A Mixed Bag

I don’t think the news has really sunk in yet.

Barack Obama is our President.

I have never seen such investment in an election by the American people before this one. The voter turn out. The people waiting for hours in the streets among their neighbors waiting for the results. The immense elation of people all across America (and abroad) when the West Coast polls closed and Obama was announced the winner. I know that my friends and family and I, all packed into my small apartment, went crazy cheering and crying.

Outside, the streets of Seattle were alive with revelry. Honking and yelling and pure joy filled the night sky. The Fella and I stood out on the balcony soaking in the sound. Tears fell down my cheeks and landed in the beaming smile on my face.

We did it.

My jubilation is tempered by sadness today. Because even though we’ve got Obama/Biden in the White House, Prop 1000 passed here (right to die with dignity) and Gregoire held onto her Washington Governor seat – Prop 8 in California passed. CNN reports that 95% of the precincts are in and it’s 52% Yes to 48% No.

Apparently we are not as smart as we think, America. If we can elect the first African-American President but we cannot protect the rights of ALL people then we have a long way to go towards equality. You might think this law does not effect you because you are heterosexual. You are wrong. This kind of legislation is beneath us. We know better than this.

So today is a mixed bag for me. How can I be happy when so many of my dearest friends are being treated like they are second class citizens? As if their love is not the same as my love? This fight is far from over.

It’s the dawning of a new era in American history. An era where I hope we will continue to be actively a part of changing our country. Look at what we did by coming together to support Barack Obama! Don’t let the lesson of yesterday be lost. There is power in our numbers. There is power in our hope. We are just getting started.

There is much work to be done.

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52 thoughts on “A Mixed Bag

  1. Today is a wonderful day! I am so happy and proud to be an American again. But I am deeply saddened to see that discrimination is still alive and well in our country. Seriously people, wtf?!

  2. Not only did Prop 8 pass, but ALL of the gay marriage bans passed throughout the country including a ban on adoption by “unmarried couples” in Arkansas.

    I just don’t get it. I usually can see the other side of the coin easily, it’s one of my real gifts, but on this issue I have no idea how gay marriage affects anybody. It doesn’t. It’s just fear and hatred and ignorance and stupidity. I’m pissed about it and until we can get past it, I’m going to have a hard time looking America in the eye no matter who is president.

  3. I am just so heartbroken…there is a group of people, real people who are denied the right to marry, my brother is included and for that I am just so very sad

  4. I’m with you. I am so disappointed in 52% of California! Can’t help but hope the 5% precincts will make a difference, but I feel defeated.

  5. Im very saddened by this. I don’t understand how it happened, and yet it did. There is so much work to be done, you are right. And I hope the people we love will know that we will not give up.

  6. Oh, sizzle, I know. I just don’t get it. How can California have gone for Obama and Prop 8 still passed? So people voted for Obama AND for prop 8? Really?

  7. I SO agree with you in regards to Prop 8. I am so disappointed about the outcome here in California. It’s unbelievable to me how someone’s personal belief can effect the rights of other people. This is just wrong.

  8. Yes, they really did Jenny. Because I know a lot of people believed the lies that were being told in the Yes on 8 ads. And there were so many of them. It wasn’t until the last week that I really started to see any No on 8 ads. Too little, too late.

    But we have a new president and that fills me with joy beyond belief. My cousin says that he is going to the cemetary today to talk to our grandparents. So many people who I wish could have been here last night to see it all.

  9. Don’t be disappointed too much. Look at Obama being elected as a change in the right direction for a lot of things. It will take time for ALL Americans to gain COMPLETELY equal rights, but I think it will happen. Look at the hard fought struggles that women and African Americans have fought and as of last night, won. Give it time. Have hope in the future.

  10. Well said. I’m elated and disgusted at the same time. I know that the reason it came back mostly yes was because of “church going” people, but come on. It’s the same “fear based campaigning” and honestly, we are smarter than that. In our area it was 50/50 but there were some areas that were 75% yes in Central California. I can tell you that is where the ignorance lies … in small towns that believe what they are fed. It makes me crazy that it will more than likely pass but I will do my best to support the next proposition/bill/law that will undo the damage.

  11. I’m so disappointed in my fellow Californians that I feel like vomiting. Sadly, the yes on 8 campaign really did a far superior job in getting the word out. Two things that give me hope, though: 1)that the courts will overrule it as unconstitutional discrimination, and 2)that if you look at the demographics, the younger voters clearly said NO, and the voters who said yes will die a lot sooner. We’ll get equality some day, I just wish it was today.
    (For the record, I’m a happily married “straight” person, just an avid supporter of freedom and equal rights.)

  12. You echo my sentiments exactly. For all the bloggers who are screaming with joy, I’ve had to remind them our country has a lot of work to do before we can really shine.

  13. I’ve been thinking a lot about Prop 8 since I went to bed (even had dreams about, GAH!) I try to be philosophical when things don’t go the way I’d like. For now, I tell myself this: Progress was made last night, but like many things, we humans need to move in baby steps.

    Neil twittered a week or so ago, something to the effect of “Is it possible to overturn a state Supreme Court decision with a ballot measure?” That bothers me. Also, what happens to all those happy couples if this thing doesn’t pass? Will their marriages be grandfathered in? Or will they cease to exist in the eyes of the law?

    On the heels of Nilsa… there are still 55 million people who voted for McCain. And I surmise that at least 10 million who voted for Obama were voting for Not Republican. The country remains totally divided. That said, politics and economics aside, last night OUR generation took the reigns. We grew up and moved out of the house — the house belonging to our parents’ generation that held their ideals.

    (sorry for the ramble)

  14. I was reflecting with respect to Prop 8 in California…

    back in ’92, the year I turned 18 and the year I first voted for Clinton, Colorado passed an anti-gay Amendment 2 — it put a sad note on an otherwise brilliant election.

    I kind of view Prop 8 that way (and the defeat of San Francisco’s Prop R, as well)… I think it will be reversed in the next election.

  15. Awesome post, Sizzle! We as Americans have a lot more hurdles to cross, when it comes to really treating all men (and women) as equals. I am sad -but not surprised – that Prop 8 passed.

    I am hopeful that one day voters will realize that the anti-gay marriage laws are just as inane as the anti-miscegenation laws that were finally eradicated in the 60s.

  16. Sizz…we really think a lot alike. I’m over the top about Obama. I’ve been voting and tried to stay aware of politics since I could. While I liked Clinton and even went to a VP Gore rally in Florida many, many years ago, I’ve never felt more passionate, energized, emotional, etc. than I do about Obama. I even donated a little money to his campaign, which is historical for me!

    BUT, I am heartbroken over Prop 8. We passed a bill for humane treatment of farm animals, by a big margin, but we also TAKE AWAY rights of HUMAN BEINGS? WTF? Hopefully, there will be a big mobilization to do what can be done about this. Seeing the huge voter turnout was inspiring. It was nearly 80% in California vs. ~55% in ’04.

  17. You said it, sista! We must keep fighting for the rights of all. It’s not enough to pass the “racial barrier.” We’ve got to pass the gender barrier, and the sexual orientation barrier and the faith tradition barrier and all the other barriers that keep us from treating each of us, all of us, with respect and dignity.

  18. Thanks for this post, and for keeping California in your thoughts. I’m happy and pissed off too, but I liked what Obama said in his acceptance speech about how his election isn’t the change we seek but the opportunity to continue seeking it.

  19. I’ve been checking Huffington and HRC all day and they kept saying it was too close to call on Prop 8.

    I am sad as well.

    I do not understand how people can’t see that unless EVERYONE has the same rights then truly NO ONE has rights.

    It’s not about sexuality, it’s about human rights.

    There is so much work to be done.

    I am thrilled with President Elect Obama. My one big issue with him has always been his rather lukewarm stance on gay marriage. Unless you decree that all heterosexual unions are civil union as well then it is not equality.

    Good Lord I can go on forever about this!!

  20. I can’t believe it passed. Even with the election of the first African American President, we haven’t nearly achieved equality for our citizens until all are granted their civil rights.

    What’s wrong with people?

  21. Even living over The Pond we had a rather heated debate about Prop 8 in my office today. One guy said “Why should I care? What has it got to do with me?” Indeed, we don’t live there, and we allow gay marriage in this country, it doesn’t have anything to do with him. I still believe we should care and it does matter to all of us. Intolerance is a global issue and will only be smothered if we all hold hands and jump up down on it! ;o)

  22. I really thought Prop 8 would not pass, especially right after Obama was projected as the winner.
    What I don’t understand is why do those who want to ban same-sex marriage even care? This isn’t going to affect them at all! What it says to me is that they are heartless, cruel human beings.
    Obama being elected is a HUGE change and step forward, but there’s still so much that needs to be done.

  23. the anti gay marriage/adoption props/measures – will be overturned…somehow, someway.
    it’s just f***ed up that we have to fight all over again-FOR BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS.

    one giant leap forward and a few small steps back.

    but for the first time in my life, i feel hope. i really really do.

    we did it. yes, we did.

  24. I feel exactly the same. It’s like there’s a shadow cast across this bright, sunny day. Thank goodness so many people are committed to continuing the fight for equality.

  25. Couldn’t agree more. My elation at Obama’s win was tempered when I woke up this morning and saw that Proposition 8 passed. How can we be so smart in our national election and yet allow such a discriminatory amendment to pass? We may have gotten past race, but America has a long way to go when it comes to discriminating against the gay and lesbian community.

  26. Yes we did! YES WE DID!

    of course with the prop h8… we’re still working on that…

    Those who voted for it just sit back and relax while history rightly files them with the segregationists of yesteryear.

    I hope they enjoy the looks of horror on their grandchildren’s faces when they try to explain why they voted to deny people equal civil rights.

  27. Seeing all that voted in favor of Prop 8 really just reinforces that you can’t get away from ignorant people, no matter what state you live in.

    We have the highest population among the states and yet we still show we are no different than the rest of them.

    I’m really ashamed to call myself a Californian right now.

  28. Another thing to consider, brought up by Rachel Maddow on the coverage I was watching, is the fact that not only did they ban gay marriage, but they took away a right that the people already had. How can we think, as people, that it’s acceptable to take away any of the rights regarding the way we live our personal lives.

    Still, I’m hopeful.

  29. Florida’s gay marriage ban passed, which is horrible, but I’ve decided to focus on Obama’s new leadership, knowing that just as Bush’s reign allowed a horrible decline in rights, Obama’s leadership can transform things for the better. I have tremendous hope again!

  30. I feel the same way too. So happy to see Obama win. So sad to see hatred still holding others back…

    But I think of what Obama said in his speech – what changes his children will see if they are lucky enough to live to 106, and I have hope things will still change…

  31. You’re so right. Why must we always choose some faction of the public to discriminate against? Why can’t we just learn from all our past discriminations that were proved exactly that? GAH!

  32. The Prop 8 thing is beyond disgusting; I seriously can’t believe that so many people were ignorant enough to vote in favor of discriminating against a group of people whose only ‘difference’ (and it’s really not one) has NOTHING to do with anyone but them and their partner. So f-ing stupid that I don’t even know where to start.

  33. As jubilant as Scott and I were last night, I’m kinda devastated today. We see doors opening for so many, but then we’re constantly, overwhelmingly reminded that we are not important. WE. ARE. NOT. IMPORTANT. Really – that’s it.

    And they wonder why we drink. (half-hearted smile inserted here).

  34. I’m devastated by the Prop 8 results as well, but I felt it coming every time I passed another VOTE YES sign along the side of the road. The campaign was so loud (and so full of misinformation — those commercials were shocking). I think it’s important to note that neither presidential candidate supports gay MARRIAGE, so obviously we have a long, long way to go in this battle.

  35. Like you, I am so happy with our new president. And like you, I am so sad that Amendment 2 here in Florida, also out-lawing gay marriage, passed. We have come a long way and yet we also have a long way to go.

  36. If it didn’t get passed, it couldn’t be challenged in Federal Court. Isn’t that what’s going to matter in the long run anyway? Take it to the top!!! Yes it is unfortunate that it passed, but now there is a stepping stone to a bigger stage!

  37. I’m surprised it hasn’t gotten on the WA ballot by now — I think it would pass here. I’m just glad that we don’t have to listen to mudslinging ads from Burner/Reichart and Gregoire/Rossi anymore.

  38. looks like YES for 8 did everything they could to get the word out and SCARE everyone to vote YES. The NO campaign did little to advertise until the week before the election.

    It could have gone the other way, if the NO party had the money YES did, and the notion that everybody was being fooled into voting YES based on fears and lies.

    Sucks.

  39. Beautifully stated!!

    You plucked the thoughts right out of my own sentiments today! What a wonderfully tragic situation! Hopefully one day all humanity will be seen as equal…until then, keep on hoping and writing!!

  40. I am sick about Prop 8 and all the other initiatives like that. While I love Obama, I think his remark that he doesn’t support gay marriage was horrible. I think he could have really influenced that vote a lot… If someone supports Obama and he doesn’t support gay marriage, why should they? What if one of his daughters turns out to be a lesbian? Is he going to be happy letting her be a second class citizen? Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming him, I LOVE him and think he is the best thing that could have happened to America right now… But I think he had a real opportunity and sadly he didn’t take it.

  41. Sizz, I’m still a little grouchy about the whole outcome, but life will go on 🙂 I no longer live in California, but I did tell friends who live there to watch out. If Prop 8 passes, there will be massive protests. That’s what happens in California when a someone doesn’t get their way – they cannot accept that they did not win, and a huge fuss is made.

    I am not against gay marriage – my father in-law is gay, and that uniquely qualifies me to express this opinion. The thing is, knowing him through my wife didn’t change my point of view. Not all of us conservatives are stuffy, cigar-smoking Bible-thumpers with narrow minds. I do however have a problem with losing fair and square and then whining about the outcome. My skin is a little thick because I am a rare breed – a conservative raised by liberal parents in Santa Cruz. Hell, I might be the only one not only to be raised in such a way, but to not oppose gay marriage as a facet of my political ideology 🙂 I didn’t vote Obama, but I am going to support him as my President and give him my goodwill. I’m not going to stamp my feet and protest until the big vein in my head pops, I’m going to move on in a positive way.

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