The passing of California’s Proposition Eight has brought protests from the gay and lesbian community at large, the Governator, social progressives, and many in the entertainment industry. Many scenarios are being discussed among those who opposed the proposition, including the effect of gobs of money coming from out of state religious groups and the increased turnout of socially conservative Obama voters. Whatever the reason that the proposition passed, however, the main feeling right now is shock and sadness that what many considered to be an established right disappeared overnight. Blogging on Spinner, pop duo Tegan and Sara eloquently summed up the feelings of a lot people about the situation:
Sara: "Gay marriage" is not what is at stake. It’s the right to choose to marry, the right to benefits, the right to adopt, the right to access the same set of rights extended to every citizen in the United States of America. Those rights do not extend to homosexuals. And it’s f—ed up. And you should care, straight or gay, white or black. Canadian or American.
Tegan: My rage is slowly transforming. It started as a rock in my stomach. Then a fire in my heart. Yesterday it was a fog in my mind. As the days have passed, I’m becoming focused and I am starting to feel brave again. I want to rally and march and be proud. This morning I felt triumphant. 67% of people who voted No on Prop 8 were under 30! Change is coming! As Melissa Etheridge wrote in a recent article, "Gay people are born everyday. You’ll never legislate that away."
As I type, I feel hopeful. Look how far we have come! As an example, below are some quotes from Paul Martin, the former Prime Minister of Canada, who, three years ago, stood before Parliament and defended the rights of gay people. I hope they give you the antidote you might need to turn back the effects of the rage you might be feeling in the wake of the Prop 8 debacle. Let it instead inspire you the way it did me. Let it promote movement and organization on your part to continue the fight for civil rights for all people. Let it remove the stain of this Proposition and instead give way to change.
"The rights of Canadians who belong to a minority group must always be protected by virtue of their status as citizens, regardless of their numbers. These rights must never be left vulnerable to the impulses of the majority."
"We must always remember that ‘separate but equal’ is not equal."
"We all are lessened when any one of us is denied a fundamental right."
"Our rights must be eternal, not subject to political whim."
"Over time, perspectives changed. We evolved, we grew, and our laws evolved and grew with us. That is as it should be. Our laws must reflect equality not as we understood it a century or even a decade ago, but as we understand it today."
–Paul Martin, former Prime Minister of Canada
The Quin sisters will be blogging for the next six weeks, but the repercussions from the passage of Propostion Eight will be felt far into the future. [Spinner]