Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Signage from the pro-gay forces in July.

CA's Prop 8 is Not About Gays or Marriage?

Silly me, I thought California's proposition 8, the initiative about gay marriage equality, was about gay marriage. But based on the outreach posters and materials from the No on 8 forces, the pro-gay-marriage folks, which omits the words "gay" and "marriage" altogether, I'd say the No on 8 leaders have not only de-gayed the the proposition, they've also divorced it from anything to do with marriage.

Back in July, at a community town hall meeting in San Francisco with campaign leaders, I raised the matter of closeting the fight to defeat the measure. Signage at the time avoided using the word "gay," but at least "marriage" was used. Excerpted from the Bay Area Reporter account of the forum:

Later on during a question and answer session, Michael Petrelis also brought up the issue of wording, stating that Equality for All, which is the coalition of LGBT and allied organizations against Prop 8, should use the word "gay" in campaign signage. He pointed to one of the signs on the wall that read, "Vow to vote No on the marriage amendment." . . .

"Are we going to take the campaign out of the closet?" Petrelis asked. "I don't like the sign. I'm fighting for 'gay marriage' on the sign."

But longtime bisexual activist Maggi Rubenstein countered that the campaign should "push for same-sex and LGBT, rather than gay, with all due respect" to Petrelis.

Kendell was blunt in her response to the issue. "There's no doubt that it will be very clear to everybody – it's a big ol' homo thing. You will see yourself reflected in what we're doing."

Kendell also said that the language issue "wasn't intentional or calculated."

"The campaign messaging is one of those things that's a moving target. This is feedback we will certainly feed into that," she said.

Now, I happen to respect Kate Kendall and her advocacy very much, and I believed she was quite sincere when she made these comments in July. I had hoped that at this point, less than two months from election day, there would be signage from the No on 8 campaign mentioning gays. Not only hasn't that happened, but the campaign leaders have now omitted even the word marriage from their propaganda.

Yes, I'd like to see Prop 8 consigned to the electoral waste dump in November, but I favor doing it without running a campaign effort that renders gays, and even marriage, invisible.


Paul said...

Yep, leaving out the word "gay" worked so well last time, didn't it? Remember "Vote no on Knight" when even the gay voters had no idea who Knight was, or why we were referring to him.

Geezus folks, it's 2008. If we can't come out of the closet now, whenever WILL our love dare say it's name?

Betty DeGeneres said...

As a mother, it is a wonderful gift to share in the love and joy of your child's wedding day. The excitement, anticipation and happiness are overwhelming. I once believed I would never have the opportunity to be a part of such a special day with my daughter, Ellen.

But as I'm sure you've already heard, Ellen married the love of her life, my daughter-in-law, Portia de Rossi nearly one month ago. They had a stunning, intimate ceremony with family and close friends. Complete with beautiful decorations, their favorite roses, candlelit table and incredible cake. It was a magical evening.

Just like every parent who wants what's best for their daughters and sons, I want Ellen and Portia to have all the happiness that comes with marriage, to care for each other, protect one another and be there for each other in times of greatest need.

Unfortunately, some people would like to take away my daughter's right to marry the one she loves. And that, quite simply, is wrong.

So, I've made a gift to Equality California's Wedding Registry in honor of Ellen and Portia to help defeat Proposition 8. This November's ballot initiative would hurt so many loving couples and their families by taking away the right to marry from same-sex couples. Please join me by supporting the NO on 8 campaign.


Make a donation today so all loving couples can marry.

Every parent should know that their daughters and sons have the choice to marry. And every mother should have the opportunity to be a part of their child's wedding day. With your help, we can make that happen. Donate now to fight Prop 8.

Betty DeGeneres

P.S. Please remember to vote NO on Prop 8 on November 4 and ask your friends and family to do the same.

Anonymous said...

I think part of it might be that the "Yes on 8" people are using the word marriage and the "No on 8" people don't want their message confused with the other side.

The posters at defendequalitynow.com come closer to a marriage message--at least it has a wedding ring in it.