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Great News on Gay Rights

by Norwegian Chef Sun Nov 9th, 2008 at 11:32:15 PM EST

The USA elections November 4th marked a major breakthrough across the board in redeeming America in our own eyes and in the eyes of the world.  Sure the negative decisions on the gay rights initiatives in Arizona, Arkansas, California and Florida were disappointing but enough already with the abject mourning, whining and blame game name calling that has followed. It is not productive and probably serves to drive young gay folk back in the closet.

At no time in the history of the world have gay rights been farther along.  We have had our rights come faster and more pronounced than most other oppressed groups in modern history.  This election, despite its few dark spots, gave us so much promise for the future.

Follow me below the fold.

New York

First, we won the New York State Senate.  Governor Paterson has vowed that if this happened, he would work strenuously to pass a gay marriage act through the legislature and sign it off.  So we should all be turning our attention to New York and ensuring this is done asap.  This would be the first time that a state government has passed an initiative as opposed to having gained marriage equality through the courts. What a break through.  Instead of mourning in California, we should be working hard in New York to get this done.


Next, look at Connecticut, we made handsome gains in the state legislature there.  On October 10th, the Connecticut Supreme Court validated the right of gay marriage in the equal protection clause of the Connecticut constitution.  It takes a Constitutional Convention mandated by the legislature to change the Connecticut constitution.  The anti-marriage forces put up a referendum to have a Constitutional Convention to reverse this outcome. It was rejected by 2:1 by the good people of Connecticut.  The near total domination of the Connecticut legislature by Democrats will almost certainly mean that no Constitutional Convention will be mandated. So gay marriage is in Connecticut to stay.

So wow, two states, New York and Connecticut, boldly sailing forward with gay marriage. Celebration!!  Celebration!!  And enough crap about California being a liberal oasis and as goes California so goes America.  New England has always been the trend setter for liberal causes not so much California.  Barack got his highest % margins in Vermont and Rhode Island (outside of DC).  California has some seriously liberal pockets, which are great, but it also has just as fervent hotbeds of fascist conservative, evangelical and Mormon activity as well. You will never find an Orange Co in New England!! So it is no surprise that they manage to steal the result in this somewhat schizophrenic state.

Black Voters

And let's stop this insane and unproductive criticism of black voters on this issue.  Two prominent black politicians have been leading lights for gay rights.  In Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick was critical in twisting arms to stop the constitutional referendum. Without his total commitment and political skills on this issue, we would have certainly faced a referendum situation.  And Governor David Paterson in New York has been just as energetic for gay rights. Without these two black Governors and countless scores of other black politicians and leaders supporting gay rights, we gays would be much farther behind then we are now.  It was the speeches on the floor of the Massachusetts legislature by black political leaders that were some of the most compelling speeches ever given on behalf of gay rights.  Trust me on this, gays owe an enormous debt of gratitude to blacks on the issue of marriage equality.

If anything the California result shows that the gay community and the black community to need to build bigger and better grass-roots bridges between each other to make sure that discrimination is removed.  In fact there were still lots of hispanics, whites, asians etc voting for Proposition 8, so the gay community needs to spend some serious quality time at all levels with everyone building grassroots bridges.


We have been making enormous strides overseas. This year Norway joined Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, South Africa and Spain in allowing same sex marriage.

In Sweden, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt of the Moderate Party fed up with the Christian Democrats dragging their feet, has called off negotiations on a watered down compromise and is pushing ahead for full marriage equality. The Parliament will almost certainly follow suit, and full marriage rights will likely be in place by May next year.

Furthermore we have civil union legislation in place in Andorra, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary (2009), Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Uruguay.

Again overseas blacks have been in the forefront of gay equality overseas.  You have to look no farther than good ole Bishop Desmond Tutu to see clear evidence of this.

Many countries are currently debating such rights.  This represents an enormous success in a very short time frame.

Arizona, Arkansas, California and Florida

Yes we had some setbacks here, but there is much silver lining to these darkling clouds as well.  Let's take these states one by one and accentuate the positive.


The contest was close. 884,597 good people of Arizona voted to protect marriage equality.  One county, Pima County (Tuscon), had a majority voting against the amendment.  So lets build on this.  Lets get a referendum up every year until it finally passes.  And lets reward the good people of Pima County and Tuscon.  All progressively minded conventions, vacations, trade and commerce should favour and reward Pima County and Tuscon.  We should tell Phoenix, Glendale and Flagstaff to take a hike until such time as they wake up and get with the modern world.


Again the contest was close. 437,720 good people of Arkansas voted to protect adoption rights.  Three counties, Pulaski (Little Rock), Washington (Fayetteville) and little Searcy County in the Ozarks   So once again all progressively minded conventions, vacations, trade and commerce should favour and reward these 3 counties for their positive performance. If you want a nice Ozark vacation, then Searcy County is the place for you!! Maybe by analyzing why we won so well in Searcy County, we can figure out how to win other small, rural counties.  We should tell Fort Smith, Texarkana and Bugtussle to take a hike until such time as they wake up and get with the modern world.


Ok, well the vote here was not so close, but there was one county that voted against this horrible amendment. Monroe County home of Key West and the Everglades. So once again tell Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Gainsville, Tallahassee, Orlando and Pensacola to stuff it.  If you want a Florida vacation or to do business in Florida, then the keys and the swamps of Monroe County are the place for you.


That brings us back to good ole California and Proposition 8. 4,932,086 good people of California voted against this amendment and to protect marriage equality.  That's a lot of people.  16 counties voted against this referendum and should be recognised and rewarded for doing so: Humboldt, Mendecino, Sonomo, Napa, Yolo, Marin, San Francisco, Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Alpine and Mono.  So now if you want to do business in California or have a vacation or convention, you know where to go.  Tell Sacramento, Los Angeles, Fresno and San Diego and the other counties favouring discrimination to take a leap until they decide to get some sense.

Because we have a lot of data on this vote, the gay community can now see where they need to build grassroots bridges and/or put economic pressure.  We need to work closely with both the courts and the grassroots electorate to reverse this nonsense as soon as possible.  Regardless of how this plays out in the court, all of these referenda clearly illustrate that more needs to be done at the grassroots level across all types of communities in building these key bridges.


The whining and the stupid finger pointing needs to stop now.  We have come a very long way in a very short period of time.  And we have been helped by progressive blacks, latinos, asians, whites, straights, native americans, eskimos, lapps etc etc, to get here.  So lets rejoice and renew the battle strategically and intelligently but most of all in good and happy spirits for the wonderful progress we have made and that we will continue to make each and every year!!.  

PS:  Is it any wonder my childhood nickname was Pollyanna ;-)

Yea, I think everything else was overshadowed by prop8 cos it was so emblemetic. I am heartened that everybdoy seems to have worken up over there as to what they lost, but as I understand it challenging the current vote in the courts is more likely to go well than bringing it back in 2 years.

It's nice to see other sates progressing, I mean lets be honest nobody expected anything out of Arkansas.

A fully inclusive ENDA would be nice, especially against the wishes of that lying transphobe, Barney Frnak.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 11:16:31 AM EST
earlier today I was lookig for past odds to see how much you would have made if you'd put your money down when you'd called it for Obama.

couldnt find any records, its now packed out with figures for 2012 (Palin 7/1,  best odds for a republican) but they were putting a legalisation of gay marriage at 6/1 as the first thing that Obama manages to sign into law, the same odds as you can get for him announcing the capture of Osama BinLaden. (an Iraq withdrawl being the favourite there)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 12:33:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama is not going to come out for gay rights. He has a religious objection. In fact Yeson8 had an ad out showing him saying it that was pretty recent. He's savvy enough to have avoided that if he'd wanted to.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 12:54:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think so either, apart froma nything else, there will be more than enough people telling him how the early days of the Clinton admin were derailed by the Gays in the military affair, and the claims that that was what prevented a breakthrough in healthcare provision.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Nov 10th, 2008 at 12:59:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AFAIR, it was Biden who stated the ticket's opposition to Prop 8.

if Congress were to repeal some section or sections of the "Defense of Bigotry Act" (I've seen it with "Marriage" in the title, but that has got to be a typo, since its an attack on marriage), and do so soon enough in a term that failing a signature it would pass into law, I'd expect Obama to allow it to be enacted without signature.

That wouldn't happen early in the term, however.

But its not only a system with an external executive ... its a federal system. A win in Connecticut and a potential win in New York for civil rights is good news, and real progress.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 01:21:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Spain allowed gay marriage long time ago.... more than ayear... isn't it? wasn't it in 2005 or 2006?

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 03:39:14 PM EST

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