More pesky Prop 8 facts

Facts are facts, whether people want to hear them or not.  

As more data comes in, the FACT is that a significant number of "progressive" voters, who delivered a massive California victory for  Barack Obama, also supported California's Proposition 8, which placed a ban on gay marriage in the state constitution.

"Ironically . . . a mathematical analysis of voting and exit poll data indicates very strongly that it was exactly that pro-Obama surge that spelled victory for Proposition 8."

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Prop 8's Silver Lining

Like so many others in the progressive world, I was beyond dismay at the passage of Proposition 8 in California.  The joy of having helped elect so many great Democrats this year (not least of all President-Elect Barack Obama) was muted by the knowledge that the graffiti of hatred had once again been scrawled into a Constitutional document.  And it wasn't just California's Constitution that was defiled: same-sex marriage bans were passed in Florida and Arizona as well, and a particularly atrocious amendment was passed in Arkansas banning adoptions by unmarried couples.  These paradoxical defeats on a night of otherwise strong progressive victories show just how much farther we have to work for equality and human decency all across America.

And yet, there is a major silver lining to this cloud that will help Democrats and progressives for years to come: a benefit that would be foolish to overlook even as we gird ourselves for the fights ahead.

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Keith Takes On Prop 8

Tonight, Keith gave one of his most moving special comments yet, this one on the injustice of Prop 8.

In the meantime, the fallout over the passage of the initiative continues unabated both with protests and actual action being taken by citizens and lawmakers alike.

  • Thousands continued to take to the streets this weekend all throughout California including 25k in San Francisco, 2k in Long Beach as well as 12.5k in LA and 10k in San Diego.

  • The Courage Campaign/CREDO petition to repeal Prop 8 is up over 62k 64k sigs. If you haven't, please add your name now.

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger hopes Prop 8 will be overturned and urges opponents never to give up.

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today expressed hope that the California Supreme Court would overturn Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriage. He also predicted that the 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who have already married would not be affected by the initiative.

    "It's unfortunate, obviously, but it's not the end," Schwarzenegger said in an interview on CNN this morning. "I think that we will again maybe undo that, if the court is willing to do that, and then move forward from there and again lead in that area."...

    Today, Schwarzenegger urged backers of gay marriage to follow the lesson he learned as a bodybuilder trying to lift weights that were too heavy for him at first. "I learned that you should never ever give up.... They should never give up. They should be on it and on it until they get it done."

    Gee, Guv, where was this passion a couple weeks ago?

  • Last week, six same-sex couples filed a petition with the CA Supreme Court to block the enforcement of Prop 8, citing the CA constitution's requirement that the fundamental rights of minority groups can only be eliminated if 2/3rds of the legislature votes to submit the change to the People or to a constitutional convention. Today, more than 40 state legislators filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of this petition. Via press release:

    "The citizens of California rely on the Legislature and the courts to safeguard against unlawful discrimination by temporary, and often short-lived, majorities," said the legislators. "Our state's few deviations from this duty have proven, with the perspective of historical distance, to be the most abhorrent chapters in our State's history... The Legislative Amici urge this Court to prevent the momentary passions of a bare majority from compromising the enduring constitutional promise of equal protection under the law. Proposition 8's radical change to our constitutional protections cannot be considered a mere 'amendment.' The California Constitution -- 'the ultimate expression of the People's will' -- requires the involvement of the Legislature in a constitutional revision of this magnitude."

  • The LA County Board of Supervisors will meet Wednesday to determine whether they will join the effort to block Prop 8. They'll need three votes on the 5-member board. So far L.A. County Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Gloria Molina are for it and Michael Antonovich is against. The other two votes are unclear.

[editor's note, by Todd Beeton]Edited to add CREDO, which came on board as a co-sponsor of the pledge. Also, I updated the number of sigs, which has risen to 64,000. Keep it up!

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Olbermann on Prop 8

Keith Olbermann gave a special comment tonight regard Prop 8.  Really, it's about more than Prop 8, it is about common humanity.  I was rather impressed.

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In Fear Of A Stupid Planet

Wise words from the Slacktivist:

... I think cause and effect flow in the other direction. I think, instead, that bigotry is a sufficient, but not a necessary, cause of stupidity. In other words, I think that bigotry is the precondition -- that it is a starting point from which one inevitably and inexorably goes on to become stupid.

... Racism, bigotry and xenophobia are immoral, of course, but they are also, just as fundamentally, untrue. They are unreal. They provide a theory and a framework for living in the world that cannot be reconciled with the reality of this world. The person who chooses to accept that unreal framework is thus constantly forced to choose between unreality and reality, between the theory and the facts. To hold onto the unreal framework, they must continuously reject reality. And every time they do that, they get a little bit dumber. ...

Prof BW shares some of her reality as someone who doesn't have the luxury of choosing sides between being gay and being a person of color:

This prop 8 thing, both the loss and the aftermath, has really pushed me and so many of my closest friends (hard core social justice advocates in CA) past the breaking point. Besides hearing about all of the homophobic and racist comments hurled at Friday night's rally, I just ended up in a similar conversation online. As I stared incredulous at the screen, my gf slipped her hand into mine and led me to the tv, where she had already put a warm cup of eggnog cocoa (eggnog + abuelita, my fav. what?!) and some fresh pumpkin bread. She pushed the play button on the DVD player, and one of my favorite movies started: Nina's Heavenly Delights

And as I snuggled into her and felt her long, muscular arms, wrap around me tight, safe, I thought: How can anybody say this is wrong? And how could anybody else blame us  ... The only voice of reason is the gravelly pitch of her's against my ear, reminding me, we are still here.

The leaders of the Republican Party are going to stick with their plan of spreading hate and oppression because it's all they've got left. The public has hated their economic policies for a long time, and only supported them out of a xenophobic desire not to share scarce resources with Those People, whoever the scapegoat of the day happens to be.

It's been clear for a long time that to be divided against each other as women and men, as culturally and melanin differentiated, as gay and straight, as rural and urban, is to grant power to people who've decided that 47 million of us can't see a doctor or dentist when we're sick. It's to cede the fight to those who think it's fine if medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy, even though 3/4 of those bankrupted had health coverage at the beginning of their illness.

Health care is just one of the many problems that can't be solved for the majority of Americans if we will persist in fearing and hating people we don't even know on stupid and arbitrary grounds. Though it's an important one; what have you got if you haven't got your health?

If we want a chance at real change, it's time to struggle against our own voluntary stupidities so they don't cut us off from people who should be natural allies in the fight (via). If we want a serious conversation about how the nation's finite human and material resources are used, we need to get past unserious claims that there isn't enough human dignity to go around if we have to share it with everyone.

Justice, respect, mercy and love are only as scarce as we choose to make them.

Update [2008-11-10 8:41:55 by Natasha Chart]: I strongly recommend TerranceDC's must read essay on homophobia in the black community.

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