Thursday, November 10, 2005

Prop 2 post-analysis

I've been ruminating on the declaration of bigotry overwhelmingly displayed on Tuesday by my fellow Texans, and while thinking of something to say that had the right amount of bitterness, as well as a root cause for the landslide of ignorance demonstrated at the polls, found two articles which contained both.

sui generis expresses the frustrations of us 26 percenters quite clearly, and from the first-person POV (my edits appear in red, blue, and bold):

I couldn't help but notice that your newspapers actually called it a "Texas Upholds Gay Marriage Ban", instead of "Upholds Straight Marriage Defense", but we knew that's what you meant all along.

To the 535,000 people who voted in Texas to recognize same sex marriages, many of which already exist but not yet legally: thank you, from the bottom of our hearts for being remarkable, principled, fair minded and decent humans. You did the right thing, and it means more than is possible to put into words. You recognized that my love for my family is as fierce and as powerful and as consuming as your love is for your family, and you did the right and decent and moral thing, as you would have done for your own family. Thank you, thank you.

The rest of you three out of four Texans, you can go f*** yourselves, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart, for being the (lots of expletives deleted) shitbag throwback worthless waste of piss poor protoplasm that you are. I wouldn't give you my piss to drink if you were dying in the desert today...

The next time you ask for money for breast cancer at the supermarket, I want to know which way you voted. The next time a fireman stops me in traffic with a boot collecting for charity, I want to know which way you voted. The next time your kids come to my home by the busload for Halloween or Scouts or school trips, I want to know which way you voted; the next time you call me to get a cat out of your tree, pick your ancient husband up off the bathroom floor, or to rake your leaves or help find your kid's dog, because I know that three out of four of you voted to make and keep my family illegal. You will be held accountable.

Three out of four of you voted to make my family's life as difficult and as fragile as possible. Three out of four of you voted that my evil little nephews have a greater claim on my estate than my life partner of 9 years, or my adopted children as long as I live in the state of Texas. Three out of four of you voted to keep my life illegal and invalid. Three out of four of you assaulted my family, stepped out of your busy little evil lives and into mine to tell me, with the weight of the law, what is right for me, by taking away my rights. Three out of four of you had better watch your back now, you will be held accountable.

I want vengeance. I want to hurt your families the way you've hurt mine; legally, financially, socially. I want to figuratively slam you up against the wall and ask you why you think that the green-eyed marriage ban is moral, or why you think that the asian-american marriage ban or the red-headed marriage ban is moral or why you petty little judgemental sons of bitches think that the gay marriage ban is moral. I want to know why you think that discriminating against my family is a family value.

I want to know why you think my family means less to me than your family means to you, why you think I should feel any less angry or devastated than you would if your family was assaulted by three out of four people that you know. I am hurting today and deeply, profoundly, even dangerously angry today, and there isn't a lot that I can do for the pain and the rage I feel except to vent it here.

We knew it was coming, like knowing that getting pushed down the stairs means you probably will break an arm doesn't make it hurt any less when you break it. How can we support what is right and decent in society when society won't be right and decent to us?

We're not waiting for your permission to live our lives. We are already married for all intents and purposes. We already have families, we just have to work A LOT harder to keep bigots from hurting us, from interfering with our families in the name of "morality" and "family values". But a clear warning here: if you get in the way of me and mine at the hospital, you will require the services of a hospital, and I mean that literally, not figuratively. If you decide that my children no longer belong to me or that I can't live with the person I love for the rest of my life, I can't say in public the lengths I would go to to disabuse you of that notion, but I will invoke Darwin ...

Just for the record here, I'm comfortably hetero, in addition to being happily married. But there are gay members of my immediate family who have fought for years for the rights Prop 2 now denies them by constitutional fiat, and I profoundly feel the impact of what this means for them.

That it was a prominent number of minority voters in Democratic precincts -- who attend church regularly -- who voted to deny those rights is particularly galling:

Blacks and Hispanics who traditionally vote Democratic strongly backed the state's gay marriage ban at the ballot box this week, sometimes outpolling Republicans, analysts said Wednesday.

That broad interest across political lines contributed to the highest participation in a constitutional amendment election since 1991, with roughly 18 percent of registered voters turning out for Tuesday's election.

Republican Gov. Rick Perry rallied his evangelical, socially conservative base on the issue, but political analysts said Proposition 2's success doesn't necessarily predict future success for individual politicians.

"I don't see how it can be useful for a party or a candidate because this so transcends all the political parties and the typical categorizations," said Kelly Shackelford, president of the conservative Free Market Foundation, which backed the amendment.

"We didn't even call Republican homes. *cough*bullshit*cough* We called Hispanics, African-Americans and rural Texas voters. That's where the numbers were," he said.

Others agreed, noting that religion and family values resonate in traditionally Democratic precincts with large minority populations.

On the single issue of defining marriage as between a man and a woman, minorities often voted as favorably and sometimes more favorably than higher-income Republican precincts, said political scientist Tim O'Neill at Southwestern University in Georgetown.

There's about a dozen more nuggets of wisdom in that Chron article, so go read it all. Last paragraphs:

(Rice University political scientist Bob) Stein said the Proposition 2 election probably did little to change the dynamic of the GOP primary for Perry because he already had the support of solid social conservatives.

"What Perry did with the evangelicals was an organizational effort," Stein said. "Liberals tend to view those people as rabid dogs. They're not. They're sophisticated. They're organized. Church is just another organization."

Remember this for the near future: Prop 2 was just a dress rehearsal for the GOP GOTV effort in advance of the primaries in March and the general election in November. Bear in mind the words of former DeLay press secretary and Abramoff cohort Michael Scanlon:

"The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees," Scanlon wrote in the memo, which was read into the public record at a hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. "Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them."

Boy, we still have a lot of work to do.

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