Saturday, March 07, 2009

CA Supreme Court Upholds Prop 8;
Gay Activists React

We're here! We're queer! We lost the Supreme Court decision! Get used to it!

Okay, I'm projecting with my headline here. We have not lost the Prop 8 case before the state's highest court. Yet. But we will lose and I'm curious about how my community will respond, and how extensive the street protests will be.

I know of two plans afoot, preparing us for hitting the streets, regardless of how the court rules in the next 2-3 months.

The first is being organized by Robin McGehee of Fresno. It's called Meet in the Middle and takes place the first Saturday after the ruling is issued and is narrowly focused on making an impact on the state. Click here for their site. The basic info:

Rally for national LGBT equality the first Saturday AFTER the California Supreme Court issues its ruling on the Proposition 8 cases. Meet on the steps of City Hall in downtown Fresno at 1:00 PM.

Why Fresno? The battle for equality has to be fought in towns like Fresno, CA — not only in gay-friendly cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. California's Central Valley population is far more reflective of national attitudes towards LBGT Equality and until we engage the communities of "middle-America", we will not gain the full equality we deserve.

The second action is organized by Robin Tyler of Los Angeles and is national in focus. Go here for more details, and when your appetite with this explanation:

If we organize every sizeable city to have a "Day of Decision" action, that, in and of itself, will send a powerful message that our community will not sit idly by if the hateful Proposition 8 is allowed to stand.

Organizing now will send the message that we will no longer accept discrimination against us.

Off the bat, I have to say I'd love to see some coordination between these two important projects. I don't see the actions as competitive and it would set a fine model if both Robins could coordinate their respective actions with mutual support and cross-promotion, two things sorely missing in recent CA gay activism.

Next, I'm not sure how much interest there still is in gay marriage activism and to what degree people will again take to the streets to demonstrate against the ruling upholding Prop 8. Who really knows if gays beyond California, indeed, how many in our own backyard, are readying their marching shoes in response to the Supreme Court decision?

Regarding the Fresno action, which I think is very important to California's gay community, I hope the organizers soon let the rest us know about public transportation to their city or if someone is organizing renting vans and buses, or establishing carpools in order to get gays out of the urban ghettos and into the heartland.

Let's also see if the A-gays at Equality California and National Center for Lesbian Rights and the LA Gay Community Center kick in serious money to make the Fresno protest happen and succeed.

Then, after the "day of" and "Saturday after" actions take place, and both are wildly fabulous, we can see what plans CA gay leaders have drawn up for starting signature gathering for a 2010 ballot initiative from us.

They do have a plan for when we lose the Supreme Court ruling, right, and how to proceed after we absorb the disappointment?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well...the first part of the plan is to raise money, right? EQCA wants money and then they'll spend it.

As much as Prop 8 was a first - taking away rights that were established - the decision itself is also marks a first. When the court upholds 8 they will be first court (that I know of...and I have no doubt that I could be wrong) to look at equal protections and say - "sure, you can say a minority is exempt from this guarantee if enough people agree about it."

That is precisely where the next steps need to veer off the path of a debate about marriage equality. I've always believed that the amendments and DOMAs have had everything to do with legitimately marginalizing us - by using our minority status against us.

We have to stop saying that if people only knew how wonderful and normal we all are that they would never deny us fair treatment. They don't give a shit. They hate us. I don't advocate forming a retaliatory terrorist organization (although I do dream about it) but we must listen to Robin Tyler when she says we must stop asking for a hearing and start demanding our rights.