05 November 2008

Hearts and Minds

Thank you, former Governor Moonbeam: California will still recognize my marriage. Also, the first legal challenge against 8 has been filed, which argues that changes to the underlying principles of the constitution--like an amendment that contradicts the equal protection guarantees of said constitution--must be approved by two-thirds of both houses of the legislature before going to voters.

But even if we win in court, there's still another fight. The LBGT community and straight allies need to stop relying exclusively on the legal process to guarantee our rights. The Civil Rights Movement that the mainstream gay community loves to invoke involved a two-pronged strategy of changing the laws, along with coordinated effors on the ground to change people's hearts and minds. That will never happen if we only focus on the courts.

While it's heartening on one level that the vote was close....it never should have been this close in the first place. The opposition to No on 8 was out-organized and out-maneuvered, and that hurt us more than even the massive amounts of money raised by the Yes crowd; has a great post with an example of how No on 8 dropped the ball. There was enormous complacency--and I'm as guilty as anyone else there--after the first set of polls showing the No side with a huge lead. The other side was much better at connecting with voters on an emotional level, to make it all about children being forced to learn about gay marriage in school, or churches being sued for not marrying same-sex couples. We needed to say, "Here we are--your sisters and brothers and daughters and sons and cousins and nieces and aunts and nephews and uncles and co-workers and friends. These are the faces of the people this amendment will hurt. We are the ones you're saying don't deserve to be happy." We didn't say that loudly or often enough.

No comments: