Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Curious Case of Proposition 8

It's not hard to notice the irony.

California – my home state – propelled Barack Obama over the finish line and into history, while simultaneously spitting in the face of our gay and lesbian populace who rejoiced just as loudly as me when Obama won the presidency.

Make no mistake: the politics of uninformed fear and outright lies is alive and well in this country. Credit where it's due, as the supporters of Proposition 8 controlled the narrative from the get-go, while the opponents didn't even begin their blitz until polls showed the measure gaining ground at the end of summer.

Proposition 8 was distorted from its homespun, bible-toting bigoted roots and thrown further down the sewer until it became good ol' "won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?!" claptrap:

In response, the opposition floated this spineless spot that inexplicably targeted the minority of undecided voters, instead of attempting to sway soft or moderate supporters:

By the time Proposition 8 opponents finally found an effective context – correctly framing the measure in a historic civil rights context to win over the veritable goldmine of minorities in this state – it was too late:

And, wouldn't you know, that the same Blacks and Hispanics who've been so marginalized by the extremist right are the ones who helped push Proposition 8 over the top. Democracy!

There is a silver lining, I suppose. The defeat of this measure has only served to further galvanize the gay and lesbian communities, along with their friends and families. Lawsuits have already been filed and based on my close physical proximity with the legal department at the Unnamed Defense Contractor, I'm guaranteeing victory* at the end of the day.

* - Not a guarantee.

Seriously though, however this matter is ultimately decided – win or lose – it's not the end, either way. Just as the 13th Amendment fell a wee bit short of solving Black America's issues, the issue of gay rights has generations of chapters still to be written. I, for one, would love to read the ending. I'll probably skip the acknowledgements section at the very very end, though.

This is gonna be a long-ass book.