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Prop 8 Protest Picspam! - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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November 15th, 2008


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03:16 pm - Prop 8 Protest Picspam!
What do we want? Equality! When do we want it ? Now!


We Oaklanders gathered outside City Hall.


The steps were already full by the time I got there.


The program opened with the drumming of a ceremonial drum made by gay Native Americans. A woman had also burned some sage and called in the ancestors to come join us. We created a sacred space. Oh, California.


There were many different signs, of course. I really liked one that quoted the President of Spain declaring that gay marriage caused no harm to anyone's marriage on the day same-sex marriage was legalized in Spain. There were many signs that involved "H8." There was one sign that read, "Why do chickens have more rights than me?" or some such, which I thought was silly. Yes, Californians gave rights to chickens and took them away from gay people, but chickens still can't marry and gay people have always had the right to have enough room to stand up, turn around, and stretch their wings.


The lawn behind me also filled up as the protest went on. Cars passing by honked in solidarity. We engaged in silly chants.


There were speakers. This woman spoke about how far we'd come: when she'd been born, interracial marriage had been illegal. When she'd protested in DC before, no one came, not even the HRC. She asked for cheers from the "GLBT community" and the "straight allies." The woman in front of me remarked that there appeared to be the same amount of people from both sides, which was pretty cool.


This kid was awesome. He has two moms. When he got up to the microphone, he said, I've never spoken before a crowd this big before." We all cheered him on, drowning out his added "I've never spoken before a crowd..." He said that he never thought his family was different from any other family until he learned that his parents were discriminated against. The kids at school used the word "gay" to say mean things, so he figured they just didn't know what it meant; they'd probably just heard it from grown-ups. So he and his moms set up a program at school to teach the kids what it meant, and he thought the kids understood it better than the grown-ups did! People don't listen to kids enough, he said. It was so cute, and nothing could top it, which was good because I had to leave.


Rick and Lisa made a bunch of signs. I was lame and took one from someone else (she had made several).


I wore my Tegan and Sara shirt so they could be there in spirit.

I left the sign in the BART car. I strongly considered leaving my sticker on when visiting my uncle—who voted for Prop 8 because domestic partnerships gave gay couples all the legal rights of marriage and, besides, "What they do is not normal, so they shouldn't get to do what normal people do"—but I didn't want to provoke him since I knew I wasn't going to change his mind. I guess I only stand by my principles when I'm standing by people who agree with them.
Current Mood: naughtynaughty
Current Music: The Killers - Human [in my head, unfortunately]

(46 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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[User Picture]
From:jeremytblack
Date:November 15th, 2008 11:37 pm (UTC)
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What do we want?

Principles!

When do we want them?

When we're standing next to people who agree with them!

:) I'm playing.
[User Picture]
From:miniglik
Date:November 15th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
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There was one sign that read, "Why do chickens have more rights than me?" or some such, which I thought was silly. Yes, Californians gave rights to chickens and took them away from gay people, but chickens still can't marry and gay people have always had the right to have enough room to stand up, turn around, and stretch their wings.

Heee. I don't know why, but this cracked me up. You Californians and your weird props.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:November 16th, 2008 01:43 am (UTC)
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Did you hear about the San Francisco prop to rename the sewage plant the George W. Bush Sewage Treatment Center? It didn't pass, but I totally thought it had a chance.
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From:airbefore
Date:November 15th, 2008 11:48 pm (UTC)
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You know, I didn't think I could adore you more. I was wrong.
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From:arie
Date:November 16th, 2008 01:20 am (UTC)
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+1
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From:scifantasy
Date:November 16th, 2008 12:27 am (UTC)
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I guess I only stand by my principles when I'm standing by people who agree with them.

You do not have the duty to destroy your own family relationships for the sake of your cause. You weren't going to change your uncle's mind, as you are well aware, so why should you be forced to make things difficult?

"Principles come and go, but...human souls are immortal, and you should therefore throw in your lot with the greater part." --Miles Vorkosigan, Brothers In Arms
From:harriettheelf
Date:November 16th, 2008 12:36 am (UTC)
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yay you! glad you went and protested.
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From:electricmonk
Date:November 16th, 2008 01:05 am (UTC)
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Oh, cool. I'm glad you went. I didn't end up going to the one here, mostly because I don't like chanting.

As for Prop 2, I don't think anyone's trying to make it an either/or thing, but it is kind of ironic. As Lindy West at The Stranger (in Seattle) put it:
The idea that someone could go into a voting booth, consider a chicken, feel compassion and empathy for the chicken, and vote in favor of basic chicken rights; and THEN, immediately afterward, consider a person, feel no compassion or empathy, and vote to strip that person of a basic human right, is ABSURD AND CRIMINAL.
So maybe the "more rights" bit is a stretch, but I do think the comparison's fair in some ways.
[User Picture]
From:arie
Date:November 16th, 2008 01:24 am (UTC)
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I really like that comparison the best of all the ones I've heard. I was having a hard time with the chickens-having-more-rights argument for the we-could-always-move-around reason. But the argument you quoted is so true that it makes me even more sad for us all. :(
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From:toughcookie42
Date:November 16th, 2008 01:53 am (UTC)
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I'm so, so proud of you. And I wish I could've been there.

Don't worry about your family- they're not the generation that's going to change things.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:November 16th, 2008 03:43 am (UTC)
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Heh, yeah, the woman noted that 80% of voters over 60 voted Yes and 80% of voters under 30 voted No. "We'll outlive the bigots!" she cried.

By the way: the rest of my birthday present came!! Yay, it's so pretty and huge.
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From:punzerel
Date:November 16th, 2008 02:32 am (UTC)
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A woman had also burned some sage and called in the ancestors to come join us. We created a sacred space. Oh, California.

Oh, dear.

Those signs are pretty awesome. I really don't like some of the ones that I've seen that have been more like "let's attack Mormons" than "equality is awesome." Those ones aren't cool and make me sad. :(
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:November 16th, 2008 03:46 am (UTC)
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I have a Mormon on my flist who, if true to her word, went to the protest with a sign saying, "This Mormon Is for Gay Rights!"
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From:spadada
Date:November 16th, 2008 03:26 am (UTC)
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I saw your friends signs on a Flickr group and loved it! I was at the LA protest today. Amazing.
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From:spadada
Date:November 16th, 2008 03:46 am (UTC)
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Be kind, grammar police. I'm tired from marching.

"I saw your FRIENDS' signs...and I loved THEM."
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From:eldritch_flame
Date:November 16th, 2008 03:51 am (UTC)
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I'm glad to hear that there were a lot of "straight allies". It always leaves me dumbfounded when people say that they're not interested in gay rights because they're not gay so it'll never effect them. I just don't understand... not caring about other people. It's good to be reminded that not everyone thinks like that.

That kid sounds great, and the program he and his moms set up should do some good; get 'em while they're young and all that. I also really liked a lot of the signs (especially the "all I got..." one and the "our marriage doesn't need your protection" because really, we've had gay marriage in Canada for a while now and as far as I can tell straight marriages haven't spontaneously dissolved or anything like that).

Thanks for posting these pictures! They've helped lift my spirits.

Also, what is this chicken thing? Why do people think chickens have more rights than them?
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:November 16th, 2008 03:58 am (UTC)
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On the same ballot as Prop 8 was Prop 2, which gave chickens the right to larger cages where they could "stand up, turn around, and stretch their wings." It seems like a common sense thing, but it wasn't law, so chickens could be cooped up in tiny cages with no room to move around at all. Check the comments above for a nice link from electricmonk.
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From:idreamofpeace
Date:November 16th, 2008 05:09 am (UTC)
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Way to go! I totally didn't go and stayed at home. But, the air here is currently kind of sucky...
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From:mycenae
Date:November 16th, 2008 05:10 am (UTC)
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I hate when people are like "Hey, it passed! The majority has spoken! You're trying to subvert democracy!"

Um, no. People exercising their constitutional right to free speech is what makes democracy strong. Civil rights aren't won by sitting around, politely waiting for the majority to deign to give them to you.

It really is inspiring to see so many people willing to stand up and be counted for what they believe in. So, thanks for that!
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From:incidentist
Date:November 16th, 2008 06:42 am (UTC)
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Do domestic partnerships give gay couples all the legal rights of marriage? Pretty sure that's not true.

I don't think there's a need to pick fights with your family, but I spose it's nice to register your opinion so that they know. It's easier to pick fights with people you aren't gonna see again for awhile. :)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:November 16th, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC)
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See, I thought he was wrong about domestic partnerships too, but it sounds like he's right:
Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights,
protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same
responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they
derive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules,
government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sources
of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.

Which means it's more of a civil rights issue than a legal rights issue, no? Which, again, makes me wish the arguments against Prop 8 were more clear and coherent because it sounds like marriage and domestic partnership are the same "under the law," so that's not the argument they should be making. Rail against "separate but equal," fight against discrimination, but don't talk about the eyes of the law. Because the law doesn't see a difference in California, apparently.
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From:jennythen
Date:November 16th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC)
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Good for you. I really wanted to go to Ann Arbor's protest, but I had to work. It looks like it was a success anyway.

I think I'm supposed to hopeful after all of these protests, but still all I can feel is really, really angry. I don't know. Ugh.

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