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Just Unmarried [Nov. 5th, 2008|11:09 pm]
Druid Squirrel
I don't know what to say. I feel like I've just been punched in the stomach. Yesterday I was married; today I guess I'm not. Thanks a lot, California.

A few random observations:

It's really strange to me that the California Constitution can be overridden with a bare majority vote. I always thought the purpose of a Constitution was to protect minorities from mob rule. But now it seems like the California Constitution is completely meaningless. Ok, sure, the fundamental structure of the government can't be changed -- we couldn't, for example, abolish the executive branch and replace it with a parliamentary system and Prime Minister -- but, beyond that, evidently the sky's the limit. No right is safe.

I think things might have gone differently if Obama (who claimed to oppose the measure) and Schwarzenegger (who claimed he'd be there to campaign against it) had stepped up. So please pardon me if I'm not 100% on the Obama bandwagon. I understand that McCain would be a million times worse, but, come on. Clinton had "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and DOMA, and now Obama is already throwing us under the bus and he hasn't even taken office yet.

Thinking about how to win this with a future ballot measure: Yeah, demographics are in our favor: every year, more bigots will die and be replaced by new voters who can't image why you'd want to discriminate against gays. So, in theory, we'd do a little better in two years, and a little better two years after that, and so on, until we finally win. But I don't think it's that simple. For one thing, it's lot easier to get a "NO" on a ballot measure than it is to get a "YES". I think that fact alone is worth maybe 5 points. In other words, if we had another election tomorrow asking, "Should the right to marry be extended to same-sex couples?", we'd probably lose by 9 points instead of 4. Not because people are suddenly more bigoted, but because some people just tend to vote "NO" on things they don't care about. Another point to consider is that, if you keep bringing up the same damn thing every election, you're going to annoy people. It's crazy, but I think you really have to watch out for that kind of reaction and pick your spot.

So the question is, from a tactical standpoint, when does it make the most sense to bring up a ballot measure to restore marriage equality? My understanding -- and I could very well be wrong -- is that, according to the conventional wisdom, Republicans tend to be better about showing up for midterm elections, whereas Democrats are more likely to skip the midterms and just show up every four years to vote for President. Is that still true? If so, maybe our best bet is to wait until 2012.

The other factor to consider is: will Mittens be the GOP nominee in 2012? If so, it seems entirely likely that Space Jesus or Moroni or Magic Underwear Man or whoever gives the Mormons their marching orders, will suddenly decide that the best use of their money is to get Romney elected, rather than to stamp out civil rights. (The stamping will presumably come after Romney is elected.) Without the insane amounts of Mormon money pouring in to fund the non-stop, scaremongering attack ads, this suddenly looks like a different race.

I also think we've now seen which of their lies tend to be swallowed the most, and we can pro-actively design the wording of our ballot measure to circumvent them. Yeah, they'll come back with a new set of lies, but maybe these won't be as virulent. For example, the lies that seemed to stick the most were (1) if we don't outlaw same-sex marriage, your kids will be taught about it is schools; and (2) churches will be forced to perform same-sex marriages or lose their tax-exempt status. Hopefully our lawyers can come up with language that defeats both of those arguments. For example, something like, "The right to civil marriage shall not be denied or abridged on account of sexual orientation. Religious organizations have no obligation to perform same-sex marriages. Nothing in this amendment will be interpreted to require that public schools teach about same-sex marriage. Nothing in this amendment will be interpreted to affect the tax-exempt status of any religious organization." Of course, everything but the first sentence is superfluous, since all that other crap is already true whether it's in the amendment or not -- this is just to help get a "YES" vote.

Ok, sorry about the incoherent rambling, but I find it therapeutic to sit down and write about this, instead of just curling up into a ball.

P.S. Thanks to pretty much everyone on my friends list for doing their part to fight this evil. Liz and John, Bill and Cyn, Madeline, I know all of you worked your asses off. I'm proud to call you all my friends.

[User Picture]From: badgerbag
2008-11-11 03:51 pm (UTC)
Hallo. I feel more like I just randomly ended up with a sign on a street corner a few evenings - a gesture of support for people driving by and for the others standing there.

But the real work would be engaging with the local schools and standing up to explain the issues and the human stories behind them at some meetings, etc. That might change some people's minds, over time.
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