The saddest news, which mars the great triumph of last night, is that it looks like California, by a slim majority, voted to accept hate and bigotry into their state constitution. It is a huge step back for equal marriage rights, but it’s more personal than that. Today, hundreds of couples in California who yesterday were married, are weeping. Trying to console one another.
The ludicrous system which allows CA residents to vote on civil rights on the ballot, to amend their constitution so easily, has allowed hate to flourish and triumph. The big news is that if a right wing religion from another state spends a decade and millions of dollars, they can rip loved ones apart and take away their dignity, their right to be there for each other at the end of life or in the hospital, they can encode their hate into constitutional law.
But this is a marathon, as I have said elsewhere. This is not over. To my gay brothers and sisters, I say, mourn today. And I give this advice. Don’t leave your pain in the dark, with your friends and allies and partners. Let the country see what they have done. Let the sundering of the civil bond between already married partners in California shine in the spotlight. Let them see your sorrow. At work, on the television, at the movies, on the street, in the park. Let them see you cry. Don’t hide from this hate. Show us how you love. How you hurt.
I say that if you do not shrink back from this, if you boldly come before Californians, the American people with your heart showing, there will be a backlash against hate. There will be human beings who will see themselves in your shoes, though they never thought to change their attitude or be your ally. Yours is the human story, a human struggle. Let us see.
As I write this, my throat’s constricted, my eyes are wet. Let them feel it. Let them see. Let them see.