Lesbian Dad

Eight weeks out

My other day job (besides running around after the kiddles) will be heating up over the coming month or so, and as a result, posting here is likely to be lighter than I’d prefer. Truth is, until I rig things somehow so that this blog stuff pays me more than it costs me – that is, fiscally; it’s already priceless to me, emotionally and intellectually – from time to time, I have to pay more attention to my paying gigs.

Of course, the last time I went on a work-induced, month-long prose diet I had a very hard time keeping to it. I posted pictures daily, but some of the captions to the pictures kind of streeeeeeeetched the distinction between “caption” and “post.” Really, the whole exercise just proved to me yet again that loquaciousness is congenital: it can’t be cured; one can only just learn to live with it.

(It also proved to me that I can never Twitter. I did squat my name over there, and I do from time to time squander precious minutes pondering how I might be able to mend my ways, finally, and actually become brief. Okay, briefer. Ha! But I digress! Ha! See? I’m doomed! This right here? Nearly double the 140-character Tweet allotment!)

As is my custom when the discretionary writing time dries up, I’ll try to post pictures at least (can anyone besides the grandparents actually tolerate that many pictures of my dang kids? we’ll find out!). But there’ll be more than a mountain of kid pix to keep you engaged here at Casa LD. The observant among you may already have noticed that I’ve set up a little “One-stop Election Obsession Corner” in the sidebar over there to the right, too. No, down a bit. Yeah, there. [Later note: revised, after the election, to a Prop 8 & News links section]

I’ll be putting a quotation from some illuminating recent article (illuminating to me, at least) in the “Featured election/news analysis” section, along with a few more links.  Each of these I’ll freshen up every coupla days at most. Since I sure as heck will be sponging up as much ongoing election news as I can, regardless of how busy the work life gets. If all goes well, I’ll also be spending more away-from-the-blog time actually phone banking or otherwise on the stump for the Obama and the No on 8 campaigns.

Because never in the seven national elections in which I’ve voted have I felt more (a) concerned about the fate of the nation and the world, and the degree to which a US administration could influence it, and (b) excited that a nominee from the party I’ve voted in (oftentimes with plugged nose) is actually capable of understanding those concerns and addressing them intelligently.*

Likewise, never has an issue been up for vote in California that would more directly, more viscerally, more powerfully influence my everyday life. I have been a passionate opponent of various other bigoted state propositions in the past: anti-Affirmative Action, anti-immigrant, anti-young people of color, anti-gay marriage.  Goddess knows California produces them nearly as prolifically as it does reality TV shows.  But this one’s personal in a different way than these past battles have been.

The last time a bigoted, heterosexist anti-gay people ballot initiative came out, I wasn’t legally married. And why am I legally married? Well, (a) thanks to the very hard work of a great many other people, plus the symphonic combination of wisdom and courage shown by the California Supreme Court, it’s finally possible, and (b) I have two children who materially and emotionally benefit from my partnership’s equal stance, relative to those of my heterosexual neighbors, that’s why. Period.

And, as if on cue, those who traffic in fear and loathing surfaced — one last time, in this state, at the level of a state proposition — to try to muddy and obscure the clear vision of the courts.  The last time one of these repugnant, sure-to-be-shameful-in-twenty-years initiatives came around, Lisa Marie Pond hadn’t died yet in a Miami emergency room, her partner of 18 years and her three kids kept at bay from her for hours and hours in a waiting room by a homophobic hospital staffer because they were not legally recognized as her immediate family.

Yes, that was a Florida waiting room, not a California one. They have their Measure 2 to defeat this fall. But everyone with half a brain who looks at this battle agrees: California’s defeat of Proposition 8 will spell the beginning of the end for the anti-gay marriage movement, nation-wide. Most populous state; most respected state supreme court; national trend-setter, for better and for worse. Marriage may be the immediate short-term issue, but fear and hatred of gay people is the lightening rod; movement toward more broad civil rights protections is the ultimate end. That’s one reason my stakes in the outcome of this battle are different this time.  That, and this: Lisa Marie Pond was from Washington state, around about two days’ drive from where I sit right now. They were just a family on vacation.

No matter how frequently or infrequently I post in the upcoming month or so, every Tuesday before the election I will publish something or other that might be used in service of the campaign against Proposition 8 (and every other anti-marriage equality ballot initiative). Since in California, our anti-gay ballot initiative is number eight, eight weeks from election day seemed an auspicious point at which to start.

I expect that most of you readers here are kindred spirits, so it’s not like I think I’m going to change your minds with anything I post here.  Also, my guess is that most live outside the various states facing marriage equality battles this fall: Arizona, Arkansas, California, and Florida. (NCLR page on them here.) *[Added later the same day: Timothy Kincaid at Box Turtle Bulletin published a piece today, Why Each State is Important, clarifying the stakes in each of the anti-gay marriage battles this fall.]

But for all of you in these anti-gay ballot initiative states, I hope to provide some useful information or personalizing stories you could forward to friends who may be undecided. Or who have friends or coworkers or family who are. And for those outside these states, I hope you might be able to forward something of use to anyone you know living inside these states. And for all of us, wherever we are, I want to remind us weekly that we can continue to support the opposition to the marriage ban by giving generously to the No on 8 campaign, which can only be as strong as its resources are.

Do it for yourself and for your sisters and brothers, if you’re queer. Do it for all your LGBT friends and family members, if you’re straight. Do it for Lisa Marie Pond’s surviving partner and kids, and the next such partner and kids, the next time such a thing happens. Which it will. Unless enough of us do the right thing, right now.

* Even as I continue to be gravely disappointed in his public stance on gay civil rights: in the wake of the Black civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s, during which the federal government had to be repeatedly called upon to intercede in state-sanctioned violence against peaceable anti-segregationists, no principled leader could cede fundamental human rights issues to states, as he has done. At least he opposes federal and state constitutional marriage amendments.

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