Holy Defeat - Don't Get Mad, Get Even!
It has been a few days since I last posted on the blog. I like so many people was very excited about the election of Barack Obama. It is an exciting time for people around the world, and especially for black Americans. The election of Obama, was something they never thought possible is now staring them in the face. Obama is everyone's Homeboy!
The election was an up and down night for me. It was an up and down night for millions of Americans. Gay marriage supporters were slapped down by voters in California, Arizona and Florida. Gay parents were kicked out of Arkansas.
I somehow don't feel as good about Obama's victory after the fact than before. Gay and Lesbian Americans were toasted by a Holy Defeat as the Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff put it. Naff pointed out...
"Voter turnout in gay mecca San Francisco was among the lowest in the state, around 53 percent."
That is almost unforgivable, it is certainly a lesson for the community. If the vote in San Francisco was only 53%, what the heck was it in other gay and gay friendly communities.
There is much to do. There is much to win. The lesson in this last election is clear. We can not nor should we rely on or expect others to give us what is right. It may be ironic that Black American voters were the ones to teach us this lesson. They have seen the election of a black American to President. They have realised a dream. Do gays want to achieve our dream?
In the end it was not Black American votes for Prop 8 or Prop 2 that saw us lose. It was a step toward equality, it was a reminder to all of us. Our rights are only as good as the next election, the next congressional or parliamentary majority, the government appointment, the next Mayor or city councilor in your city.
We lost this battle because it was defined by the prop 8 supporters as a defense of marriage, as state intrusion on religious freedom. We don't know our neighbours as well as we need too, and they don't know us. Perhaps its time to take a plate of your favourite cookies next door.