Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The More Things Change

Spoiler warning! If you haven't read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, you might want to skip this blog entry, because I intend to discuss a pivotal scene in it.

It is the most desperate hour for Harry and his friends. They have been captured by the Death Eaters, and Voldemort is on his way to kill them. With only moments to spare, Harry calls upon his old friend Dobby the House Elf, who is able to rescue them from their dire circumstances. However, in the thrilling, climactic moments, just as Dobby is about to escape with his friends, Bellatrix Lestrange throws a dagger and fatally wounds Dobby in the stomach.

That, my friends, is how I feel today. Obama's win was nothing short of thrilling. We jumped up from our seats, we cheered, we shed tears of joy and relief and hugged each other and the people around us. Then, as is so often the case these days, bad news announced itself with a beep from the cell phone. The polls in California had closed, and Prop 8 was way ahead in numbers. Suddenly, the elation and joy I had just been feeling disappeared, and I felt like I took a knife to the stomach.

So as the room around us exploded into cheers and celebration and promises of change and hope and a new beginning, a voice in my head whispered, "But not for you." Suddenly, it felt like the whole world was on a train departing towards a grand and exciting destination, only I was left standing on the platform at the station, waving goodbye. But I'm not alone. Thousands of married gay and lesbian couples and millions of my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters stand with me, still waiting for equality, still waiting for justice, still waiting for the "land of the free" that we were promised in the storybooks we read as children to materialize for us, too.

But storybooks are just storybooks. "Justice for all" and "equality" come with footnotes. Sometimes the bad guys win. Sometimes your friends escape danger and find happiness, and you get a knife in the stomach.

It is a new world today. For that, I am grateful. There will be change and hope and renewed sense of possibility.

But not for me.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

From Wikipedia
LGBT issues
Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment which would have defined marriage as between one man and one woman, but has said he personally believes that marriage is defined as a religious bond between a man and a woman. He supports civil unions that would carry equal legal standing to that of marriage for same-sex couples, but believes that decisions about the title of marriage should be left to the states.[217][218][219] He has called for the repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.[220]

Obama stated on March 15, 2007, that "I do not agree...that homosexuality is immoral."[221] During the July 23, 2007 CNN/YouTube debate, Obama further stated that "... we've got to make sure that everybody is equal under the law. And the civil unions that I proposed would be equivalent in terms of making sure that all the rights that are conferred by the state are equal for same-sex couples as well as for heterosexual couples."[219] Obama supports expanding the protections afforded by hate crimes statutes to cover crimes committed against individuals because of sexual orientation or gender identity. He has also stated his opposition to the United States' military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.[222]

I think that the lack of that piece of paper and the approval of the State of California does not negate a lifelong commitment between two individuals. There are still plenty of loving, caring people out there. Don't let the loud mouth haters blind you to the good in the world.
Sharon

dmbonilla said...

I too was disappointed with the Prop 8 result. I heard there were some 2 million absente ballots to still count so how can they say this was a final decision/outcome. Don't give up hope.. there are many appeals out here and hopefully one day this will be overturned!

Chance said...

Sharon,

I support Obama, I campaigned for Obama and I contributed financially to his campaign. However, his "separate but equal" rhetoric was used against us in the California election. If marriage is to be kept as a religious ceremony between heterosexuals, then it needs to be removed from the government all together. If civil unions are equal to marriage, then I believe that everyone, no matter what their gender or sexuality, should be issued a license for a civil union. Then, if heterosexual couples want a religious marriage ceremony, they would be more than welcome to have that performed and sanctioned by a church.

Having the government offer marriages for some and civil unions for others is discrimination and it harkens back to the darkest days before the civil rights movement, when the issue of the day was protecting marriage from interracial couples.

I know there are still plenty of loving, caring people out there. I just wish they were voting in the majority on this issue. Or, more idealistically, I wish my rights weren't up to someone else to vote for.

CHANCE

Anonymous said...

Yes, the government should treat everyone the same. Obama does state that he wants everyone to have equal rights under the law. I guess my whole point was to offer some hope that when Obama is President, he will make sure that all people are treated the same.
You and Michael both had very gloomy posts that day. I just wanted to pointed out that the sky was not falling completely. Sharon

Sarah said...

JOIN THE IMPACT: PROTEST FOR LGBTQ RIGHTS!

Date: Saturday, November 15, 2008
Time: 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Location: Pritchard Park
Street: Triangle made by Patton Avenue, Haywood Street and College Street Asheville

http://jointheimpact.wetpaint.com/page/Asheville