered himself to be liberal and accepting really truly believed that it would HARM a child to be raised by GLBT parents.

I work with children and I can say with confidence that after years of experience and having read countless studies, the only thing that matters for children is love. Love and respect. (The two things that matter most for children... I'll come in again.) Children have been raised by single parents, grandparents, aunts, etc. for eons. No one questions the validity of these families. Countless children are raised by single mothers without a male "role model" and of all the concerns about this situation, the one I have never heard is "will the child turn out to be gay?" And yet, get TWO LOVING PARENTS raising a child - a feat that for many gay families takes years to accomplish through amazing struggles - and if those parents happen to be the SAME SEX then OMIG-D, think of the children!

I know many wonderful, wonderful gay parents and with everything that they've had to go through in order to have children at all, and seeing how devoted they are as parents - well, I wish all children could be so lucky.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:55 AM on November 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Class Goat, I do not understand the difference between what you say we should be doing and what we are doing. Do you honestly think we've gotten to where we are today without a larger strategy? Have you read the mission statement for tomorrow? As always, anger can be expressed in ways that hurt a cause. But every attempt is being made to keep this protest constructive and on message, not about Mormons or anyone else except the fundamental right of all people to marry as they choose. You're the one who keeps bringing up the need to not do things like call people "breeders." Where is that happening, exactly? Where was that suggested?
posted by Tehanu at 12:07 PM on November 14, 2008


Y'know class goat. I know you're trying to assemble a rational argument here and I appreciate that. But, from my perspective you are on the outside looking in and criticizing.

If you want to help, please help in the manner you think is effective, but be constructive. If you are just sitting back and analyzing the play by play and thinking you're being supportive, while I'm holding a sign on the street, then why am I talking to you?

They have reasons to be concerned and while some of those reasons may be ill-founded, they're not irrational.

There are no rational arguments for bigotry.

RE: MLK comparison - Black communities are visible in ways that gays aren't and can't be. Blacks have commonalities, a shared cultural heritage, a shared American experience. Gays are splintered in a million ways with nothing uniting us but our sexual preference. We are in every state, every town, every family. We can't physically organize like they can and have flashpoints that draw national attention except in these rare cases like prop 8 - to not take advantage of this momentum would be stupid. But to abandon the courts as our primary attack would be a complete setback.

You need to convince them that you're good people, people worth defending, people who don't deserve contempt.

This is so generalized as to be ridiculous. We already have. We are neighbors with bigots. We go to church with bigots We are co-workers with bigots. We talk to bigots every day. We're sons, daughters, brothers and sisters of bigots. Bigots can and do respect gay people. But they don't know that the person they respect and admire is gay. That's why our visibility is the only thing that matters. If we are out, if we and our supporters make our stance known then that is enough. We will win. But, it takes courage to speak up and that is not easy when you're raised to hate yourself.

Lets agree to disagree. I'm out of this thread. I need to save my energy for tomorrow.
posted by Craig at 12:25 PM on November 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


But to abandon the courts as our primary attack would be a complete setback.

No minority has ever gained and kept a civil right without the approval of the majority. You can't win just with the courts.

Using the courts as a way of bypassing the will of the majority is a recipe for disaster. That strategy is what has caused backlash in 30 states and made your situation worse, not better.
posted by Class Goat at 1:07 PM on November 14, 2008


Class Goat: That strategy is what has caused backlash in 30 states and made your situation worse, not better.

If it was a backlash, it was a backlash to the growing number of organizations in the 1990s who started extending domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples. It was at that point that the cultural right, pretty much preemptively, started passing laws either preventing, or radically limiting the scope of what was possible with civil domestic partnerships. It's out of that conflict, that produced the current crop of court cases.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:25 PM on November 14, 2008


In 1961, 57% of the American public thought sit-ins were hurting the Civil Rights movement.
posted by Tehanu at 1:56 PM on November 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Link with text.
posted by Tehanu at 2:04 PM on November 14, 2008


Y’know, this MLK/ visibility thing is a key issue.
In terms of strategy.
I happen to agree with Class Goat that there needs to be a clean face of the movement. The tolerant good guys should be out front. And of course, fighting fire with fire on that level is downright counterproductive.

My agreement ends there however.

The black civil rights movement had more than one division. You had Malcolm X. You had the Black Panthers. You had many other groups running interference so MLK could get away with being the good guy and being high profile.

Should gay folks knuckle under? Of course not.
But if you do want to fight fire with fire organize or join a more radical group or movement and make that kind of noise.

Not that there shouldn’t be protests.
But there’s no reason disparate groups shouldn’t or couldn’t serve the same strategy. In much the same way the Panthers, the Nation of Islam, etc. worked for civil rights, but in a different vein.

By the same token - take the point that mixing strategies within the same front is counterproductive.

I would take advantage of your diversity.

This need not take the form of completely disavowing more militant folks. And I’m in no way arguing there shouldn’t be a militant division.
But by the same token you can let those folks be the lightning rods (and hell, if they want to fight the bigots - let ‘em) while the nice guy front pursues the headlines and does the politickin’.

Right now there’s this all-inclusive look to the gay side of the table. Which is swell if you’re trying to be friends and make everyone feel welcome.

But if you let the angry folks stand up front, they’re gonna scare the little old ladies.
So put the nice looking young men in the Izods (who just happen to be gay) out front and in the papers.

Meantime I’d find a way to hyperextend the opposition argument.
Not only should gays not be married - they should be castrated say - their testicles or ovaries removed, say.
(Why? I have no idea. But the closer to plausibility in form while deviod of any reason or compassion, the better the rhetorical aikido).

Maybe get an insider in the morman church. Maybe get a splinter group and deal only with them, give them press, etc.
Such that it seems that it’s not these folks concerned with kids on the offensive, it’s these nutcases who want to cut off people’s gonads that are opposing the measure.
(My God they want to castrate those nice young clean cut boys?)

Meantime your bad asses agitate against the mormons, churches, whomever. They’re the ones that put pressure on people.

Not the folks dressed all neat and clean who speak so nicely even though the Mormons keep wanting to attack them.
Attack with the pricks. Defend with the clean faces.

Just a thought.

But as it is, I don’t think it’s an unwarrented (or unuseful) criticism to point out that homosexual diversity is leading to a less sharp message and a blunted focus.

That’s speaking as a tactician. Not from any position.
(In terms of position, of course I fully support gay marriage).

In more positive terms I think the multi-state rallies are a great idea. And I think it’s a necessary step forward.

Too often people rely on their cause being just or basic simple human truths. And it is a shame these do have to be fought for.
It’s dismaying that people don’t realize that human rights are something that should be accorded everyone.
The job, I think, is to make them realize it.

Some folks think the job is also making them realize the alternatives to not according these rights could be quite unpleasant.

I would say that’s merely one facet of the struggle. One weapon in a very wide arsenal and one tactic in a wide range that can serve a greater strategy.
And of course, in a wide spectrum engagement, yeah, I’d be using the courts too.

Final victory is always turning an enemy into a friend or even an ally.

Sounds like just a platitude in the heat of battle. Especially something as glaringly unjust as this. But it is true.

Still - gotta have a beachhead somewhere.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:31 PM on November 14, 2008


Using the courts as a way of bypassing the will of the majority is a recipe for disaster. That strategy is what has caused backlash in 30 states and made your situation worse, not better.

Class Goat, you really do need to do a little more homework. Desegregation of schools and Loving v. Virginia would never have gained a majority vote in the South. I'm glad you weren't around in the Civil Rights Era to tell Rosa Parks to go sit in the back of the bus and shut up until a ballot amendment for Equal Bus Seating for Negroes could be voted in.
posted by digaman at 3:03 PM on November 14, 2008


Smedleyman: I happen to agree with Class Goat that there needs to be a clean face of the movement. The tolerant good guys should be out front. And of course, fighting fire with fire on that level is downright counterproductive.

Well, I think the nice good guys have been out in front for a while. In fact, I think that our tendency to put the squeaky clean, all-to-waspy, middle-class out-in-frontness is actually biting the gay community on the ass, because 30-odd years of just nodding our head and saying "yeah, yeah" in regards to examining our own racism has caused some serious stumbling blocks.

But, MLK wasn't the squeaky clean acceptable face of desegregation. He was one of those classic fire-breathing radicals that speak from the pulpit and wasn't afraid to say that the white moderate was, in his opinion, a worse obstacle than the KKK.

Meanwhile, this has been an entire year full of rage for me. It started with Lawrence King, a young gender non-conforming self-identified out bisexual kid shot in the head in his own classroom. An then there was Shanesha Stewart, Victor Manious, and Angie Zapata.

And it continues with hearing that Duanna Johnson, the transwoman who was filmed being beaten by Memphis PD for refusing to answer to "faggot" as a name, the woman who filed suit against the city of Memphis and threatened to expose a pattern of police malevolence, was shot on Monday.

And STILL what do we do? Hold some marches and rallies in which most people will be wearing their best business casual, shout some angry but mostly non-threatening slogans, and then walk home clucking our tongues at the drag queens, the leather, and the transfolk who don't quite pass.

In my opinion, we are overdue for a fucking riot.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:12 PM on November 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Class Goat, you really do need to do a little more homework. Desegregation of schools and Loving v. Virginia would never have gained a majority vote in the South.

When it comes to issues like this, ultimately it's a national decision, not a regional one. It might have failed in the south, but it succeeded in the nation as a whole.

I'm glad you weren't around in the Civil Rights Era to tell Rosa Parks to go sit in the back of the bus and shut up until a ballot amendment for Equal Bus Seating for Negroes could be voted in.

Digaman, you are completely misinterpreting what I am saying. Please put the strawman back in the closet; we won't be needing it for this conversation.

What Rosa Parks did was good strategy, because the reaction to what she did made her a victim, made her sympathetic. It was good publicity; it made her opponents look bad.

This, on the other hand, is bad strategy. It makes gays look like bullies. Vindictiveness may be emotionally satisfying, but it's counterproductive.

Picketing Mormon churches is bad strategy, too. Mainstream Christians are a bit leery of Mormons, but they're more sympathetic to Mormons than they are to you, and when you try to harm the Mormons, that makes you look like enemies to all Christians. "After they finish off the Mormons, we're next." That's the message that comes through, and it isn't the message you want to deliver, because you need mainstream Christians to be sympathetic to you. You need their votes.

And this is extremely bad strategy. When the gay argument is that "tolerance and diversity are good", then having some gays appear intolerant makes gays collectively look like hypocrites and self-serving liars. "We believe in civil rights, and we're going to prove it by calling blacks 'niggers'." Not good. Rightly or wrongly, that was the message that came through.

If you want others to be tolerant of you, you have to be tolerant of them. And you have to go first because it's your problem, even though it's their fault.
posted by Class Goat at 5:47 PM on November 14, 2008


If you want others to be tolerant of you, you have to be tolerant of them. And you have to go first because it's your problem, even though it's their fault.

Every gay person I know is tolerant of the heterosexual majority that surrounds them every single day. Every last one of them is tolerant of other people's right to marry, to see relationships like theirs portrayed on TV, to walk down the street holding hands, visit each other in the hospital, raise children together, etc.

I have yet to meet a single gay person who is intolerant of heterosexuals to the point of murdering them simply for being straight.

We've already gone first. We're waiting for the tolerance boomerang to come back around, thanks.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:26 PM on November 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Honestly, Class Goat, you're cherrypicking like two events so you can build your soapbox higher and tut-tut at all the imaginary gay rage and racism exploding all around you. (For one thing, that theater guy resigned, he wasn't fired or blacklisted.) For the most part, the responses to Prop. 8 have been peaceful and sane. Hopefully the 300 demonstrations planned for tomorrow will be the same -- though count on the police and the media to zero in on the angriest signs, the most outrageous drag queens, and the most provocative t-shirts.

I'm getting bored with lectures from you -- your strawmen won't be needed for this conversation either. My partner of 14 years and I got married illegally even before Gavin Newsom started marrying people here in SF. More than 110 friends and family members flew in to celebrate with us, including Keith's very Republican family, most of whom probably voted for McCain and Palin in the most recent election. At the time, Keith's dad was the mayor of a small town in Illinois. It was a beautiful ceremony, and though I didn't know it at the time, it was the last time I would see my father alive. When marriage became legal here, we went down to City Hall and got legally married. It was also a wonderful event, in a quieter way. After Prop. 8 passed, one of Keith's young nephews -- who had been supporting McCain -- wrote a supportive message on one of our wedding photos on Facebook, "Legally my uncle Steve!"

I bet that scenes and shifts like this have been unfolding all over the country for gay people who have taken the step of getting married. It's the future -- and for some of us, it's the present. So, Goat, when you say...

It's got to be the most ill-conceived and ineffective human rights campaign ever.

I say: This isn't just a "human rights campaign." It's our lives, now, on the line, and life is short. We didn't get married to make a point of convince Joe the Plumber to relax about homosexuality. We got married because it was the right thing to do, in the most deeply personal sense. And Keith's relatives saw that, and responded to that, in a way that they wouldn't have responded to an email about human rights.
posted by digaman at 6:47 PM on November 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


i guess i just have to duck the sniping if i want to toss out some more provacative sign ideas...
and btw, we will win this, you know...they have nothing to get out of this...we do.

so:
SINGLE, But Still Pissed Off

and

We're not trying to marry YOU
posted by sexyrobot at 7:03 PM on November 14, 2008


2 CIVIL 2 H8
2 COMMITTED 2 D8
2 ANGRY 2 W8
posted by Tehanu at 8:09 PM on November 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


no more mr. nice gay!
posted by sexyrobot at 8:35 PM on November 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think the America-wide protests against Proposition 8 are all very nice, but ACT UP–style tactics do not work anymore. Many protesters will have been born after ACT UP collapsed and will have no memory of it in the first place.

What? How do you know they don't work anymore?

And are these even the same? I seem to recall ACT-UP holding a die-in at St. Patrick's Cathedral while the bishop was saying Mass. A mass protest doesn't seem to be quite the same in terms of theater.
posted by liketitanic at 9:19 PM on November 14, 2008


“Transfolk” and legalization of gay marriage are two separate issues, if not more than two. Frankly, not every imaginable gay issue is really about the trannies when you get right down to it. This one isn’t.
posted by joeclark at 9:23 PM on November 14, 2008


Mormons Tipped the Scale on Ban on Gay Marriage

See y'all Saturday morning.
posted by digaman at 10:07 PM on November 14, 2008


Can I Still Register at Tiffany's?

Equal Rights are FAAABULOUS!!

FUCK Prop8

and for the mormons:
Polygamy IS Gay Marriage.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:44 PM on November 14, 2008


Prop. 8 protests could become national movement
posted by homunculus at 9:30 AM on November 15, 2008


Speaking of the national movement, there's a Prop 8 Protest in Boston this afternoon. I'm stuck at home with a chest cold, so I'll be here raising my fist in solidarity.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:58 AM on November 15, 2008


joeclark: “Transfolk” and legalization of gay marriage are two separate issues, if not more than two. Frankly, not every imaginable gay issue is really about the trannies when you get right down to it. This one isn’t.

I really have to disagree here. I've never been able to factor out the times in which I've been attacked for my sexual orientation, from the times in which I've had my gender identity attacked. I don't think it's possible to do so for Lawrence King, who both self-identified as bisexual and cross-dressed, or Duanna Johnson who as attacked for refusing to answer to "faggot." Prejudice on the basis of sexual orientation and prejudice on the basis gender expression are deeply entwined in our culture.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:30 AM on November 15, 2008


This morning in San Francisco.
posted by digaman at 2:02 PM on November 15, 2008


I think Class Goat is making some good, if hard to hear, points. It's important to remember that what the Supreme Court giveth, Congress and the states can taketh away, if it's too unpalatable to the public as a whole.

In most states and at the Federal level, court rulings can be overturned, typically via amendments to the State or U.S. Constitution. The courts can sometimes lead public opinion by a fair amount (especially when overruling them requires a supermajority or requires going through an arduous Constitutional amendment process, as is the case with the USSC), but they're not omnipotent.

It may be satisfying to think of cases like Loving as having been the final word on an issue, but really what's important to note is what didn't happen after them: there wasn't a general public outcry and a concerted effort to overturn the Court's decision via the amendment process (at least not in any way that seriously threatened the decision). If the same verdict had come down a generation earlier, or even a few decades, I'm not sure things would have just ended there.

It's tough to tell what public opinion really is, because people are so apt to lie when asked, but the whole Prop 8 thing has made me wonder whether there are far more closet homophobes out there than casual inspection might make it appear. If that's the case, a court-focused strategy could backfire pretty badly.
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:41 PM on November 15, 2008


Wrap-ups and photos/videos from Prop. 8 rallies/marches across the country today - 1, 2, 3, 4.

Here in Boston, despite the rain, there was a large turnout | video.
posted by ericb at 4:22 PM on November 15, 2008


We had about 1400 people in Raleigh, NC today, despite rain that, at one point, was literally blowing sideways.
posted by EarBucket at 6:26 PM on November 15, 2008


I'm sitting around on my couch, reading that book by that guy who won that election, and I came across a paragraph about the Civil Rights movement that struck me as so apt for the GLBT Rights movement, and this thread in particular where the efficacy of court cases is being discussed, that well, I came and logged into MetaFilter just to share it. So, some thoughts, courtesy of Barack Obama and Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Sometimes only the law can fully vindicate our values, particularly when the rights and opportunities of the powerless in our society are at stake. Certainly this has been true in our efforts to end racial discrimination; as important as moral exhortation was in changing hearts and minds of white Americans during the civil rights era, what ultimately broke the back of Jim Crow and ushered in a new era of race relations was the Supreme Court culminating in Brown v. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. As these laws were being debated, there were those who argued that government should not interject itself into civil society, that no law could force white people to associate with blacks. Upon hearing these arguments, Dr. King replied, "It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me but it can keep him from lynching me and I think that is pretty important, also."
With Prop 8, I feel that Dr. King's quote is especially apt - the law may not be at a point where gay marriage is universal, but the law CAN allow marriages already created to stand, and that is something worth fighting for.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:29 PM on November 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm seeing 5000 as the DC crowd estimate in most places. That seems about right to me, although I'd place it at 5000+. It was a very good rally. Lots of energy, everyone very positive, with many straight allies in attendance. Strong support from many passersby. Warm and stormy day with a tornado watch announced this morning, a lot of rain on and off during the march, but sun and a rainbow at the end of the day.

Video from DC rally.
Daily Kos DC photo diary.
Storm clouds and rainbow over DC.

In my opinion this was smoother and better organized than the anti-war rallies I've gone to that have used the same beginning and endpoints downtown and with very similar programs overall. Those took months to organize, and were much bigger, but it boggles my mind that this one was pulled together in about a week.

Andrew Sullivan is posting email accounts and photos from various cities to his blog. Also nationwide photos on Flickr.
posted by Tehanu at 7:59 PM on November 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Report: The event in Seattle was AMAZING! Half the protest didn't even fit into Westlake center. It was beautiful. I was choked up several times at all the support. I was so inspired to hear our chants of "equal rights...now" echoing off the sides of skyscrapers as the crowd marched into downtown. The crowd was estimated at 6,000 which is laughable. There had to be at least double that during the march. Westlake center was completely full (no elbow room) and the crowd was still reaching back to Capitol Hill.

I carried a sign that said, "Love Makes a Family," and marched with my husband and my friends.

It was just amazing.
posted by Craig at 8:44 AM on November 16, 2008


California Republican governor Arnold Schwarznegger was on Stephanopolous' show this morning talking about equal marriage rights and the urgency to repeal Prop. 8. This "most ill-conceived and ineffective human rights campaign ever" is looking more and more like the birth of one of the most vibrant, inclusive, and sane movements for human equality in history.
posted by digaman at 9:39 AM on November 16, 2008


Mormons started planning for Prop 8 eleven years ago
posted by homunculus at 9:46 AM on November 16, 2008


I was in seattle,

definitely one of the most well organized rallies and protest marches ive witnessed. add into that that the organizers have had, at most, 12 days to throw the entire movement together and it was remarkable. all of this was possible with the power of social-networking, facebook, and the internet.

second, while we were marching i turned to my friend and said, "this has got to be the most well behaved protest in the history of the world." it was like one giant party in volunteer park (where the rally began) and then we decided, en masse, to relocate the party to westlake center. along the way the public support was enormous. people closed down shop to come outside and cheer for us, others waved flags from their apartment windows, and some just stared in awe.

this prop8 business attacked the wrong group of people. very well networked, technologically plugged in, and with a strong base of support in every major city in the world. There could be sustained action on this dwarfing the protest on the iraq war - and my socialist alternative friend was a little pissed about that.
posted by Glibpaxman at 1:01 PM on November 16, 2008


“Transfolk” and legalization of gay marriage are two separate issues, if not more than two. Frankly, not every imaginable gay issue is really about the trannies when you get right down to it. This one isn’t.

They are my brothers and my sisters. I could no sooner part with them then I could with any other minority in our community. We are all the same. We will fight the same battles and we will win the same victories. I hope someday you feel the same.
posted by Craig at 9:28 AM on November 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


“We” are not “all the same.”
posted by joeclark at 12:45 PM on November 17, 2008


No, we're not the same. But we should be equal. Every human rights struggle has a main group at the front making headway and some others that are part of a bigger coalition who end up either sharing fully in the gain or left behind to fend for themselves. It's not that the issues are all the same, but the fight is as big as we make it, and the circle of inclusion extends exactly as far as we push it, and gays have been left behind by other movements we contributed to. Some of us refuse to leave transsexuals behind this time around for that reason. Their problems are not exactly the same but they are part of a bigger question of a majority deciding on and legislating what is "normal" in terms of sex and gender, and we're either honest when we say we are fighting for civil rights, or we are hypocrites fighting only for ourselves and invoking a larger struggle for rights just when it's convenient for us. If we say it's time for our right to live openly and not yet time for theirs, we're making the same mistake others made when they left us out.
posted by Tehanu at 1:27 PM on November 17, 2008


“In my opinion, we are overdue for a fucking riot.”- KirkJobSluder

Well again, you can change clothes in the course of that. Legitimacy is never derived through violence.
Oh, I’m not saying violence isn’t a tool. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use it or never riot - whatever. I’m not armchair quarterbacking here.
And I certainly agree MLK had that facet. But you can’t combine the two in the same situation. Like ketchup and ice cream - you can eat them both, they both taste good. Together - not so much.
Essentially - achieve the objective you seek/sought to achieve at the beginning of any given engagement.
Even if the dynamic changes, the objective really wouldn’t (unless there’s some radical change - and in that case you’re probably expecting violence anyway).
So - peaceful demonstration - hey, keep it peaceful, stay nice, all that.
Want to agitate, ok, go do that.
But don’t have something nice like a sit in then go get up in people’s faces.
It’s a matter of controlling your statement.

As I said, I’m not advising you to be calm. Riot all you want. Bust some heads. But do that if that’s what you’re setting out to do.

I mean, KirkJobSluder, cut this shit where because I’m not gay I don’t have the right to say anything at all about any of this. I don’t cluck my toungue at drag queens. I’m not saying be more acceptable, I’m just saying apply the proper method to the proper element and take advantage of what right now is an obvious flaw - your diversity.

Hell, you (and others) even saying “...what do *we* do? Hold some marches and rallies...” like it has to be a community decision and you all have to do one thing like you’re a monolith.
What’s this “we” stuff? Certainly you have common cause, but you need not have common tactics.

Dividing your forces would be silly if you were in authority. But you’re not. So do what good subversives do and develop multiple strategies and fronts.

(and I don’t mean subversive as a perjorative)

I think grapefruitmoon’s quote from MLK is a good one concerning the law. It’s a necessary step.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:21 PM on November 17, 2008


God smites the gays with wildfires
posted by homunculus at 1:26 PM on November 18, 2008


God has terrible aim. Look at all those straight people's houses burning on tv. Man. And those poor trees. It's not their fault they're monoecious.
posted by Tehanu at 1:36 PM on November 18, 2008


Nah, God is punishing California for passing prop 8!

not really
posted by needs more cowbell at 7:59 PM on November 18, 2008


Well I hate to think what Arkansas is in for. Or Connecticut if the reverse is true. What do you think God's resolution is for smiting? 1000 m2?
posted by Tehanu at 8:15 PM on November 18, 2008


California Supreme Court filings on Proposition 8. You can sign up to receive updates. Cases: S168047, S168066, S168078, S168281, S168302, S168332.
posted by Tehanu at 11:57 AM on November 19, 2008


Calif. Supreme Court to take up gay marriage ban
"California's highest court has agreed to hear legal challenges to a new ban on gay marriage, but is refusing to allow gay couples to resume marrying until it rules.

The California Supreme Court on Wednesday accepted three lawsuits seeking to overturn Proposition 8. The amendment passed this month with 52 percent of the vote. The court did not elaborate on its decision.

All three cases claim the ban abridges the civil rights of a vulnerable minority group. They argue that voters alone did not have the authority to enact such a significant constitutional change."
posted by ericb at 2:42 PM on November 19, 2008


Prop 8 battle enters new stage:
"What we're doing now is building a movement. There is more excitement and energy than I've seen in a long time about people coming together and wanting to have input as to what this movement looks like."
posted by ericb at 2:46 PM on November 19, 2008


Project Postcard:
"Our friends at LGBTQ Civil Rights Front have come up with a brilliant way for us to ensure that LGBTQ issues aren't forgotten as President-elect Obama makes his transition into the White House. Their idea: buy a postcard from your home town, include a handwritten message, and mail it to Obama's Presidential Transition Office." *
posted by ericb at 2:48 PM on November 19, 2008


December 10: National "Day without a Gay"
posted by ericb at 2:51 PM on November 19, 2008


I'm all for keeping this thing going and trying new things, but Dec 10 is the stupidest protest idea I've ever seen.
posted by Tehanu at 4:15 PM on November 19, 2008


The Salt Lake Tribune: Prop 8 involvement a P.R. fiasco for LDS Church.
posted by ericb at 2:58 PM on November 25, 2008


Probe into LDS Church's Prop 8 donations going forward
"California's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) confirmed Monday that it will investigate allegations that the LDS Church failed to report nonmonetary contributions to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign."
posted by ericb at 3:01 PM on November 25, 2008


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