Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Prop 8

Gather 'round my children, while I tell you a fairy tale with a happy and a sad ending. Long ago, in 1978, when I was a dewey-eyed young haglet, there was a proposition on the California ballot that would have banned gays and lesbians from teaching in California's schools. Harvey Milk was a city supervisor then, and campaigned actively against it. After Prop 6 was defeated, jubilant crowds gathered at the San Francisco civic center where Harvey and Mayor Moscone gave speeches. Mayor Moscone said, “This is your night. No on 6 will be emblazoned upon the principles of San Francisco, liberty and freedom for all, forever.” There's the happy ending. The sad ending, of course, is that, not long after that happy night, a right-winger, threatened by this triumph of good sense and humanity, shot and killed both Harvey Milk and the mayor in their offices.

I'm not the first or the last to wish that Harvey could have been alive this year - he would have been the grand old gay of the Castro - to campaign against prop 8 and help defeat it. But I do believe that someday this silly nation will come to its senses and realize that it is very simply wrong to legislate who and how we choose to love. There is little enough of that precious commodity in our world, that to restrict and repress it makes us all poorer.


sageweb said...

I wish we had a leader like Harvey to help us out with this horrible proposition. Is it really democracy to allow the majority to vote on rights for a minority?

P.S The Harvey Milk movie is coming out Dec. 5th...I wish it would have come out before the vote, to inspire people.

Miss Janey said...

Miss J believes this silly nation will get on board with gay marriage when its settled in the courts once and for all. It would also help if our gov't leaders said, "Enough of this BS. Gay marriage is legal- the Constitution says so." Which will hopefully be soon. Like the vote for women, and interracial marriage, integrated schools...some folks are NEVER going to get on-board. That's too bad for them. The South didn't want to give up slavery either. Just because a bunch of people thought it was OK, didn't make it OK.

Gay marriage is on its way. People need to accept it and move on.

ayem8y said...

I love that story. It's bittersweet. I’m proud of the many people who have stood up and said this is wrong.

yellowdog granny said...

have you seen obi wan olbermann's speech on

google olbermann and gay marriage,
it's terrific

a thousand shades of twilight said...

I like the fact that you used the word silly - it IS silly, it's utter, confounding nonsense. But unlike some years ago, it feels like a minor setback and (unlike some years ago) I believe now that gay marriage is an inevitability rather than an elusive dream. I never thought I would say that.
I get so heartened when I see that, even in my sleepy little city, gay couples walk around hand in hand all the time these days. I never stop getting a thrill when I see that. Unheard of when I first came out 20 years ago. Some of them are even schoolkids, and they look so untroubled. I know I'm lucky and that its not like that everywhere, but I believe that city by city, state by state, country by country we'll get there.
PS Hooray for Harvey Milk!
PS Hooray for 'Dewey-eyed young haglets!' I would have loved to have been in that time and that place with you!

mrpeenee said...

Nostalgia can drown you sometimes. I start thinking how so many old friends would have liked to have been in on this fight and how much better it could have come out with them around, and then I have to change the subject.

jason said...

Unfortunately, it's not true in all schools.
I know I can be fired for being gay...(as women can be for cohabitting without being married).
It's happened before.
Gay marriage is great and all....but it'd be wonderful if we had even those simple rights univerally mandated first.

Claire M. Johnson said...

Yes, well, it's getting mighty ugly. But what is interesting is that so little mention is being made in the media of that TRULY hideous passage in Arkansas that prohibits gays from adopting. Note that the passage of Prop 8 isn't horrible, it is. It will go to the courts (both measures) and now Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, Souter, and Stevens and can retire with the knowledge that they won't be replaced by ideologues masquerading as jurists.

Will said...

I've always been proud to be born and raised in the major portion of the Left Coast, but this really made election day rather bittersweet. I still can't get over the fact that MY state didn't get the right thing done here.

I still have faith that no matter what a Supreme Court Justice's ideological views are, they will realize that this would be constitutionalized discrimination and strike this down. That may ultimately be a pipe dream though...