There is an argument that is quite popular among morons that says allowing gay marriage is simply a gateway to allowing marriage animals, trees, and inanimate objects. Unfortunately, a small number of people seem to have taken this a bit literally recently. On November 4, California voters decided by a slim margin to give rights to chickens and take away rights from gays and lesbians. As you can imagine, this has pissed some people off.
How did this happen? I believe that part of the reason is that there has been so much anxiety about the presidential election that a lot of people took their focus off the issue of gay marriage. Also, it seemed like the polls were a bit all over the place and it was a bit hard to tell what was really going to happen. Finally, the Catholic and even more the Mormon church turned out voters and donated money to the Prop 8 cause to help it become the most expensive proposition campaign ever. Unfortunately, even though he opposed Prop 8, Obama was not very loud about the issue and the Yes on 8 campaign even sent out mailers to African-American voters that made it sound like he supported the proposition.
Suffice it to say, a lot of people woke up with a hang-over on Wednesday. Literally, of course--as I drove home on Tuesday night through Berkeley and North Oakland, there were mobs of people outside of every bar celebrating Obama's victory. But when they woke up on Wednesday it became clear that Prop 8 had passed and gay marriage in California had ended. So much for the celebration.
The vote was so close that many people can't help but believe that we still have a fighting chance to change this. Even Schwarzenegger opposed Prop 8, suggesting that there is an opening to force our political officials or the courts (who allowed gay marriage in the first place) to do something about this.
By Thursday, people started organizing. A message went out over Facebook inviting people and it spread like wildfire. At 5:30pm on Friday night, a few hundred people gathered at UN Plaza on Market Street. We marched down to the Castro and then over to Dolores Park in the Mission, by which time there were several thousand people. It is too bad this had not happened before the election, but at least now we have a chance to fight.
Some of my favorite slogans:
- No more Mr. Nice Gay
- Do I get to vote on your marriage now?
- Even chickens have more rights than I do
- Tax the Mormons