Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Down but Not Defeated

It's hard to think of what to say today. My heart is broken. I am exhausted and sick (literally and figuratively). I keep checking the Bangor News site to see the last of the numbers trickle in, hoping it gets closer.

It won't.

I'm proud of being involved with the campaign in Maine. I still love Maine. As I sit here and type, I can hear the buoys clanging in Perkins Cove. The leaves are mostly gone, and the sun is out.

It is still beautiful to me.

As devastating as this loss is, I am beyond grateful we won marriage in Massachusetts. We narrowly evaded having marriage go to a popular vote- and I believe we would have lost that vote if it had taken place. Even today, I have to wonder if we'd win, so many years later.

The rights of a minority should never be voted on by a popular vote. In the MA state constitution, that notion is very clear. Unfortunately, not every state has the same rules.

Today, I have to make dentist appointments for my kids. Zachary runs in a cross country meet today. Jake has to finish up a project for class and Ben will come home, eager to chat with his friends online. My life hasn't changed. No one can take my family away from me.

In the coming days, the campaign will be sliced and diced. I do think it's important to learn from it, but it makes me sick to see us turn on each other, as we did after California.

I am reminded that ten years ago, I never thought we'd see the day that marriage equality would even be considered in my lifetime. A day when I would be a part of 100 plus LGBT activists being welcomed to the White House, to watch a President sign the first ever LGBT positive bill.

And while we continue to be denied, in so many states, the very basic protections from job loss, housing discrimination, health care disparities, we have come far. Openly gay candidates were elected across the country yesterday. Each election is a few steps forward, a few steps back.

We cannot win every fight. We continue to learn, every time, more about how to move forward.

For me, I know the most powerful thing I can do is to continue to raise my family. To be out, every step of the way, proud and willing to have any conversation to help people understand better what it means to be a lesbian in this country.

What it means to be a second class citizen.

Because deep down, I believe people will do the right thing when they have direct contact with what they fear is so different. That it's not about sex but humanity. It's about love and respect. It's about valuing human beings, all human beings, equally.

We are all God's children, to quote a friend of mine. I don't think you have to believe in God to believe in the sentiment. Someday, this nation will understand that.

Someday soon.

But not today.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

in washington it looks like people may be voting FOR gays (everything but marriage). still icky that it gets to be voted on at all, but it is the first time we may win a state wide popular vote (assuming we win).
so sad about maine.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry for half a link:

2:26 PM  
Anonymous donald said...

i never looked at the vote for gay marriage as a validation of my life, and although i am quite disappointed, i will continue to hold my head high, be out, treat people fairly, and expect nothing less in return. nothing is different today, i have a very loving family that is willing to talk about, and support, gay issues, and a whole gaggle of friends, both gay and straight. the people in maine are still wonderful, even thought quite a few are a bit misguided!! we did not lose this fight from lack of effort, everyone worked hard. the day will come, i know it!!

3:12 PM  
Blogger Ms. Moon said...

You know- if states had had to vote separately on civil rights, there would still be states with colored-only water fountains.
This is what I don't get.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Sue J said...

Beautifully said, Sara.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Sue J said...

And lost in all the noise on the networks, was this good news from Washington state:

Referendum 71 Narrowly Approved

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the fact that it was so close says a lot too. its only a matter of time.

11:25 AM  

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