Repeal 2010, or Wait until 2012?
There has been a great debate going on in California since its Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that Prop 8 would stand, solidifying the legal denial of gay and lesbian couples from the fundamental right and freedom to marry – Do we go back to the ballot in 2010 or 2012? This one question has erupted a chaotic fray of opinions as diverse as the community it seeks to serve. Our community leaders both emergent and veteran have toiled, fought, and studied this question all to still find our resolve to be quite polarized.
After last year’s election this state saw an explosion of activism. Suddenly the ennui that plagued our 2000 battle over Prop 22 and 2008’s Prop 8 were torn away. Enraged by defeat we, as a community, picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off, and took to the streets in solidarity driven by hope that the courts would rule in our favor.
Just as our legal experts were ready to go the day after the election, our folks in field didn’t wait for the courts to rule before taking action. All across California’s 58 counties a new generation of grassroots activism has grown and flourished. One report released by EQCA stated that nearly 100 new organizations had formed in our post- Prop 8 world. These budding groups along with established organizations have relentlessly organized across the state in efforts to continue the much needed visibility, persuasion, education, polling, and voter ID work that is necessary for us to win back marriage equality.
Yes, there is now a federal court case set to be in heard January of next year that challenges Prop 8, but as the LGBT community knows, we can’t put our faith in the courts. Even if the courts of this nation were to rule on the side of equality the education work is still an integral part of what must be done. On any given matter of civil rights that the courts have ruled on in American history it has taken decades for popular opinion to play catch up. …of course that was before the days of Twitter.
So what then about the 10 or 12 argument? This shouldn’t even be an argument. The fact that there are so many people that are now passionate about the marriage equality issue and willing to work for it is inspiring. So rather than debate and focus our frustrations inward we need to use that energy on actually continuing the work. There are plenty of organizations around San Diego that would love an army of Love Warriors to come marching through their doors to phone bank or canvass in "Yes on 8" territory.
Bottom line here folks is that there is a tremendous amount of work to be done in this country, this state, and on your own block. This movement consists of you and your actions. Why look back and demonize the past or a difference of opinion? Each of us has the power to take heed, take heart, and take action to be the cause of great and historic change.