Thursday, November 06, 2008

Snatched and Gay Bashed

STATE MEASURE - PROPOSITION 8: ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Changes California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Fiscal Impact: Over the next few years, potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local governments. In the long run, likely little fiscal impact on state or local governments.

It was surreal. I stood in the voting booth reading this ballot measure that put to a vote whether or not people approved the stripping of one of my constitutional rights. Articulated the way it was, I was sure that people would read it and be appalled at such a prospect. That in the year 2008, an American society would again allow the bullying and degradation of a minority group because they are different and have a different opinion about something. I was wrong.

YES - 52% NO - 48%

Perhaps many in the straight evangelical conservative sect of our Father's Church felt justified in leading such a charge in their self-righteous call to protect not families but their pharisaical traditional perspective at the expense of demoralizing and literally "invalidating" their neighbors.

They shall be accountable to God.

There is much hurt and anger that many of us are processing - both gay and straight. This wasn't just something that we were wanting and were told No. Rather, this was a Constitutional right that we already had and was taken away from us. Snatched and gay bashed. Ori and Rom Brafman in their book called SWAY say, "We experience the pain associated with a loss much more vividly than we do the joy of experiencing a gain."

I do feel robbed!

The thing that has been pissing me off, though, is the complete lack of empathy that I've been perceiving from those who approved of the discriminatory Constitutional amendment. The hypocrisy is unbelievable! One of my pet peeves is when someone projects the very stupid things that they themselves are doing but then accuse the "other side" of doing those stupid things. Seriously, I hate that! It's like....dude, take a look in the mirror - the thing you're complaining about, that's what YOU are doing!

It's like there's a proud haughtiness from people who minimize the pain they've contributed to in their neighbors by calling opponents to the Proposition "poor losers" when we rally to express our anger or move to appeal to the supreme court. Well hell, that's what the court is for! To step in when the majority continues to treat "fellow Californians" like second-class citizens.

Who knows how far the organizers and activists and lawyers will get with the courts. But I shall appeal to God. I ask that He would hear the cries of His people. I ask for His vindication and justice to prevail. I ask that He would intervene. I ask that He convict the hearts of those who have set such a poor example of love - those who hide behind their tradition as an excuse to close their eyes and ears and hearts and common sense from acknowledging the human dignity afforded to all people by God - and this country. Supposedly.

So yeah, I'm pissed. And right now I'm going to allow myself to be angry and to grieve and to vent so that I can appreciate the gravity of what's happened. I'm choosing to allow myself this time and this space, for now, so that then I can move on and move forward with the much needed task of bridge building, healing, forgiving, and vision-casting.

5 comments:

Steve said...

So very well said, my friend. And I mean that in the true sense of the phrase, not as McCain said it, heh.
But anyway, yeah. I'll have to do some blogging over the weekend myself, in a similar fashion of getting out the anger and expressing the hurt, and some other thing. We have a lot to process through. I fully agree that this raw reaction, this being pissed off, is a very important place for the process to begin.

Thank you, Eric.

Earl said...

Thanks Eric for expressing publicly the anger and frustration being felt by the GLBT community right now. I completely agree with your point about a lack of empathy from the Prop 8 supporters. I have to wonder if they ever bother to consider what it would be like if it was THEIR civil liberty that was being taken away!!! And I too am pissed that folks are limiting our civil rights in the name of God and religion!! Do they bother to see that Christ, our example, was a champion of the outcast, the underdog? This blow stings so because I now share very close friendships with gay Californians and I may, in fact, be relocating there myself. So I do take this very personally! After we mourn and vent, we must get up and speak more loudly and without apology. Following the lead of the Spirit, let us challenge with new fervor the lies of Satan that are being promoted by our opposition.

Thank you again Eric for using your voice to inform and inspire. Let's gird up for the fight, dear friend! ::HUG::

Earl

Steve Schmidt said...

Eric, I was irritated with this as well. Perhaps not as angry as you -- guess I'm more numbed, more calloused since in my state it's been outlawed since the last Bush election, as part of their efforts to get out the base voters.

But you are correct that they will answer to God for their decision. The verse that comes to mind immediately is "whatever you did to the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me." And I wouldn't want to be in their shoes when he says this to them on that Great Day.

Grace and peace to you, bro,
Steve

Brandon said...

As I followed the results, I was very disappointed with how Prop 8 went. My heart went out to all my friends in California who must be feeling hurt and angry that their neighbors would vote the way they did.

I live in a state that has a gay marriage ban. In fact, my response in my blog was much less eloquent than yours (I recall the "F" word in a big, bright red font). It passed in Missouri with 70% of voters in favor, and nearly 80% in my own county. That passed four years ago in August.

There are differences, of course. In Missouri, I didn't have the right to begin with and the amendment was there to (attempt to) make that permanent. In California, you've had that right and now it's been snatched away.

Be angry, it's justified. The responses from those in favor of this discrimination are almost always outrageously unjust and cruel. I'll never understand why anyone would want to deny rights to another human being.

But, also be hopeful! After my own feelings of anger subsided, I began to feel hopeful. In fact, even Prop 8 gives me even more hope. There's many opportunities for legal challenges that could eventually wind their way up to the Supreme Court. I've long held the opinion that it will be the courts, not voters or legislators, that finally give us equal marriage rights. And I feel really good that Prop 8 will give everyone, not just Californians, even greater opportunities to make legal challenges that could eventually bring about those rights.

We're on a long journey toward equality that is going to have numerous missteps and stumbles, but we'll get there. We'll see it in our lifetime, while we're still young enough to enjoy it.

And in the meantime, from one second class citizen to another, *big hugs* man. *BIG BIG HUGS*

Gentle lamb said...

An appeal to God! well said.

The Prop 8 supporters were attacking unprovoked and without cause, using the most underhand and untruthful methods.

Perhaps queer people are just too nice.