Alex Blaze

We can't deny the fact that you hate us right now, you hate us!

Filed By Alex Blaze | November 05, 2009 6:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: apartheid, domestic partnership, genocide, language, Maine, marriage, polling, popularity, Question 1, rights, rules, Washington

I was actually gone on vacation for the earlier part of this week in Seville, since French vacations don't line up with American elections... but I've been catching up and most of what I wanted to say about the elections on Tuesday has either been covered by a contributor on Bilerico or will be soon (there's some great analysis of the elections lined up for the next few days here at TBP, and I'm sure more will be coming in as our brilliant and committed contributors digest the results).

I have three things to add, though, about fault and finger-pointing, so-called strategic incrementalism, and Gay Apartheid, which may just be my new favorite way to not quite violate Godwin's Law. All after the jump.

1. Question 1 in Maine was different from Prop 8 in California in lots of ways, but here's the biggie: there's no one to blame but the haters and the folks who just can't get accept two dudes or two ladies marrying.

We can't blame the slowness or ineffectiveness of the campaign to respond to the OMG-children-will-know-about-teh-gayz fear-mongering. They were fast and their commercials went on the offensive. The LGBT side got plenty of elected officials to call the scare-mongering what it was: a lie. They got the message out in mere hours after the homophobes made their first ridiculously low-quality childrenz ad. If anyone still believed or cared about it, there was no way to reach them.

We can't blame religion. Sure, the vast majority of money for the anti-marriage campaign was from the Catholic Church and the LDS Church (probably... we're waiting for that disclosure, Maggie) via NOM. But the LGBT side raised more cash and religion was barely mentioned in the homophobes' ads. The various church's participation was awkward, to say the least, attempted to move people with the same tactics as in California, but it wasn't a dominating feature of the campaign scene.

We can't blame dangerous minorities, as many LGBT people did last year. According to the last Census survey in 2005, Maine is 97.81% white.

We can't blame the campaign for not letting people knock on doors, or for being top-down, or for not effectively using human resources, or for not doing their best. By all accounts, it was a well-run campaign, and the homophobes' wasn't.

We can't blame the Obama campaign for sucking the air out of the room, the energy from grassroots activists, and the money from big donors. This was the biggest thing on the ballot. Yeah, the DNC sent out that one letter telling Mainers to help the GOTV effort in New Jersey in the final days of the election, but that's not even a fraction of the reason our side lost.

We can't blame Obama himself. He didn't get involved, but that's about it. He didn't even appear in any of the homophobes' ads this time around. Any proof that him getting involved would have done anything but drive the tea-baggers to the polls as Glenn Beck, et al., tell their loyal followers about how Obama's trying to impose marriage on your family, so We the People need to respond, yada yada yada? Beck may have even hired an actor to dress up like Thomas Paine again, and this time it would have been more poignant because Thomas Paine was from the Revolution and Maine's old-timey.

(This is the one that's going around the most, but I just don't see it. People voted the way they did because this is what they believe, and they're adults and we can't blame X or Y person for not helping enough. If Obama had said the word "Maine" at the HRC dinner, I'm 100% sure we still would have lost.)

We can't blame people for not donating. We out-raised the homophobes significantly, right from the beginning.

We can't blame HRC. I don't even know how that could happen, but, well, it was out there the last time around and it won't be this time.

We can't blame any certain egotistical local politician for his arrogant gaffes that were used by the right to make us seem like awful human beings. Our allies in government were on their best behavior.

All we're left with is the raw fact that people just don't like the idea of marriage becoming a genderless practice. That's it. Even if they're nice people to your face, even if they don't want us to be fired for being gay, even if they think we should be able to have a nice life and visit our partners in the hospital and all that, they just don't like same-sex marriage.

(And on that note, I'll just add that maybe folks, myself included, were too harsh on the No on 8 Campaign last year. They stank up a storm with the lack of campaign skills, but this election is evidence that these campaigns really don't affect people much anyway.)

2. Everyone's been pointing out the obvious, that an anti-discrimination bill passed overwhelmingly, DP's won in Washington, and marriage lost in Maine. This isn't rocket science - this is a trend that's been apparent in polling for years now. Everywhere in America:

mess_yes.png

Which reminds me of those folks who were all in favor of dumping the T from LGBT just two years ago when the going got tough on ENDA. It's strategic, they said. Transgender protections are harder to pass because people are scared of men in dresses peeing next to their daughters, they said. Trans folks aren't accepted, they said. They just don't poll well.

Bullshit. It was never a strategic decision. Ever notice how most of those people who came out in favor of splitting ENDA are obsessed with marriage? I can think of a few who probably can't even name another LGBT issue they consider important. The more famous advocates of splitting ENDA in 2007 said that marriage was the "highest dignity" for people to achieve. Another one declared, without a shred of evidence, that DOMA repeal was the most important piece of legislation for "the community" and that ENDA passing would just be a crumb to get the community to sell out.

The truth is that same-sex marriage scares people a lot more than the impossible instance a pervert will put on a dress to rape grandma and get away with it because of an anti-discrimination law. That kind of fear-mongering was out in full force in Kalamazoo, and it didn't work.

Marriage polls worse than everything else, including transgender job protections. Wouldn't it be strategic to come back for it in a few decades? I mean, it's just strategic incrementalism. This is politics. Take half-a-loaf when you can. I'm sure we'd all rather have a law banning housing discrimination than nothing at all.

Right?

3. Oh, Gay Apartheid. How you call us with your inflammatory siren song. Yes, Maine is the gay version of pre-Mandela South Africa. I'll believe that when Maine gays are literally stripped of their citizenship, forcibly relocated to slums and unusable "farm" land by the hundreds of thousands, and lose the right to vote, when buses, hospitals, beaches, parks, and businesses become strictly segregated, and when gays are legally barred from buying liquor or land.

No, I'm not saying it's not shitty that same-sex marriage lost in Maine. But this is almost Godwin's Law and if we engage in this rhetoric on a large scale we'll seem entirely unserious to the outside world. Civil unions aren't Apartheid by a mile, although it may hurt a lot that they're separate and clearly unequal. Calling it "Apartheid" is being inflammatory for inflammation's sake, in much the same way some folks like to compare everything they don't like to Nazis and the Holocaust.

And, no, it's not even "an" apartheid. It's not the technical definition of apartheid at all, which is defined by the Rome Statute as:

The 'crime of apartheid' means inhumane acts of a character similar to those referred to in paragraph 1, committed in the context of an institutionalised regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.[12]

"Paragraph 1" refers to rape, torture, genocide, forced movement, and enslavement. Sorry, I care about intellectual honesty and have a shred of dignity here somewhere, so I will not compare civil unions or even the absence of same-sex couple recognition to torture, genocide, or slavery.


I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply doesn't work.

Not everything should be put up for a vote. Civil rights legislation, immigration policy, and tax law are three specific areas that come to mind as generally terrible ideas to put before the people to be scare-mongered. Sometimes we have to rise above our human nature that say that we're simply better than other people, or that we don't like outsiders, or that we don't want to share our money.

It's part of living in a civilization.

The right, for all their histrionics over "letting the people vote," don't really care about democracy. It's a selective value, and the moment they start losing these ballot initiatives, they'll be talking about how the people can't be trusted to vote for their own good because The Culture went down the tube and need moral magistrates to preside over them.

If anything, this past week is evidence of how marriage can turn us (myself included) into the most narrow-focused of magpies and forget that we won several elections. Washington kept its domestic partnership rights, Kalamazoo kept its LGBT anti-discrimination law, and a few out LGBT politicians won local races. Did you know there's now an openly gay HIV activist on the Salt Lake City council?

Those aren't trifles. Those aren't crumbs. Those aren't distractions. They're important victories that wouldn't have been possible several years ago. Drink to that this weekend before going to a protest rally.


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Alex, thank you for calling out the overdramatic use of "gay-apartheid." I don't want to diminish anyone's experience who has been a victim of violence, but I do think it's kind of extreme.

I totally used it this week! ;-)


But I'm a big dramatic queen, so the shoe fits.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | November 5, 2009 6:57 PM

Alex, how much of this great distaste for same sax marriage has to do with "the M-word" and how much about the concept of same sex couples having equal rights under some less controversial name?

Judging from the graph I posted, I'd say about 10 percent of the population falls into "the word is the problem" category. Which would then be about 1/6th of the problem.

Very impressive article. You hit on a lot of very interesting and valid points. The main thing now is "where do we go from here"? What do we do now that Washington and New York are up to bat? How do we mobilize and work to strip away the fear of Gay marriages? How do we emphasize that Gays are not a harm to children or traditional marriages (which seem to be the bulk of the argument). How do we counter the effects so that we can be seen, heard, and finally understood? We're in need of some real heavy hitters! The ones people respond to...Actors, Millionares, politicians,Sports players,Activists,Talk show hosts. This is what masses heed. We need a dpeaarhead so to speak. Like MLK was a torch..we need our own. My thanks not only to TBP but to all the bloggers and Tweeps who are keeping the fight alive!

www.Twitter.com/TweetwithStone

I've been saying for awhile that the issue of marriage is really about straight supremacy. People may want LGBTs to have all the legal rights straight people have, but without giving up their special status that comes with the word marriage.

The "Gay Apartheid" term makes me uncomfortable because that's not what I feel I'm experiencing at all. It's just the feeling that people think they're better than me because they're straight. It's a fight over social status and social equality not legal equality. And we can say until we're blue in the face that civil unions aren't legally equal, but they're just not going to buy it or they'll say well we can make it equal.

At the end of the day I feel like we've wasted millions of dollars that could've been used to campaign for ENDA. On the other hand, ENDA just isn't as sexy as marriage and people aren't as passionate about it. They might not feel as inclined to donate to that cause. So I can only hope that the money spent on marriage campaigns has a residual effect on other issues.

In Maine on Tuesday there was the gay marriage vote and the medical marijuana vote. The gay marriage repeal passed 53-47. Medical marijuana passed 59-41. No on repeal gay marriage got 267574 votes, yes on medical marijuana got 330490. Medical marijuana got 63k votes (at least) from people who voted to repeal gay marriage.
- Comment on FreeRepublic.

The problem is not (just) the Fundies. It's the liberal-leaning mainstream too. They're split on the issue, and the conservative-leaning mainstream are not.

The marijuana vote is not necessarily liberal. Many are libertarian , and lots are simply potheads with no strong beliefs about other matters.

We need to reach out to other Progressives--those "pot-heads with no strong beliefs about other matters" are gettable. Check out this video about reaching out to other Progressives out there:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-r0f1jprvI

I was actually going to mention that but then didn't have much to say....

I once worked with an older guy who actually supported medical marijuana but was against same-sex marriage. He lived in NY, not Maine, but it seems important anyway.

Anyway, he was pretty conservative, but he took a "If the doctor prescribes it, then it's OK" approach to medical marijuana. I think a lot of older voters would fall in the pro-medical marijuana/anti-same-sex marriage category.

Yeah- it's important to realize that not all potheads are liberals. I can think of one couple in southern Indiana that I know that regularly smokes up, but also holds on to racial prejudices like nobody's business. In a lot of rural areas, dealing, growing and smoking weed is a cottage industry - but that has nothing to do with their politics as much as their pocketbooks.

I don't know exactly what you mean by , "Democracy doesn't work", unless you mean putting civil rights of one group up for a vote by everyone. In our system, the courts are supposed to redress instances such as this. However, at this time, we face the problem that the federal judiciary is stacked with 8 years of Bush inept and rightwing appointees.
Nonetheless, the Olson-Boise case challenging California's Prop 8 may make some headway for us, but it is a gamble, given the make-p of the current US Supreme COurt.

It was actually a Simpsons quotation.....

But, yeah, that's what I meant. I agree - the Boies/Olson case is correct (as in, I agree with their general argument), but I don't think its chances are all that good.

battybattybats battybattybats | November 5, 2009 10:23 PM

"I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply doesn't work."

Thats why the Founding Fathers of America, the Philosophers upon whose work they based the template of modern democracy and since then progressively every western democracy (Save Australia!!!) rejected the notion of Majoritanism, where the majority can do anything, and embraced the notion of Individual Rights that the majority should not be allowed to infringe.

Of course Judges don't learn philosophy, not even the philosophy upon which the law was founded. So they have built their interpretations on 'letter of the law' twistings and tunrnings in order to deny applying those rights equally or propoerly.

And the main populace does not get taught the philosophy either. They decide whats right and wrong, especially on voting issues, based on moral precepts that are often merely social mores or which are religious and thus counter to freedom of religion for others. All counter to the rights-based ethical principles that is suppossed to be the core of the American Way. The Religious Right is therefore at its core UnAmerican intrinsicly, though they falsely claim the opposite.

A return to an understanding of Enlightenemnt Principles as Core American Values will be needed. A reframing and reclaiming of Civil Rights as Patriotism. Using the argument of Religious Freedom to demand an end to theocracy in politics and accusing all religious politics as attempts by some religions to undermine religious liberty for others and impose specific versions of christianity over everyone.

If your going to win you must rob your enemy of it's strengths and use its own broken but effective arguments against it. Take back Patriotism. Take back Religious Liberty. Take back the rightful place of Equality, Human Rights, Enlightenment Values as the Core of American Values.

Take back the touch-stone push-button emotional language that works because rationally it was and should be on your side and not theirs!

"Gay Apartheid" is the new "Gay is the new black."

I agree that democracy doesn't work. To put it frankly, people are idiots. Not in the sense of being stupid, but people are selfish, easily manipulated, highly prone to hysteria and often clueless about what's best for themselves while thinking they know what's best for everyone else. I'd say, eliminate the referendum process and just let elected officials do the work of making laws. If people don't like the laws politicians make, then they can elect new politicians. If those laws violate the Constitution, then they can be struck down by the courts.

with all respect, the same people who are easily manipulated and prone to hysteria are fully capable of electing politicians who will screw things up just as badly as any author of any initiative or referendum.

don't believe me? molly ivins made a life's work out of pointing out how texans manage to do exactly that, over and over.

on the other side, in washington we see all kinds foolish initiative proposals that never get enough signatures or die at the ballot box--in fact, more than 90% of all proposed initiatives and referendum in the history of the state have failed at some point in the process.

another point: when the governor and/or the legislature are conservative, sometimes the initiative process is a godsend--medical marijuana being an example of an issue discussed in this thread that benefits tremendously from the initiative process.

in the end, we need to trust ourselves to manage our own governments--but we need to get smarter about it.

i admit, that's waay hard--in fact, it may be unachievable--but, fundamentally, we're talking about how to expand freedom on this thread, and taking away freedoms is probably not the best way to get there.

Washington's one of the few examples where the ballot initiative process works. In California, it's been a disaster, taking away people's rights, pushing xenophobic anti-immigrant policy, and crippling the government with ridiculous anti-tax regulations.

I'm thinking it's just a difference in the way people work in the two areas. I know a few Californians who've made the same observation.

california is a great example of how you have to talk to the voters with something other than bumper sticker slogans if you want to make things work.

i'm old enough to remember howard jarvis...but what i don't recall was someone (say a governor, or willie brown, for example) standing up and saying "taxes makes things work--and if we spend the money well, it's an investment in your kids' future."

for years california democrats were too feckless to do anything but go along with this (can you say "gray davis"?), and to this day i can't name anyone active in california politics (gavin newsome partially excepted) who will stand up and say "this is insane."

the california nsrses' association is more in the fiight than most california democrats--hell, it seems like willie brown is more in the fight today than he was as speaker of the assembly.

so i freely acknowledge the idiocy of voters, and i agree allowing idiots to make law is a dangerous thing...but when voters are willing to elect "duke" cunningham, or ah-nold..or ronald reagan...to make those laws for them, the same level of idiocy applies.

with that reality in mind, i continue to maintain that allowing the people a place in the process is not inherently a bad thing, and as the examples of mississippi, alabama, georgia, and florida will attest, you can be just as effective at...

"...taking away people's rights, pushing xenophobic anti-immigrant policy, and crippling the government with ridiculous anti-tax regulations...

...with no public right to make law as you can with the initiative process in place.

the washington state constitution explains the logic of the initiative process well: it tells us that as all power resides in the people, the ability to make legislation is an inherent part of that power.

the problem here isn't the process.

the problem is the people behind that process (us), the frequent unwillingness of our representatives to take the high road--and the fact that we watch it happen, over and over, and do nothing about it.

to put it another way, you could have made a darn good argument, sometime in the middle of dubya's second term (or rick perry's first) that allowing people to vote leads to disaster after disaster after disaster...and even though you would be right, i'd still support the concept of voting.

for me, the big "take away" here is that it is, in the end, our government, for good or ill, and the more power we have to run that government, the better i like it.

Alex, thank you for a wonderful, well-reasoned, and valuable column. The fact that I even read to end after the firestorm of post-election analysis speaks to the compelling nature of your arguments.

I think the distinction between the Prop 8 and Question 1 campaigns is vital, and understanding the differences between them will help us moving forward. This is where I disagree with you, though - while this election DOES present a (sad, bigoted) majority in Maine who simply do not want marriage to be a sex-neutral institution, I don't think it follows that gay marriage campaigns are DOA. I truly believe that, had California been handled better, there would have at least been a fighting chance - the voting margin was truly shocking, given the state's electoral history. Also, the "scary minority" gripe is an important one - but let's of course remember to turn that back on those who failed in minority outreach in CA. Issues campaigns CAN change minds, and not all opponents of gay marriage are entrenched. We'll turn 'em yet!

With all that said, and having skimmed the graph, I just have to say - I am so freaking grateful to have been born, raised, and educated in the wonderful state of MASSACHUSETTS! Filled in dots, all the way across, baby. That's the way we do things. [haha just cracked up at the image of every single gay US citizen moving to MA - most would agree there's a more reasonable solution to this mess!]

i have a suggestion: what might be required is a way to decouple same-sex marriages from the institution of religion.

what i mean is that the argument is constantly made that "they'll force us to perform gay weddings in our churches!", which seems to be effective.

a response would be something along the lines of "our law gives churches the freedom to perform any weddings they wish, and the freedom to refuse to perform any weddings they wish.

at the same time it allows anyone to be married down at city hall, because, when it comes to the law, government shouldn't be allowed to discriminate against any american."

this is not a complete solution, obviously, but it is an argument that i would like to see repeated over and over until it starts to stick.

Actually same-sex couples have been able to get 'married' in pretty much every denomination in Christianity and Judaism for DECADES. We don't need church unions, we got THAT. I keep trying to remind folks that!

what i mean is that the argument is constantly made that "they'll force us to perform gay weddings in our churches!", which seems to be effective.

Yeah, but they don't really need it all too much. In Maine, I think that argument was mentioned in one sentence in one ad. The rest of the ads were about children or "outside money."

Meanwhile, the transgender people of New York are still waiting at the station, where the LGB advocacy groups in 2002 left them, promising to return, to give them legal rights, after they were stripped out of the New York Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act. The New York LGB train, meanwhile, has long been gone, never to return, in pursuit of marriage, marriage, marriage, despite the efforts of a few lone activists who have a long memory but no clout.

Don't forget what happened in New Hampshire and the fact the GLB people in Mass have had ALL of their rights for years, while the trans people are like Oliver, begging for more soup. "No soup for you!"

At least the GLB people in Maine didn't leave their trans brothers and sisters behind when it came to employment protection. Marriage is what has sucked the life and the money out of our movement.

Which is why we leave no part of the community behind ever again. Period.

Warning: disorganization ahead.

Demographics rule. We lost rural and older Maine. Despite the prevalence of the Mormon Catholic Church in urban areas, we won urban Maine.

Our great allies are urbanization, education, mobility, and the Grim Reaper. By education I mean general education. If the only place somebody learns anything every week is the little brown church in the vale, he's our enemy. If he's stuck on the farm and the exurban backwaters, he's our enemy.

States are useless geographical anachronisms that unfairly empower rural people over urban people.

The way we win long term and keep that victory is to re-urbanize America.

Medium term, do we try courts, federal laws, city ordinances or state laws? We try all of them. We say to our allies, why aren't you out too?

On Coming Out Day I called an old man on my block and in the conversation I said, "you know it's hard, like when you came out against segregation." I found out that even though he was a minister, he didn't come out against segregation! There are a lot of people out there who have gone along to get along and made peace within themselves with the evils of discrimination. We need to disturb that peace nonviolently but firmly. We need to confront and question the lies that comfort our opponents. This is a moral struggle, and the moral high ground is ours.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | November 6, 2009 8:56 AM

Love it!, the key for me was building alliances and allies.

Once again, I want you to please check out the video I made to attempt to mobilize allies--and if you like it, help me SPREAD it!

Once again, I want you to please check out the video I made to attempt to mobilize allies--and if you like it, help me SPREAD it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-r0f1jprvI

Great!

When? Now! There are only 2 times: Now and Not-Now. Only one of therm counts.

I don't think that trying to urbanize America is the answer. Not everyone who is living in rural areas is politically ignorant and uneducated and a bigot. Just like not everyone who lives in urban areas is well educated, politically informed and socially liberal.
Part of what we need is to start reaching out to rural areas. A lot of our organizations have focused on urban activities and have not focused on reaching out to rural areas. The some want to blame those who live in rural areas. But those rural people know that the horse goes before the cart, ask a few of us.
I think we need to reach out and start changing the environment in rural areas. We can make it ok for those kids to come out and stay there and be safe rather than all of those LGBT farm kids having to move to the urban areas.
I guess I never liked the ghettoization idea much myself.
The fundies have excellent outreach in rural areas. I don't think the answer is to try and get rid of rural people and turn them into urbanites so much as we need to stop focusing on outreach to urban areas to the near exclusion of rural people.

urbanization is not going to get you anywhere you aren't today, i'm afraid, and the reason i say that is because urbanization is already a done deal.

the us department of transportation tells us that in the year 2000, roughly 80% of us were already living in urban areas.

Andrew Conte | November 6, 2009 7:54 AM

a?part?heid??/??p?rthe?t, -ha?t/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [uh-pahrt-heyt, -hahyt] Show IPA
Use apartheid in a Sentence
See web results for apartheid
See images of apartheid
–noun 1. (in the Republic of South Africa) a rigid policy of segregation of the nonwhite population.
2. any system or practice that separates people according to race, caste, etc.

According to definition 2, we do suffer from apartheid. The separation is not a physical one, but rather a separation from rights. If you choose not to call it apartheid, that is cool


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Marriage is an infinitesimal point for the straight members of our community. (Yes, I'm straight. :) ) It bothers me deeply to see millions of dollars poured into an ineffective campaign while trans people suffer crippling legal defeats and abject discrimination. Seriously, people.

It's gotten to the point that I honestly can't read another article on "ZOMGLOL1!11! Gay Marriage BIG DEAL must get it!" THe problem is that people are willing to ditch potentially unsavory parts of the LGBT community (like, say, those pervy trannies) to get their marriage loaf. Also, trans marriages have been anulled, denied, and generally spat upon because of "one man, one woman" legislation - an unforseen side effect of pushing for marriage legislation.

Look, I don't mean to be selfish, but I'm in this for my rights, Gay marriage is important, but it's not helping me one bit.

Look, I don't mean to be selfish, but I'm in this for my rights, Gay marriage is important, but it's not helping me one bit.

That's not a selfish place to start, even though it can be limiting if it isn't just a place to start.

But I think it's great that people are still thinking along those lines. I know there's another thread going on right now with people discussing just what it is we want, and wearing their ambiguity like a badge of honor.

The "full equality now" crowd seems to have just gotten stuck on the concept of not being different instead of asking themselves exactly what sort of laws they'd like to see enacted. I'm like, jeez, just be greedy. That'd be a step up.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | November 6, 2009 2:32 PM

"The "full equality now" crowd seems to have just gotten stuck on the concept of not being different instead of asking themselves exactly what sort of laws they'd like to see enacted."

The flip side of that insofar as those many folks we can't really call "the enemy" or even our "opponents", but simply folks, like a number of mostly Republican legislators who are caught between some sympathy for us but nervously watching their Christianist base, is to pose the question: "OK, you may not like same-sex marriage or maybe even full domestic partnerships and civil unions, but tell us the specific kinds of laws in this area you think are desirable (or at least OK), and let's have a dialogue."

I suspect the result might be that they really con't define that line as well as they think they can, that they start to realize that the "procreation-related" stuff is either a tiny piece or non-existant, and that at least part of what they think is their basic opposition simply isn't there.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | November 6, 2009 3:26 PM

Demographics are one of the reasons we lose these votes on same sex marriage. But those demographics are created by the unending barrage of bigotry from churches and politicians, especially Obama, whose DoJ uses vile language and compares us to child molesters defending Democrat Bill Clintons DOMA and DADT. Bigots read and when they read that garbage from the Obama Administration they're emboldened to vote their bigotry.

As for using the term apartheid to describe our situation it has some merit. Apartheid, if it has any meaning at all, is the separation of groups of people who can then be superexploited economically. Apartheid is not at all unique to the Union of South Africa.

Although it changing a little, apartheid conditions remain in force in the northeastern corner of Ireland occupied by English colonists. There the Irish suffer from low paying jobs, police brutality and terrorist attacks by English colonists.

Palestinians face a much harsher form of apartheid, are paid starvation wages, are denied all social service by the zionists and are subjected to periodic bouts of ethnic cleansing by zionists to remind them of their 'place' in Eretz Yisreal.

Like many groups in the US, working class GLBT folks are separated by our sexuality and forced into lower paying jobs and subject to widespread violence by thugs in and out of police uniforms. The same can be said for working class African Americans, Latinos and Latinas and immigrant folks and women. Working class people in these groups suffer from the general attacks on the standard of living by politicians like Clinton, Bush and Obama and an extra dose of exploitation based on gender, sexuality, skin color or national origin.

On the other hand there are many people in those groups who are well to do and some who are quite rich. They tend towards right centrist politics gravitating towards the liberal Stonewall Democrats or the conservative Log Cabin Republicans. Alex is right, they think the idea of apartheid is silly. But they can afford to.

However you want to define it it's true that the class divide in US society produces different reactions to economic exploitation and super exploitation.

It's all just part of the class war unfolding in the US.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | November 6, 2009 3:35 PM

Sometimes we have to rise above our human nature that say that we're simply better than other people, or that we don't like outsiders, or that we don't want to share our money.
It's part of living in a civilization.

Great post, Alex!

I love the "half-a-loaf" reference, too! Interesting how the strategy is ignored when the shoe's on the other foot, isn't it?

Hey all not all religious organizations are against Marriage equity! The Universal Life Church has filed a lawsuit saying that "Not to be able to Marry same sex couples is a violation of our religious freedoms and first admendment rights!"
Check out the link below

http://blog.themonastery.org/

I would hope that the LBGT community will file a few briefs in support of this

http://www.themonastery.org/images/blog/Gay_Marriage_Pleading%2010-17-09%5B1%5D.pdf

Thanks Regina

I am a married straight heterosexual woman. I have no stake in this SSM debate in the USA I am not even a citizen of the USA!

The vote in Maine was clearly a dissapointment for Gay and Lesbian campaigners and voters. The result was overwhelmingly against you and Alex you have been gracious in accepting the democratic voice of the people of Maine. I had no vote but would have voted against SSM.

What I would vote for and wholeheartedly support is a system of "civil union" that gave full equality in all but name for Gay and Lesbian couples. I believe that had that been presented to the people of Maine and America as a whole the result would have been a resounding yes. Perhaps when the dust has settled the campaign can regroup and present "Civil Unions" as an alternative and a compromise.

Evangelina

battybattybats battybattybats | November 10, 2009 12:30 AM

Why would you have voted against it because of the name Evangelina?

What about the name for you represented enough of a reason to have been willing to vite against the equal rights of gays and lesbians?

battybattybats battybattybats | November 10, 2009 9:52 AM

Here in Australia a poll found about 60% in favour of same sex marriage and yet 85% in favour of a federal anti-discrimination protection that would be Gender Identity inclusive.

Same sex marriage still is the focus.

So both of these trends aren't just American.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply doesn't work."

i like the Simpsons quote.

Let's put the decision of whether or not democracy works to a majority vote, though. That'd clear things up, wouldn't it?

Remember, 9 out of 10 people enjoy gangrape.