Thursday, November 6, 2008

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. --Martin Luther King, Jr.

Equality comes with struggle. Always.

Yes, I've been extremely disappointed with the passage of Prop 8 and the results of other same-sex marriage issues on ballots in other states.

I take it personally since Annie and I got married in July.

However, seeing President-elect Obama on stage Tuesday night reminds me of something extremely important. All civil rights come with struggle. Every person who integrated a school, every person of color who sat at a whites-only lunch counter or in the front of a bus, every person who refused to see skin color as moral difference, every person who refused to use the bible to promote racism: each one of these people made President Obama possible.

And now, every queer person who comes out, every straight person who supports same-sex marriage, every straight person with a queer family member who treats them just the same in private and public as their straight family members, every person who flies a pride flag, every person who continues to educate others that gay people have familes too, every person who continues to fight Prop 8 and every other initiative that would make queer people second-class citizens, every person who insists on separation of church and state: each one of these people will make true equality possible for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.

This election period was a huge set-back for gay rights. And yet the force behind these events is not more powerful than the force behind equality. Those who would try to stop marriage equality are not in line with the inevitable. Same-sex marriage is legal in Masschusetts, Canada, Spain, South Africa and Belgium. And although separate but not equal is not true equality, all of the many other places in the world that offer domestic partnerships are part of this sea change.

In spite of these election results, there is no question what direction we are headed in. Yes, the passage of Prop 8 was a supreme disappointment. It won't be our last. But we must continue to fight. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope."
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