Mainely, Yesterday Sucked... But Not Totally
Maine lost gay marriage for the time being. But there was progress. Honest.
By Frank J. Rivera,
4:36PM, Wed. Nov. 4, 2009
I don't normally advocate dance music, especially as an emotional curative, but after last night's Maine debacle, I have Laura Fabian's "I Will Love Again" on loop.
Despite this major loss, there were at least three things to revel about following yesterday's elections. Click and scroll to see:
Okay, somebody take this box of Kleenex and tub of Hubby Hubby away from me. Enough with the histrionics. Let's review what happened last night.
First, the obvious: Maine. Sure, it was a razor thin loss. And that stings. Sure, it was the first overturn of a legislative body enacting gay marriage. And that stings, too.
But it's the cheering and surreal statements like that of Marc Mutty (public affairs director for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland), "We all know we were the little guy going up against the big guy, but we prevailed," that make me want to fly to Maine and punch a Chickadee. I'd get the cheering and victory laps if, you know, you hadn't won in every previous referendum.
The social media sphere is ripe with angry LGBT reactionaries reminding people that it wasn't public vote that abolished slavery and Jim Crow. Perhaps, but there seems to be reluctance on the national level to tackle this particular queer issue. Perhaps the promised overturning of DoMA is a more realistic goal, but we'll see how soon the health care embattled Congress gets to that particular piece of legislation.
Ennui exorcised, anger expressed, here are the three things to revel about following yesterday's elections:
- Washington state voters passed Referendum 71, the "everything but marriage" measure that extends all domestic partnership benefits heterosexual couples enjoy to their same-sex neighbors within the state. This is sparking debate, too. Marriage lost in Maine, but civil partnerships won in Washington. It's the oft-asked question: how much does the name mean to you?
- Houston mayoral candidate Annise Parker received the most votes, putting her into runoff against former City Attorney Gene Locke. Parker would be the first openly gay city head and Locke would be only the second African-American. Either way, Houstonians looked past race and sexual orientation and are now presented with two intriguing options. Of course, I'm pulling for Parker, but that's only because she looks so darn good in a blue pants suit.
- And finally, Kalamazoo, Michigan approved anti-discrimination Ordinance 1856 that gives equal protections to all four letters of the GLBT community. The law was passed by a wide margin.
Some may say these are breadcrumbs, but Washington is a huge victory in paving the way for equality in law, if not in name. And yes, we deserve the name, too. However, if these are breadcrumbs, let's hope that mixed together, they all make a big candy house! Inside that house are the far right zealots preventing full equality. We can push them into an oven and eat all the gingerbread/civil righ Sorry, that metaphor got stale fast.
Buck up, queers. We took a punch, we gave some back. The fight is far from over. I'm going to paraphrase Seinfeld. Imagine the equal rights barrier is like tipping over a soda machine. You can't do it all at once. There's got to be some give and take, some push and pull. Then, it'll fall. And we'll have all the soda/civil riiiii Dammit, did it again.
If you would like to express some civic outrage, here are two options:
- 1. Today, Nov. 4 - Central Texas supporters of same-sex marriage will hold a rally at 11th & Congress at the south gate of the Capitol, 5-6:30pm
- 2. Saturday, Nov. 7 - Marriage Equality Rally outside Austin's City Hall, 1-6pm. Put on by Join the Impact - Austin (who really needs to email the Gay Place, hint, hint).