(Cross-posted at C4O Democrats)
It wasn’t that long ago when I was just crying in my bedroom, not knowing what I could do next. Prop 8 had passed in California, and it felt like I was completely stripped of my human rights. Why did everything go so wrong when it seemed like the worst had just ended with Barack Obama’s victory?
But in the next few days, hope returned. Lawsuits were filed to protect people’s rights. People soon took to the streets to protest the temporary “win” for hate. And most importantly, a new civil rights movement was born as people began organizing to show the state, the nation, and the world that love conquers all.
So how has a temporary defeat resulted in a sudden push for victory?
In the months before the November 4 election, the “old school” LGBT political organizations (like Human Rights Campaign and The Task Force) and a HUGE group of elite “old school” West Coast political consultants decided to run a top-down, cautious campaign to defeat Prop 8. There was little mention of the married couples about to lose their legal rights. There were no feet on the ground organized by the campaign to talk to neighbors in the community about the threat to everyone’s civil rights posed by Prop 8. There were just a 12-page long phone bank script and rounds of TV ads trying to respond to the constant barrage of lies pounding the airwaves. That was a recipe for disaster.
Fortunately in the days following the disappointing election day results, something changed. Everyday people rose up to fight for their rights. Suddenly, an angry (but peaceful) uprising was transforming into a full-fledged movement. And then, it spread beyond California. It became a national uprising for equal rights.
And really, this is why I now feel a calm sense of reassuring hope. Now don’t get me wrong, I refuse to become overconfident in expecting the California Supreme Court to overturn Prop 8 and/or a successful repeal campaign in 2010 and 2012. Rather, I am glad that so many of us have now realized that we are working to make victory happen.
I was once told by a New Age influenced family member that “you create your own reality”. At first, I scoffed it off. But now, I know what she meant. We create our own reality by taking action, joining the impact, making it happen. We have the power now to make our case to the court, convince the voters, overturn Prop 8, and guarantee civil rights for all.
The power is ours. The time is now. What can we do in the coming days, weeks, and months ahead to end hateful discrimination and let love prevail?