As thrilled as I am that the country has begun to shake off the curse of the GOP, this still hurts:
And naturally, the first words out of many of the gasbags' mouths were that this means the country is still "center-right" and that there is no mandate for progressive change. Last night Doug Schoen was all over Fox saying the "ballot measures prove it."
Voters put a stop to same-sex marriage in California, dealing a crushing defeat to gay-rights activists in a state they hoped would be a vanguard, and putting in doubt as many as 18,000 same-sex marriages conducted since a court ruling made them legal this year.
The gay-rights movement had a rough election elsewhere as well Tuesday. Ban-gay-marriage amendments were approved in Arizona and Florida, and Arkansas voters approved a measure banning unmarried couples from serving as adoptive or foster parents. Supporters made clear that gays and lesbians were their main target.
Honestly, I'm wrung out and I don't even care about that at the moment. The political implications are what the spinners will make of it. But these hateful propositions winning makes the victory bittersweet. How people can vote for the first African American president in American history, with all that implies, while simultaneously voting to discriminate against gays is testament to the incoherence of American politics and the lack of clear cut philosophy guiding people's choices. Everyone says there's too much ideology in our politics but I'd say there isn't enough. There isn't enough common sense either. Discrimination against others just because you don't like how they live their lives is against the very essence of the two pillars of America --- liberty and equality. To fail to see that even as you vote for an historic, important first African American is incoherent.
I keep hearing about how this will right itself in the long run, that it's just a matter of waiting until this new generation gets old enough and then gay rights will magically be "granted." I hope that's true. But to paraphrase a saying that's been overused lately -- in the long run all of today's gay partners and gay parents will be dead. These soothing tones of "patience" and "don't worry" don't mean much when you consider that you only have one life to live.
It's terrific that we are seeing a decline in racism to the extent that we are able to elect a black president. We've come a long way and there's no taking anything away from those who waged the struggle over all these centuries. But our society is not truly changed if it's still writing discrimination into law.
It's as if we just can't be America unless we are taking active steps to marginalize somebody.