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I live in Michigan. 2004 crippled me, seeing discrimination written into our state constitution. It just got worse, seeing companies forced to stop offering same-sex partner benefits because of the constitutional amendment.

Seeing it happen in a place like California, a place that serves as a beacon of hope, a place that cares about more things than hunting season and gun ownership, is even more painful.

At some point, I have to stop hurting, and start fighting again. I hope we can all do it together.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
hapgood
Nov. 5th, 2008 11:28 pm (UTC)
is it Affected?
coell
Nov. 6th, 2008 05:19 am (UTC)
Yes, it is affected. ;-)

Love you too!
fairiegodmother
Nov. 6th, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC)
We had to fight the first and second waves of this in Oregon 20 years ago. Look at the fight the right action kit online-and the nod to someone you know who put it out there so that other states could fight things like this early on. Some elections we lose, some we win, but look at where we are in LGBT rights overall, nationally, and in terms of the popular consciousness compared with 20 years ago. We are still making progress.

Don't let the sorrow paralyze you. Change can be slow, but there is still change to come.
hapgood
Nov. 6th, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
It looks like there is a lot of info on that page. Thanks for the tip!
fairiegodmother
Nov. 6th, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
You're welcome. And I encourage you to ask questions and think and engage straight and not so straight people in dialogue about these things.

In the first wave, in Oregon, they were trying to make sure any of us who had children would also lose custody of our kids. My 9 year old piped up at dinner one night as we had the news on and asked, point blank "Mom, if Ballot Measure 9 passes, are they gonna take us away from you?"

That got my mother politicized-and overnight she went from asking "Well what does this have to do with me?" to realizing it affected all of us and she began calling other pastors in the NW Synod urging them to consider that a vote for that bill would actually divide families rather than protect them-starting with her own. She was a minister in the Lutheran Church in America, and one of the outcomes then was that they took the term Evangelical away from the right (I still giggle at Evangelical and Lutheran in the same sentence).

Talking about the specifics of the ballot measures with people who have only heard sound bites can move the stage from reactionary, emotion-driven and thoughtless responses to extended dialogue with neighbors and co-workers and parishioners and friends. It can get people to actually ask and try to determine "What is really going on? What does this mean for me, what does it mean for my neighbors and co-workers and family and friends? What would it mean if I were in the cross-hairs of this thing myself?"

When it's no longer an abstraction but a clear threat to human life, liberty and health, the thing is exposed and stops being about "someone else". Sometimes that change comes with putting our own human faces and voices out there. Then you can get people to think about what it would be like to have language like that follow them home and try to take up residence in their own life. The mind engages, and the heart follows.

Kind of like "follow the money"-one must always ask what is the intention behind a bill or ballot measure or amendment. If a bill's purported purpose is to emphasize conventional marriage between a woman and a man, why isn't the language of the bill specifically directed to them alone?

If traditional marriage was not under attack in the first place, why are other straight people declaring war on it? What and where and why is there a problem? Answer-there isn't a real one-they are being manufactured for a purpose. A little digging and some water and you can find the source of the mud that's being flung and that does leave people asking "what is really going on?"

Of course to get to that point to consider "What is it?" one has to move beyond the premise that the initial question or statement was sound and reasonable and just. That means engaging in conversation that goes beyond the ten-second telegraphic and coded sound bite. Look at the history of the movement in Oregon for key information-read about how Basic Rights Oregon created strategies for unifying city and country dwellers through dialogue and coalition-building.

Always good to ask questions and encourage others to ask-in the spirit of inquiry or personal freedom: What is really going on? Who does, or what purpose will a bill actually serve? Does that line up with what we're being told the purpose is behind it?

The rabbinical question can also be useful: "In whose interest is it that I accept/believe this story?"

There's always "Follow the money".

I encourage you to create dialogue with people, and ask people to talk about what they believed they were voting for and why and encourage them to read the fine print of the provisions rather than thinking in sound bites. Just like fine print on a contract. This is a big blow but there's surely a sucking sound associated with it and vermin to coax from a hole. Acts of war by ballot measure might fall under domestic terrorism or treason statutes and be something that can be fought on grounds they violate the Constition.

Hang in there. Call me if you need a pep talk (or a war story).
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )