Thursday I received a text message from an associate in California asking me to petition the governor to overturn the vote on proposition 8. My first response was to ask why the hell they were asking me, a Marylander, to petition the governor of California on an amendment to the California state constitution. I was told to "think positive". That, boys and girls, was the proverbial straw. I've been stewing on the situation for several days and goddamnit I'm not holding back any more.
RESPECT DEMOCRACY, ASSHOLES!
I mean really, the voters of California turned out and had their say. Democracy means you don't always get your way. And if you do get it, it might not be on your time table. If proposition 8 failed and its supporters tried the kind of shit its opponents are currently trying we'd be hearing about republican/conservative/religious fascism until out ears and eyes bled.
The biggest supporters of proposition 8 (the ones who made a difference really) were the blacks and hispanics who turned out to vote for Obama (who is also against gay marriage). Does this mean that gays will finally tire of being thrown under the democrats' post election bus? Doubtful. But it is fun to watch the chickens of identity politics come home to roost.
Look, gay marriage will come to be in this country. Maybe not rightthismoment, but it will happen. And it will happen sooner if people stop pushing for it to happen yesterday. Frankly (preemptive no pun intended), I think the best solution resembles the situation in France (see?). And if I'm lauding the French government it's either a cold day in hell indeed, or a time to seriously prick up your ears. My solution is this: civil unions become the government recognized institution. Whatever your persuasion/orientation, your committed 1:1 thing will be called a civil union under the law. Marriage will be taken up with your/the/a church/temple/whatever. Given the number of republican delegates at this year's convention who were amiable to civil unions, I suspect that that compromise will be a relatively easy legislative battle to win. The republican presidential and vice-presidential nominees were both against banning.
But all of that is beside the point. The point is simply this: The Union, this country, is bigger than ohmygodiwantitnow! The fact that this is even a subject of national debate is huge in and of itself. This isn't about shutting up and moving to the back of the bus, it's about understanding that at this juncture reasoning with those who disagree is a better tactic than trying to use the guns of the government to persuade them. It's about the fact that, the system which you extole and villify as it suits your purpose has held together a rag-tag band of miscreants, rabble-rousers, and apostatic reprobates for over 200 years, and it has done so in a manner which has produced prosperity and freedom to such a degree that it should (and does which is why they hate us) shame the rest of the world. And in your selfish need for instant gratification and unconditional surrender you seek to hobble it. Moreover, you cripple the good faith that must exist between citizens for the system to function.
Good faith between citizens is crucial for the survival of a democracy. It's the understanding that the other side will not seek to circumvent, impare, or destroy the system in order to get their way when they lose or maintain power when they win.
By any serious accounting this stopped being a debate about if years ago. It's a debate about when. If a little patience is excersised, it'll probably happen within the next 10 years, and it won't be court ordered, but chosen by the American people. Now stop pissing in the fucking well.