Flashback

It was only last November when we all watched history unfold on election night.  And then, on that very same night, we watched a truth unfold that brought us to our very knees as we watched Prop 8 in California pass by a significant margin.  It was then that we swore never again would we take underestimate our opponents and refused to let it happen again.  When we learned that we’d be fighting for protections in Kalamazoo, Michigan; domestic partnerships in Washington state; and gay marriage in Maine, we responded by saying that we were up for the task and that we would be victorious.  Our opponents would know the true nature of our resolve.  And we could show them that we have the ability to adapt to their tactics yet again.

On this night, we did win our victories in Kalamazoo, Michigan and in the state of Washington.  But we all knew where the big fight was…where everything was being placed on the table.  It was in the state of Maine where we were fighting for our rights to marry.  And once again, we had to sit here and watch as positive returns turned negative and gay marriage was overturned.

We organized a grassroots campaign.  We out-raised and outspent our opponents.  We called people and talked to them on the streets.  From every demographic, we left no one out and took nothing for granted.  And yet, we somehow lost again.  So is there something that we’re not doing?  Is there something we should be doing differently?

This one victory tonight for our opponents will emboldened them yet again to challenge us and our rights in another state.  Sure, we might have won two out of the three contests, but the one we lost was the biggest of the three.  And when it comes to gay marriage, something seems to mobilize our opponents even more.  We must, as a unite community, adapt to their tactics and prevent this from happening again somewhere else.  We have made great strides in 2009, and it is sad that as the year comes to a close, it could not have had a momentous celebration for equality.  But we must not allow these strides to be reversed in the coming year.

I think we did learn our lesson with Prop 8 in California.  We did everything we were supposed to do in Maine.  We just somehow came up short with the votes.  We should make a note that it wasn’t a simple victory for our opponents as it was last year.  This time, it was close.  We can see that our society is changing.  We have to work to keep progressing it.  A slight bump might have been hit, but it has not stopped us or our momentum.  We will continue our drive, we will continue our progress, and we will succeed in the end.

They say that history favors the bold.  Well, there’s nothing bolder than fighting for equality for all citizens…for all people.  Continue to stand strong, continue to fight on and be persistent, and continue to rise up and persevere.  The future will always be in our hands…and is on our side.  Remember that we did manage to post a couple of victories tonight that would have seemed next to impossible just four years ago.  A minor set back tonight can be changed with an even greater victory tomorrow.  So let us not lose hope for we will fight again another day.  I’m reminded of the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”

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2 Responses to Flashback

  1. John says:

    James,

    You always try to keep me grounded and focus. When I say riot you say march. When I say its time for civil disobedience you say stay calm.

    You and I right now are taking opposite views. I say let’s start some “sh–” but you want us to forge a head, march and do so peacefully. In my opinion it takes both. Our opponents don’t really want to deal with me, but they will be happy to deal with you. You are keeping us rational and thoughtful, which is an outstanding thing. But I saw lets scare them a little. You take away my rights and discriminate against me, there will be a price pay.

    But thanks for giving us something to think about.

    • James S. says:

      That’s my job, John. My goal is to make you think in a different way and to be rational and thoughtful. But be careful what you wish for. By rioting, you could scare our allies rather than our opponents. Look at it this way…though they might have repealed gay marriage and stripped away our rights in the state, they didn’t ban it. So we can just regroup, reorganize, and take the fight back to them. Bring on the bitches…and we will defeat them once and for all.

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