Sunday, November 16, 2008

San Diego Joins the Impact

On Saturday Nov 15, in San Diego, and other cities across the state and the country, tens of thousands gathered to march in support of equality and to vow that Proposition 8, which amended the California constitution to strip civil rights from gay couples, will not stand. Approximately 20,000 people walked from Balboa Park to the County Administration Building in yesterday's hot San Diego sun where they rallied for and demanded a return of the equal rights guaranteed to all citizens by our nation's constitution. A huge crowd for a typically laid back and somewhat conservative San Diego!

Despite the pain of having to fight for what is rightfully yours, it was for the most part, a positive, joyous crowd. These rallies are good medicine, because they remind us that no one is alone and that this is a fight that can be won because it's right for all Americans to enjoy equal protection under the laws. The founding fathers knew that was an essential part of a free nation, and so do we.

It was a very long and hot march through the city, but I loved feeling the positive spirit. The speakers at the rally talked about yesterday's march as a beginning, and not as any kind of goal in itself. It was a day to remind people of the strength of their numbers, of the battle ahead, and to get personally involved in overturning Prop 8. That means volunteering, donating and influencing others to accept the idea of equality for ALL.

One of the speakers talked about, and I agree, that one of the best ways to do that is to be open and out. You can't emotionally segregate yourself and expect others to know you...people fear what they don't know. It's much harder for people to be hateful and ignorant about the LGBT community if they know that person they like so much who sits next to them at work is a lesbian, or that guy they shake hands with at church every Sunday is gay. Knowledge is strength.

It's past time to put human faces and loving families at the front and center of this movement. One of my biggest gripes about the No on 8 campaign (I have several) is that it did a simply terrible job of humanizing same sex marriage. It was all very nebulous, philosophical, and intellectual about the issue and about rights. They never successfully made the campaign about people or families. They failed miserably by not putting a face on the issue. They NEVER addressed the obvious emotional high points, or hit people in the gut with the fact that Prop 8 deeply hurt loving families. If we've learned nothing else from the past years of increasing far right influence in our politics, we should have learned that people vote with their emotions much more than they vote from their intellect.

I trust that the passage of Proposition 8 was a Pyrrhic victory for the far right, because it will be the catalyst for a much for successful campaign to ensure equal rights for all. As Martin Luther King, Jr. famously stated, "we shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." That won't happen in a vacuum...it's up to us to bend it.

Pictures to follow...I took my film camera and need to get them developed. Hopefully later today!

3 Comments:

Blogger Shawn Michel de Montaigne said...

It's time, once and for all, to place these regressive propositions where they belong--in the trash!

One hopes the mountain of legal challenges to Prop. Hate bring it down.

Best to you and this blog--

:--)

11/22/2008 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger addtree said...

was here

3/10/2009 08:02:00 AM  
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