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11/04/2009

I think what infuriates me the most...

by Jeremy Hooper

...is that our opposition will never realize, admit, or take responsibility for the gut-wrenching sense of de-humanity that they inflict upon us. Had Maine's "yes on 1" side lost last night, each and every one of the folks invested in that campaign would still go about their days, perhaps a little bummed, but otherwise unaltered. They would have lost nothing, as each and every point that they claimed was at stake was nothing more than fear-mongery rhetoric (something I truly believe that most if not all of the higher-ups know to be true). They wouldn't truly be threatened in any tangible, citable way, and they wouldn't be forced to have any kind of difficult conversation with their young ones about how and why their family was just assaulted as part of the democratic process.

But for LGBT people, we walk through this day feeling, to some degree, hated. It doesn't matter what we individually might feel about marriage or whether or not our state currently allows us that freedom. The simple fact remains that for yet another election cycle, gobs of cash and even bigger piles of targeted attacks were wasted for the sole purpose -- THE SOLE PURPOSE! -- of keeping certain kinds of tax-paying citizens on a lower rung. How can you regain your calm when it's been so disgustingly rocked? How can you walk with a spring in your step when you have a newfound instinct to look over your shoulder? And how do you regain your trust in the principles of a nation when those have been so alarmingly tested (and received such a failing grade)?

Marc Mutty. Bob Emrich. Bishop Malone. Brian Brown/Maggie Gallagher. They will never know this feeling, because we have no desire to inflict the same kind of pain of them or their families. But that doesn't matter to them, and apparently didn't matter to the majority of Mainers who turned out to vote. In this society, it's okay to inflict unprovoked pain on certain kinds of people, just as long as you say "God" and "family" enough. It's okay to make a rich, vibrant population suffer humiliating character attacks, just as long as the attacker refers to their fist as a "weapon of marriage protection." It's okay to ratchet up familial shame, as long as the sexes are the same.

Ah, America.

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Your thoughts

This sums up exactly why i have trouble getting out of bed in the mornings!
I just cant keep facing this discrimination!
I feel more empowered to raise my voice and stop this pointless bias!

Posted by: Viral | Nov 4, 2009 4:49:04 PM

this is exactly how I feel today. Keeping in mind that the margin of the loss yesterday is the same as the loss in CA a year ago, I keep thinking that if this is true of the whole country, then more than half of the people I encounter today would be perfectly happy to deny me marriage rights, and given the glee with which this victory was pursued, I suspect there are some who would even wish me dead. I looked at all my straight colleagues today wondering just who would do that to me.

Posted by: keltic | Nov 4, 2009 5:12:38 PM

Ok, so...

What's next for supporters of marriage equality in Maine? Are we going to push this in state court? Is there a way to prevent NOM and co. to re-repeal it?

Posted by: ---- | Nov 4, 2009 5:43:38 PM

Next time theirs an election on gay rights, I want their to be a debate. A debate with a single question:

HOW DOES HOMOSEXUALS BEING ALLOWED TO MARRY AFFECT YOUR LIFE IN A TANGIBLE WAY?

And just keep asking, and asking, and asking until the bigots are forced to admit it doesn't.

Posted by: wackadoodle | Nov 4, 2009 5:50:51 PM

Like you said the other day, they have nothing to gain, and we have everything to lose.

Posted by: DN | Nov 4, 2009 5:57:08 PM

My sincere condolences to all of you in Maine. The fight for marriage equality is only starting here in Ireland and because of the prevelance of the Catholic Church and their influence during the writing of our constitution, it is going to be a long and hard fight.

Although I am legally married to my trangendered spouse for over 23 years, we have been warned that our marriage will be under threat - there is a law suit at the European Court pressing Ireland to allow post-transition reregistration of gender. If this is upheld and instituted into law then when she finally completes transition, our marriage will be regarded as a same-sex marriage and illegal under our present constitution!

Posted by: Helen in Ireland | Nov 4, 2009 5:58:54 PM

I live in the UK and I've been following your blog for some time now. I can't decide what I feel more; sad or angry. Probably a balanced mix of the two, because I'm sad that the religious right (who are seldom religious and never right) have such an influence on civil law over there in America (although the religious law Lords here in Britain prevent us having full marriage equality too...) and angry that people are swayed when the words 'family', 'tradition' and 'protection' are used to discriminate. How can people fall for their rhetoric? I don't know the legal logistics, but if campaign slogans can be proven to be wrong, is that grounds for a lawsuit? That road is never popular, but I'm just sayin'...
And the Obama Administration's clear lack of support on this issue (and I'm sure the gay community was a big part of him being elected) is just unbelievable.

Grrr.

Posted by: Mikey | Nov 4, 2009 6:00:09 PM

Here, this is what we have to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WVoC_CJbow

Not just for us, but for future gay and lesbian generation.

Posted by: Sam | Nov 4, 2009 6:03:19 PM

Here, this is what we have to do*:

It would help if I proofread before I post.

Posted by: Sam | Nov 4, 2009 6:05:42 PM

How eloquent, Jeremy - and so like you. Yes those hate mongers, Mutty, Emrich, MALONE (yes, MALONE you - who are supposed to walk in the steps of Jesus Christ - boy will you get a surprise when its your time at the pearly gates) Brown/Gallagher will never know this feeling but, oh, they should, anyone who spews hate over their fellow man SHOULD feel the same as a murderer - Christ's murderer and they don't even realize it, or if they do, they don't care - how can they lay their head on the pillow at night and sleep? Monsters!

Posted by: tom | Nov 4, 2009 6:10:05 PM

This is exactly how I've been feeling today. Yeah, my wife and I are fine...now...in our state. But it hurts like hell to see people spend all that money and energy--make their living!--on ruining lives like ours. I keep saying that, and it still staggers me. Maybe threats to civilization don't know they're being threats to civilization, but I really don't see how we are, or how our siblings in Maine or California are, either. I think of where all that time and money could've gone. I think of what *we* could do, even, if we didn't have to keep defending ourselves and each other. It wouldn't be working to invalidate anyone's marriage, I know that much.

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | Nov 4, 2009 7:06:59 PM

Ya, know, I think they many of those who cite their religion as reason not to support marriage equality actually think that they are preventing homosexuality from happening by supporting measures like Question 1.

I do hope it's doesn't take this long, but every civil right struggle in the US's history has taken several decades to be passed. Hell, people talked of women's suffrage during colonial days and it didn't come a 100% reality until 1920.

We will get the right to marry one day. Alot of ignorant people will have to die off first and younger generations--people who know gay people and know that we pose no threat to their marriage will be there to take their place.

"Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight"
--Lovers in a Dangerous Time.

Posted by: Bearchewtoy75 | Nov 4, 2009 7:23:43 PM

One of my friend posted on facebook that she felt like Sisyphus. I told her lets bring in the heavy gear, break that rock into pebbles and then all of us can carry it uphill.

Posted by: Tony P | Nov 4, 2009 7:47:48 PM

Every one who has posted earlier express my (and my husband's) feelings on this whole thing today.... I'm depressed, angry, and ANGRY; this is the United States??? (Liberty and Justice for ALL?). Unfortunately, I don't think this is the case at this point in time in the United States.

We WILL prevail; perhaps not in my life-time, but it will happen.

Posted by: David Twombley | Nov 4, 2009 8:00:16 PM

Jeremy:

I really found it interesting to be able to communicate with David Parker on your site last night. He actually sounded sincere in his call for a dialogue. I hope that you will consider taking him up on his offer. If you can establish some kind of ongoing relationship with Shirley Phelps Roper, you can certainly reach out to Parker.

Posted by: Dan | Nov 4, 2009 9:28:28 PM

Well, infuriating as elections can be, at least we have now learned that there is a Carrie Prejean SEX TAPE!!!

http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2009/11/carrie-prejean-sex-tape.html

Too bad that information didn't come out last week, when NOM could have taken a big hit over it!

Posted by: Dick Mills | Nov 4, 2009 10:03:54 PM

The ability of these people to disconnect is absolutely amazing:

"Scott Fish, a spokesman for Stand for Marriage Maine, said the campaign had never been anti-gay.

'The campaign was very clear about that,' he said by phone Wednesday. 'This was a campaign about protecting traditional marriage.'"

They just have no conception that saying that is just like someone pre-1960's saying:

"The campaign had never been anti-black. . .this was a campaign about protecting segregation."

Posted by: Jon | Nov 4, 2009 11:17:24 PM

As a Californian, it's sickening to have endure the same thing one year later, albeit to my brothers and sisters in Maine. I wonder why we don't show the harm to our families in commercials like the fake commercials from the anti-gay activists at NOM? Why don't we have a child of a gay couple running home in tears, "Mommy, mommy, today in school I learned that we are not a real family." Or "Mommy, mommy, why are people allowed to attack and make fun of our family?" Etc.

Posted by: Michael | Nov 5, 2009 1:57:54 AM

The opposition makes me think that they believe we are subhuman. We're just sexual beings with no feelings. We can't be hurt, because we have no feelings. It's causing a bit of a skirmish in our family. My husband wants to move to Winnipeg. That's not a big geographic leap for us. I want to remain here and be a thorn in the sides of as many wingnuts as I can. He probably has less than a year left, so I may move just to make his last days happy.

Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Nov 5, 2009 2:09:06 AM

This was perfectly said. One other thing that I find so disheartening is not just the desire to inflict pain, but the joy these folks got out of inflicting that pain. Did you see the supporters of #1 after the vote came in? It was as if they were at a victory rally for a candidate they had voted for. All applause and smiles.

apassionateengagement.blogspot.com

Posted by: Ken Harvey | Nov 5, 2009 7:17:48 AM

To Jeremy and the whole LGBT community,

On behalf of all the "normal" heteros in the country, I am so sorry. I hope you guys know we are not all this retarded.

You are not hated, and if you are, it's by assholes like Maggie Ghallager and Mike Savage. People who are well educated and have actually ever interacted with an actual gay person know that their rhetoric is all bullshit.

I support the LGBT community with all my heart and believe in full marriage equality. You are not alone, and many many many heteros stand with you.

You are not subhuman, you are not sexual deviants, you are not abnormal or perverted or anything like that. You are wonderful human beings who love and feel and think and laugh and cry. You are great people. You deserve to be treated as such. Don't EVER forget that. The likes of Mike Heath and Maggie Ghallagher do not speak for me, or any of the people I associate with.

Keep the faith. Stupidity will never prosper.

Posted by: Stef | Nov 5, 2009 10:33:59 AM

Thanks, Stef. I've actually decided that heterosexual outreach is going to be a big focus over the next months/years. In any election, we have scores of would-be, could-be allies who do nothing, and often don;t even come out to vote. We MUSt change this.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Nov 5, 2009 10:38:01 AM

I quoted the second paragraph of this post in a job interview presentation yesterday (with proper citation of course). A powerful reduction of the consequences of these votes. Thanks, Jeremy!

Posted by: Zack Ford | Nov 6, 2009 6:24:48 PM

Also, a Californian... so it's déja vu..all over again, as Yogi Berra would say. ..and I couldn't even read this till today.
Sick at heart, was even more upset last year when I went to our JTI rally Nov 15th, and a nice young teacher got up to stage and said that now her children were being harassed both in school and the neighborhood by hate-mongers.
So I think Michael as a good idea, "Why don't we have a child of a gay couple running home in tears, "Mommy, mommy, today in school I learned that we are not a real family." Or "Mommy, mommy, why are people allowed to attack and make fun of our family?" Etc."
We need to show the hurt too.
As a straight ally I am becoming more active every day. Hubby converted by David Mixner, to ' of course it is a question of equal right." , But even he said why not just accept DP's instead of marriage... we will be discussing that further.

Right now since we have now successfully been set up via 30 years of piecemeal voting into a mishmash of GAY JIM CROW laws, we all need to study how those were finally overturned. .. and FULL EQUALITY must be in the title of every future plan.

Posted by: LOrion | Nov 6, 2009 6:35:50 PM

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