Associated Press photo
Thousands of Californians rallied today at the state Capitol here in Sacramento against Proposition 8, which narrowly passed on November 4. Proposition 8, funded mostly by Mormons and Catholics from outside of California, wrote discrimination against same-sex couples into the state constitution after the Repugnican-dominated California Supreme Court (six of the justices were appointed by Repugnican governors, while only one justice was appointed by a Democratic governor) had ruled in May that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry under the rights guaranteed to them by the state’s Constitution.
So today I attended the second weekend anti-Proposition 8 protest rally at the state Capitol building here in Sacramento. I haven’t seen mainstream media estimates of the crowd’s size in the media yet, but I estimate that it was at least a third bigger than was the first one on November 9, which I also attended.
I had to go to the protest rally today. I’m a gay man who is sick of being told that I don’t deserve the same rights as every other American, am sick of my second-class citizenship status — and hell, I live within walking distance of the Capitol. (And Margaret Cho was there! And she sang an anti-Mormon-cult song that the crowd loved.)
The most poignant part of the rally happened before I even got to the rally, and it was unexpected. A female friend and I walked from my apartment to the protest rally at the Capitol, and while the rally was on the west side of the Capitol, on the east side of the Capitol my friend and I saw and passed, on our way to the rally, a heterosexual wedding party.
Lots of people get married on the east side of the Capitol in what is called Capitol Park. It has a nice rose garden and a little veranda under which couples can exchange their wedding vows.
As the bride and groom and their wedding party passed right by us, the bride in her sweeping white dress and a wedding photographer documenting the bride and groom’s movement, it really struck me that according to California law right now, I can’t get married.
My boyfriend Tony and I have been together in a monogamous relationship for more than a year and a month now. (He would have accompanied me to the protest today, but he had to work.) Tony and I should be able to legally marry if we so choose. We both work and we both pay taxes — but we don’t have equal rights.
People remind me that other groups have had to wait years to get their rights. Getting Americans to do the right thing takes decades, generations, I’m reminded.
You know what?
I don’t want to fucking wait. Right is right and wrong is wrong. There’s nothing to argue about and there’s nothing to wait for.
EQUAL RIGHTS FOR EVERY AMERICAN — NOW.
And if I hear one more fucking moron say that democracy won out on November 4, I will fucking vomit — preferably on the assbite who has just made that “argument.”
The majority is wrong much of the time.
It has been established that slavery is wrong, but had you put slavery up for a vote in the South before the Civil War, surely the “democratic” majority would have voted for slavery. So is slavery right or wrong? Or does it depend upon the vote? (And one wonders how the South would vote on slavery today…)
Had the Nazis put the persecution of Jews up for a vote, a majority of German voters would have approved it.
And lest you think I’m just picking on the Nazis again:
The more than 100,000 Japanese American citizens who were rounded up and put in concentration camps during World War II: At the time, had you put the putting of Japanese Americans into concentration camps up for a vote, the majority of Americans would have voted yes. Even the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1944 that the internment of the Japanese Americans was acceptable.
But, Wikipedia notes:
In 1988, [the U.S.] Congress passed and President Ronald Reagan signed legislation [that] apologized for the internment on behalf of the U.S. government. The legislation stated that government actions were based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.” About $1.6 billion in reparations were later disbursed by the U.S. government to surviving internees and their heirs.
Internment of the Japanese Americans sure seemed like the thing to do at the time, though! (I’m surprised that there was no serious movement to intern Arab Americans during the post-9/11 hysteria that gripped so many people around me…)
And it wasn’t until 1967 that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional for any state to outlaw interracial marriage.
I say: Fuck this tyranny of the majority bullshit. EQUAL HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS DON’T GET PUT UP FOR A VOTE!
And Americans need to learn their nation’s fucking history and basic fucking bedrock principles:
In the U.S. Declaration of Independence it reads: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
So are these American concepts and ideals of equality, unalienable rights, and the enumeration of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as such unalienable rights actual American concepts and ideals — or if the Mormon cult and the Catholic church pour millions of dollars into a hateful campaign of bigotry and lies and manage to get just more than 50.00 percent of the voters to side with them on their side of ignorance, fear and hatred, can we just burn the Declaration of Independence to ashes, then?
Do we mean it when we say that all are created equal? And that they have unalienable rights, meaning that even a majority vote cannot take away these rights? Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — are these for all Americans or just some Americans? Can we vote that a certain segment of Americans may not have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as was the case during slavery or when women couldn’t vote or when we put Japanese Americans into internment camps?
Mormons and Catholics and other “Christo”fascists call gay men sluts when gay men don’t enter into monogamous relationships — yet the “Christo”fascists tell us gay men that we can’t get married, either. When you put a group of people into a double bind like that, what it means is that you just don’t want them to exist at all.
No doubt many if not most of the “Christo”fascists would have us gay men and lesbians outright exterminated, eliminated, if they could, just as the Nazis wanted to exterminate, eliminate, not just Jews, but gay men and others, too. (Uh-oh; I should be careful lest I give the “Christo”fascists an idea for their next ballot-proposition campaign. After all, surely the murder of “undesirables” if perfectly acceptable if you get a majority vote, right? That’s democracy in action, no?)
You know what? I’m as mad as hell and I’m willing to die for my rights. I won’t just stand by or sit down while the “Christo”fascists try to strip me of my rights. If they win this battle, whose rights will they try to eliminate at the ballot box next? At what point will they not even bother with the ballot box? What freedoms will they continue to destroy until we have the “Christo”fascist state that they desire?
This is a bit cheesy, but very apparently far too many of my fellow Americans need to see it (again):
When the Nazis came for the Communisits,
I remained silent;
I was not a Communist.
When they locked up the Social Democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a Social Democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I was not a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
— Martin Niemöller
P.S. I’m now seeing estimates in the media that today’s crowd at the Capitol was around 4,500 to 5,000 people. I’d estimate that there were at least that many people at the Capitol today.
Unfortunately, organizers of today’s protest rally had publicized that they were shooting for a crowd of 10,000, making it all too easy for people to deem today’s protest rally a failure, but how often do you see even 100 people rallying together on something that they care about?