Evan Wolfson originally voiced the analogy between gay marriage and Gettysburg. In case you don’t know Evan Wolfson, he wrote “why marriage matters” and is the founder and executive director of Freedom to Marry.
Like Gettysburg’s importance in turning the Civil War, we gays are at a pivotal point in our own civil rights. Prop 8 is a bill on the California state ballot next Tuesday that, if passed, will enact a state constitutional amendment to limit marriage to one man and one woman. The wingnuts are out in full force lobbying voters in the conservative Central Valley and other areas of the state and both sides are in a dead heat according to polls.
Even if you don’t live here – give money, volunteer, make calls, spread the word. If YES on Prop 8 passes, it means the Constitutional Amendment passes which will have disasterous consequences for gay rights in general. I’ve said enough. My friend Andy Camp says it much better….
The New York Times reports:
[R]eligious conservatives have cast the campaign in California as the decisive last stand, warning in stunningly apocalyptic terms of dire consequences to the entire nation if Proposition 8 does not pass.
California, they say, sets cultural trends for the rest of the country and even the world. If same-sex marriage is allowed to become entrenched there, they warn, there will be no going back.
They’ve tried lies, they’ve tried threats and blackmail. In case you’ve been asleep at the wheel, we are at war in the battle of our lifetimes, I just don’t know any other way to sugarcoat it. The other side is calling Prop 8 “Armageddon” and with rhetoric like that, it’s clear they will stop at nothing, I mean NOTHING to rob gays and lesbians of vital civil rights.
Make no mistake, this is our Gettysburg and the outcome will be felt across the country and around the world. All eyes are on California because this is the only place, the only state where we have the chance to prevail and we owe it to the rest of Americans who value freedom, to all the folks who’ve fought before us, and to the kids growing up, to defeat hate and bigotry once and for all.
Our opponents are saying that Prop 8 is more important than the presidential election, not just in California, but across America. The exact same is true for those of us to oppose Prop 8, and support same sex marriage. There will be no going back if we lose. Neither the courts nor the legislature will not be able to override the voters’ decision. Prop 8 will become law and the constitution will cease to ensure equality for all citizens. But if we win, it will be a victory for civil rights and equality that will resound to all “corners” of the world.
I know the timing’s inconvenient, with Halloween and a busy party schedule, but folks, when the masses are storming the castle with torches and pitchforks it’s time to put down the party hats and grab the nearest implement of self defense, because we are under attack! I skipped out on three parties last weekend to call voters, my costume for this weekend is nonexistent and my house a cluttered and dirty mess: all because I’ve donated upwards of $5000, along with probably a hundred hours of my time this summer to fight Prop 8, and I’m not even getting married !
We could lose everything that it’s taken our collective decades to gain, because once our constitution is altered to say “gays and lesbians are not full citizens, they are second class citizens” all GLBT and all minorities are from that day on an easy target, for the right wing to comfortably mobilize to take away any and all of remaining rights. The constitution that has ensured our gains in civil rights by promising equality to everyone will cease to do so, and right wing groups will have their moral victory and the assurance they can preach the results of future elections.
If somehow, in spite of my constant attempts to get the word out all summer, you’ve managed to get through the past couple of months without getting involved, or even if you’ve been involved the whole time, rest assured we need everybody’s help in the next 7 days. It’s so very critical we not lose this now! If you’re voting NO and telling your friends to vote NO, that’s great, but it’s just not enough to vote and forward emails. Everyone needs to donate time and money and get out on the streets and on the phones to reach out to the voters who we need to be supporting our side.
Because, make no mistake, for those of us who feel pretty secure in our gay friendly neighborhoods in Los Angeles, there is a lot of hate out there, the evangelicals are all leaving their red states to travel to California to unite against us. If they are successful, you can believe they will be emboldened and empowered to make us their favored target of further discrimination in the coming years. Will you let them? Will you let them open this door? Because once that door is opened it will be extremely hard if not impossible to shut it ever again. That’s why our enemies are so determined to spend millions upon millions to stop us from gaining rights: because they don’t think we are entitled to any rights at all and if they achieve their ultimate goals, we won’t.
Prop 8 is about far more than marriage vs. domestic partnership, far more than gays and lesbians, it’s about human dignity, with our basic American freedoms hanging in the balance. It’s about the kind of country we will live in 10 or 20 years from now and whether fairness and equality, or religious based fervor and bigotry will dominate this country. While I’m glad the people in our local community are FINALLY waking up to the urgency and global importance of this issue, as evidenced by the money has come in and the support now being provided to the “no on 8″ campaign, there’s just so little time left to make up the slack. Had we had all this support months ago, we could be comfortably ahead, but since the other side had such a substantial early lead, we are still neck in neck and it’s going to be a real nail biter on election night.
If you, personally, are not doing anything and everything you possibly can to help defeat Prop 8, every single day over the next 7 days, then it will not have been enough and we will lose! Believe me, no fun time on the boulevard this weekend is going to compensate for the collective hangover we’ll feel for years to come if we wake up November 5th to find our civil rights “gone with the wind.” Everyone in our community, every single person, EVERYONE is needed in the next 7 days or we will lose fundamental rights: starting with marriage and continuing from there! We cannot take assurance in the poll numbers (because people don’t admit to pollsters their intention to discriminate against us) nor can we rest our laurels on the money that has been raised (because it didn’t come until very late in the game…) We have to do everything possible to ensure victory in the few short days that remain!
So please donate, volunteer your time by phone banking registered voters, sign up for visibility campaigns and volunteer to help at polling places on election day. You need to sign up in advance for these things (at www.noonprop8.com) and not wait until the day of / or the day before. The other side has not run their campaign “California style”. They are organized and they have been methodically legislating state by state to take away our rights and freedoms. But California is where we make our stand to stop them!! You need to act immediately, TODAY, ***RIGHT THIS MINUTE*** otherwise we are going to lose our rights and the chance to spread equality and fairness to the rest of America and the world.
“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.” – Benjamin Franklin
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmond Burke
“A right delayed is a right denied.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
West Hollywood, Calif.