The Why and Wherefore

We Will A-Gay and Married Be

Posted on: May 27, 2008

So I’ve had too much going on lately to post at length about the best thing that happened to California this year. But it’s still topical! As expected, the anti-gay marriage initiative sponsored by the California Bigots Association Capitol Resource Institute has qualified for the November ballot. Naturally, this sparks dark Democratic mutterings about a return to the 2004 fiasco, in which Rovian minions put anti-gay marriage legislation on the ballot in dozens of states in order to drive the base to the polls. Conservative voters who might not have bothered to stand up for Bushie were more than happy to pull the lever against civil rights, and punch the card for their ol’ boy while they were at it.

This time, though, I’m not so worried. Here’s why.

  1. The anti-gay frenzy is soooooo 2004. Get with the times, people! The American attention span is shorter than a fruit fly’s life cycle. Lightning doesn’t strike twice, and conservatives will need a new bugaboo to get their people out from under their rocks.
  2. We have more important things to worry about. Not like we didn’t back then, either (war, anyone?), but the economy is actually hitting people where they hurt, right now, and they can see the bruises. The war’s role in sucking out our budget surplus might be too abstract for most of the right-wing mouth-breathers, but $200 a pop to fill up their Hummer gets their attention. Who’s got time to worry about Adam and Steve?
  3. The law goes into effect in just a couple of weeks. Between now and November, Californians will actually get the chance to see their marriages *not* weaken as loving couples across the state wed legally. It’s not as long a time as I’d like in order to establish a status quo, but it’s always harder to take away a right that’s currently being enjoyed than to prevent it from being given in the first place. It’ll make the antis more squeamish, and it’ll bring the pros out in force.
  4. Time has passed (see point #1). The latest poll says 54% of Californians support the initiative, a troubling number, to be sure. But it’s down from the 61% vote with which the initiative originally passed, tied together with an insanely partisan presidential election. People get more chill about gay marriage every year. Liberalism always wins out in the end; we follow the time-honored strategy of waiting for the bigots to die off.
  5. Obamamania. I’m a Clinton girl myself, but Obama’s effect on young voters is undeniable, and they will be out in force to support him this fall (if they are not hungover). Guess what else young voters love? Civil rights, by roughly a two-thirds margin.

It’s not going to be a cakewalk, and we will all need to be out in the trenches for this election. But I’ve got a good feeling about this, and come June, I’ll be out on a San Francisco sidewalk waving a big gay flag to support my fellow citizens. Love is in the air!

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