Wednesday, November 5, 2008


The Obama win tonight was exciting.

I went to Ann Arbor to my friend Eve's house to watch the election because (a) I spent all the Bush years in Ann Arbor and thought it would be nice to celebrate a shift back to reason in that town, and (b) she owns the amazing restaurant
Eve and I knew the food would be worth traveling for.

It was, of course, a lovely time, and so great to see an awesome collection of people I've known over the past ten-plus years. And even more exciting to see the Obama win! Yay America.

It wasn't until the way home, when I received a text response from CA friends to my inquiry about the status of the gay marriage ban that the whole night imploded. California was set to ban - and abolish - gay marriage.

Furious doesn't even begin to describe my reaction. I can't tell you the last time I pounded my steering wheel and screamed in rage, mostly because it has never happened before. It was only a stop by the Park Bar and touching base with some unaware but sympathetic friends that prevented this from being a post that consisted of the giant words "straight people, go fuck yourself." Sorry, but it's true.

You have a straight, white, wealthy, Mayflower-family, Yale-educated male to thank for talking me down.

So straight people, don't go fuck yourself. But please pay attention to what is happening. Michigan was disappointing. Arizona, Florida and Arkansas not surprising. But California was really unexcusable.

At least their "Stop Animal Cruelty" inititative passed by a 3-to-1 margin. Oh yeah, and Obama won.



The Charlatan said...

The irony here is that Obama was six years old when Loving v. Virginia was handed down, striking down states' bans on interracial marriage.

I don't fucking get people.

The worst is Arkansas and their adoption ban.

One step forward, two steps backward.....

Anonymous said...

yea, cali really dampened the whole mood. but i agree, the arkansas adoption/foster parent ban is the worst. thank god i never planned on moving to arkansas!

David said...

Like you, I would like to very much punch a wall, but the outcome isn't totally surprising. That state is way, way more Jesus-y/fascist than people give it credit for.

But, like you said - Obama wins, so there's that!

Anonymous said...

And Obama mentioned gay people in his acceptance speech. Good thing, no? I heard cheering in the background....

Woodwards Friend said...

Dan Savage notes that 70% of California African-Americans voted for Prop 8. Other ethnic groups? 53% of Latinos voted yes and 49& of whites and Asians voted yes.

It is kind of pathetic that a group of Americans could, on the same night, climb to MLK's proverbial mountain top all the while denying basic rights to another group facing discrimination.

To Obama's credit, he thanked gay and lesbian supporters in his acceptance speech last night, advocated gay rights in black churches on the campaign trail, and publicly opposed Prop 8.

Where was Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton on this issue? The late, great Correta Scott King often spoke up for gay rights but she's gone now. Where is the rest of the black "civil rights" leadership?

Something else needs to be said: gay activists have brought this on themselves. They have been far to accepting of black homophobia in the name of playing nice under the progressive umbrella.

In Detroit, for example, the Triangle Foundation endorses Barbara-Rose Collins because she "votes right" despite the fact that she is a duly adjudicated homophobic bigot. Collins lost the ONLY employee grievance case against a Congressperson after she illegally fired a gay employee for being gay.

Kwame Kilpatrick, family values man that he is, said he doesn't want gay people around his precious children. Yet, he appoints a rank political hack named Brad Dick to his administration and suddenly Kilpatrick was a guy who "gets it." Get's what exactly? That gays might purchase old homes in an urban area? Welcome to 1977, Kwame.

It's good to see Dan Savage declare war on homophobes who otherwise vote for progressive causes. I hope gay political leadership joins him.

Woodwards Friend said...

Oh yeah, link:

Sorry my last post was so long. Kind of got away from me.

The Charlatan said...

So it appears a simple majority is all that was needed to create a constitutional amendment in California. Will a simple majority repeal it? If not, that is a seriously flawed constitution. The threshold for adding or repealing such amendments ought to be identical.

The Charlatan said...

Amazing that the Mormon's, who have had their own issues with what many consider morally objectionable mating habits (multiple underage wives in some subsets), would come out so hard against gay marriage. (All puns intended)

SupergayDetroit said...

Don't apologize, I need you to do that because I can't be bothered!

On the Datalounge forum there has been a lot of discussion about the effect of the black vote on the marriage ban in California. In one thread I pointed out how one of our mutual friends, a Gay American Detroiter, voted to support banning affirmative action in part (whole?) because of the strong role the A-A community and churches played in passing Proposal 2 banning gay marriage in Michigan.

At the time I thought that was petty, but sometimes I wonder. Like all day today. Go along to get along? Or have a little hostage trade-off?

I guess ultimately it pays to take the high road but it's about time someone said something. So go on with your bad self Dan Savage.

SupergayDetroit said...

charlatan, it never ceases to amaze me the extent to which religious fundamentalists try to tell people how to live.

One other thought - it's certainly true that the A-A community is rife with homophobia, but it's not like we won in other groups with a super strong majority. As far as I'm concerned, no one's off the hook.

SupergayDetroit said...

And WF, regarding Detroit - it's not perfect by a longshot. And when I give props to the city for helping sponsor a home tour I don't pretend it's anything like Chicago's warm embrace of a gay community.

But for where we are, it's real progress. I mean, real. Anyone gay with half a brain, four wheels and an opportunity has left the area, but for those of us still here it is worthwhile to note the little victories. As much to show the world that we are paying attention as to reassure ourselves that it's not hopeless.

I would be thrilled if there were more activism in the gay community here. But the community in the city is small - although pretty active - and the community in the suburbs is small and generally speaking not focused on Detroit.

It's ridiculous that something like Tuesday Nights Doggy Style at the Park Bar became a major factor in the social lives of so many downtown gays, but it did. We really are basically starting from scratch around here.

Woodwards Friend said...

The GLBT support for affirmative action is an interesting case study. Our mutual friend aside, in election after election, gays and lesbians overwhelmingly opposed efforts to ban affirmative action. Gays get absolutely fuck all benefit from affirmative action. Lesbians perhaps benefit from programs that open opportunities to women but that is independent of their sexual orientation. Still the gay community, as a community, stood up for affirmative action because they wish to be a part of the progressive coalition.

The African American community return the favor by overwhelmingly denying gays a fundamental and basic right. In fact they backed a constitutional amendment to overturn a right that the California Supreme Court said was constitutionally inherent.

Had black voting patterns on Prop 8 matched Latinos (52% for), it wouldn't have passed and gay marriage would have been settled law in California.

As for Detroit, I understand what your saying. Cultural growth and political influence are two different things. Certainly I'm not advocating that local gays should have taken a dump on thing like the home tour but it shouldn't be celebrated as anything more than a nice event. I doubt the current political power structure wouldn't have supported that home tour if neighborhoods like Boston Edison, Indian Village, and Palmer Woods weren't riddled with home foreclosure. Kwame Kilpatrick and company still don't want you (or Brad Dick) around his children.

Look, I'm not arguing that gays need to cast their lot with the Sarah Palins of the world but they need to grow a pair. If 70% of the black community is going to vote to ban gay marriage, then (at the very least) gay political leaders need to call out progressive politicians who pimp for votes in anti-gay black churches. Greater Grace...what?

Anonymous said...

Many of these crazy props are backed by out of state coalitions and organizations like focus on the family, etc. Voter education groups need to do a better job of telling the public exactly who is supporting the proposals and how much money they're spending.

The Arkansas and California proposals make me sick. What's next, denying gays the right to vote, too?

Anonymous said...

The worst part of it is that none of my Cali friends that voted for Prop 8 have a single reason to back it up. One of them went so far as to say that I was incorrect in stating that marriage and civil union/domestic partnership are separate and inherently unequal, because California has "gender-neutral" language in its legislation.

dave. said...

i think marriage should be totally taken off the books. if a church wants to marry gay guys & gals then that is lovely beyond belief- however, the government should only be in the business of granting civil unions- gay, str8, and anywhere in between.

the ramification of this, of course, is that a new verb could enter the american lexicon- let's unionize or, let's civil unionize.

The Charlatan said...

Tom Toles nails its - as usual...

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