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."


Collin Kelley said...

Yes, hugely disappointing, but we must move forward. We may not see full equality in our lifetime, but I think we're getting closer.

Jan Steckel said...

I'm just not dying until we DO get full equality. Great blog post, Kate.
Jan Steckel
Author, The Underwater Hospital

Holli said...

Very powerful blog post Kate. I loved it. I too want equality for the gays and don't see why you don't have that already. I hate the part of our society that closes their minds off and won't even consider something "unfamiliar" to them. Even when it will never affect them in their lives directly. Unbelieveable to me. I was watching the Prop 8 vote closely from Ohio and was extremely disappointed it passed. Until this is not an issue anymore (and even then)I will continue to support my gay friends and continue to treat them the same as I do everyone else. Because there is not one damn reason why I shouldn't.

jin said...

Excellently put.
It is an injury and insult to all. So ironic that this happened hand in hand with "the new day" that we are celebrating... makes it bittersweet. On a brighter note, your book arrived from Amazon a few days ago!

Becky C. said...

Not to be bitchy, but seeing Barack Obama up there should have reminded everyone how he threw gays and lesbians under the bus on Proposition 8--where with just a little effort he could have shifted enough African-American votes to get it defeated--and still won his election overwhelmingly.

Kate Evans said...

I hear ya Becky, but I think the reality is that he might not have gotten elected if he directly came out for same-sex marraige...yet he was against Prop 8 (hypocritical, I know, but in a way, pragmatic)--and Biden was on Ellen and said if he lived in California he'd vote No. I think it's complex. At least Obama and Biden are WAY ahead of Palin who wants to change our federal Constitution to ban marriage equality.