Friday, January 2, 2009

Who Will I Give My Twenty Bucks To?

National Rally Against Prop 8
Northampton, Massachusetts
November 15, 2008

Don't get me wrong about Barack Obama. I supported his campaign by sending a little dough and I hoped with everything I had that he would make it. He's the single most inspirational American politician to come along in my lifetime. I hold out a lot of hope that he will work hard to get this country back on its feet economically and that he will work through diplomatic chanels before resorting to more violence in with Iraq.

Despite this, today I was confronted with two emails asking for money. One from the Obama campaign asking for a donation toward making the inaugaration a success and one from The Human Rights Campaign asking for money to keep on fighting for equal rights for all Americans; including marriage equality. Anyone who knows even a little about me can probably guess which campaign I sent money to. It was only $20 but I'll keep dishing it out in dribs and drabs for as long as it takes.

Because when it comes to GLBT issues, the Obama campaign and transition team have been a large disappointment. Not that I held much hope that this issue would have much backing from Obama and Biden, both lukewarm supporters of civil unions; which don't do nearly enough to socially sanction GLBT partnerships, never mind protect them legally.

And then there is the matter of Rick Warren's participation in the inauguration. Yeah, I'm still sore about that. I think it's inappropriate that someone who has said such negative things about marriage equality should hold any position of importance and relevance at the inauguration of a president whom I thought would, at the very least, not give homophobes a spotlight at such an event. I already posted about this here, so I won't go on and on.

Suffice it to say that if our new president was the living embodiment of Martin Luther King Jr. and he held the position he does, I would still get after him on the issue of equal rights for GLBT people. Especially and not in spite of, the fact that Obama is African-American. Since it wasn't too long ago in our history that black Americans weren't allowed to marry; nor could a white person marry a black one.

This inability to see marriage in a progressive light is either due to religion or bigotry or both. If a president who is supposed to represent change can't see that civil unions discredit GLBT relationships when what they're asking for is marriage; when a president invites a known anti-marriage figure to perform a convocation on his behalf; when a California constitutional amendment that allows GLBT people to marry is torn to shreds by bigots with lots of money; we know there is a long, uphill battle ahead. We'll get there but I'm afraid it won't happen when my daughter and my gay brothers and sisters are still the victims of vicious intent on the part of religious right-wingers and benign neglect and dismissive actions on the part of a new president.

On a happier note, if you'd like to see what I believe is the last great sunset of 2008 (at least in my neck of the woods, check out my Sky Watch post at The Pagan's Eye. See you there!


  1. You know I'm with you on this one. I'm glad you sent that 20 to hrc.

  2. A little late, But Happy New Year Pagan!


  3. I love your passion,

    I love the way you write.

    And I am one hundred percent with you.

    Let us have great hope and peace in the knowledge that everywhere there are like minds who believe in equality for all...and are standing up each day, with singular voice to say... "All love should be honoured... All love should be celebrated"

    May you and your precious family be blessed with the peace that passeth understanding...


  4. there is nothing i can add- i agree with you totally. and your daughter and her wife are a beautiful couple.

  5. ditto what everyone else said. and every little bit counts...

  6. This is so important, and so beautifully said.

    Our Man Obama has a lot to recommend him, but he's not up to speed on this crucial issue, and it's our job to get him there.

    I know you're not flush with cash, so I especially appreciate that you've sent some to HRC to front our efforts to achieve social justice on this front.

    Oh, and P.S., your Sky Watch post was especially lovely! ;)

  7. Thanks for the great post, Ma.

    I agree. I could give a flying you know what if inauguration is a "success." I will be happy to hopefully see our new president and his family come away safely, but other than that I won't be tuning in. My lack of participation stems from many things, not the least of which is Warren's role at inauguration, although it bears mentioning that he's also made offensive public statements about people of the Jewish faith and other heartwarming tidbits. He's a piece of work.

    Ugh. I donated $15 to HRC last week.

  8. Well said, dear lady. And I love that photo of Supergirl and her newlywed bride. Those smiles again; they are so beautiful.

  9. Thanks for stopping by, all you Beautiful People. :-)

    Steve: I have to seize what you said about the girls' smiles. It's interesting that the general public has this view of lesbians as angry, man-hating militants. This is what a young, married lesbian couple looks like; and it defies the stereotypes!

    Bluebear: Happy new year to you, too. A visit to your blogs is long overdue!

    To everyone: how do I get the "word" out to a wider audience? Does anyone have any ideas? It appears that I'm preaching to the choir here. I love the support and friendship I receive from you guys but I need an audience that is not necessarily receptive to marriage equality.

    But, please. Don't stop coming by!

    I love you guys. I really do.

  10. oh, i agree. i won't be sending money for the festivities.

    i will be watching tho and i will be posting an alternative prayer on my blog, as many other bloggers will.

  11. I added The Pagan Sphinx to the Van Gogh's Ear award.

    Happy New Year and all the best to you in '09! :D

    Lend me your ear Sphinx I have a award for you (Click Here)

  12. I gave a bit more to HRC as well - I have not donated to Obama's transition or to the inauguration - I'm not especially inspired with either.

    I too hold much hope for President Obama and I have a great deal of regard for him but some of his decisions - especially Warren - have pissed me off big time.

    I have never been big on blind loyalty and I reserve unconditional love for my child and cats - everybody else better damn well earn it ;)

  13. How do you feel about straights outing themselves as gay? In solidarity.

  14. Utah: what an interesting thought. It could take many creative forms, couldn't it?

    Anyone else venture even a seedling of an opinion on this?

    Glad you stopped by. You have radical ideas and you always interest me... ;-)

  15. While I understand this "Either/Or" choice, Gina, frankly, I wouldn't give to HRC either.

    HRC fully supported the decision (by Barney Frank, w/ Nancy Pelosi's consent) to strip transgendered people out of ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) in 2007. It was a heartless act of betrayal to the TG community, which (fortunately) MOST LGBT groups (unlike HRC) condemned. [I confronted the HRC table at Lansing Pride last summer: the gays at the table were, of course, completely clueless. Who, us discriminate?]

    "Separate is Not Equal": we say that about marriage equality. Why can't we also say that about Trans people: to leave us behind, to get OUR equality only "later, later" is not equal either.

    Either we ALL move ahead, to TRUE EQUALITY, or we get divided-up, and left behind, by those fighting to keep all of down.

    Just my 2c.

  16. JCF makes a good point. Two lgbt organizations that are better than the HRC are Pride @ Work (a queer labor group) and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

    However, your motives were terrific.

  17. You know, Gina, there should be more people caring like you.

  18. Oh, goodness but you are so right, JCF! I didn't even know about this, which surprises me because SG1 is so on top of issues that affect TG people.

    I had previously given $$ to Equality California; this is my first time contributing to HRC and from what you and libhome have enlightened me to, the last.

    See! This is why blogging is so great. I otherwise don't know enough people who know enough about these issues in the "real world".

    And I'm glad that this came up because I've been thinking hard about how it's NOT just about marriage equality. To me the passing of Prop 8 has opened the door wider for more discrimination, violence and ridicule toward GLBT people; which I intend to focus on more in 2009. You've just given me the kick start I needed. Thank you.

  19. Dianne, Ben, Sherry - I love yuz! :-)

    Roger: thank you!!! I think you did a terrific job creating The Ear and I am honored that you passed it on to me. Keep those great photos coming. You're a genius with photo editing; something I know not the first thing about!

  20. JCF - I did not know that about the HRC - I met some HRC organizers at an event and liked them so much - so I have been a supporter ever since.
    I will check out the other groups mentioned
    thank you!

    Utah - I love your idea. Actually during some heated arguements with some vicious anti-human people in my town I have told them I was gay. I love to watch them back up and try to figure out what to do with their BS. I don't fit their sterotype and I hope I make them think.

  21. I will weigh in on the mediocrity of HRC as well. I completely agree with what JCF and other posters mentioned. As I mentioned above I did donate to HRC this time around; I also donated to National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, as libholm mentioned, and Equality California.

    I do have to say, though, that I have yet to see a group other than HRC accomplish what they have managed to do on a national level. Their stance on ENDA was atrocious, and I absolutely loathe their stance on a lot of things, mostly their apologetic tone about their queerness. That said, they do a lot of good work and I contact them constantly through every means available to me letting them know that I have donated and what it is I expect from them as one of the leading LGB*T*Q [stars around Trans, since they're especially appalling on those issues affecting transpeople] groups in the United States. I have some measure of hope that they will change their stances accordingly if people make a fuss about the less noble things they have done. I encourage people to speak up to those organizations they don't feel are meeting their needs in hopes that we can make change happen on that level as well.

  22. That's a good point, SG1. HRC got my attention because they're so organized and focused and have accomplished much. I actually saw Joe Solomonese on MSNBC; which you don't usually see too many GLBT leaders even on that more liberal channel.

    It's tempting to write them off because of their flaws but it is something to be informed about and as you said, to speak up about to HRC. They are basically a very good organization that has missed the ball on this one.

    Thanks for your perspective, luv.

  23. supergirl: I agree that the HRC has the largest national presence and membership base. My objection is that I've seen them do little positive with it. Of course, lgbt activists have had problems with the HRC that go back for over a decade and a half. The HRC always has been more about going after big money donors than fighting about the issues.

    I remember when the Human Rights Campaign Fund took the word "Fund" off of their name. A lot of us thought they did it at least in part to get queers to stop calling it the "Champagne Fund."


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