If ever there was a time to step up, it’s now

I went to a talk at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center last night, sponsored by Our Family Coalition, our amazing local LGBT family organization.  Family Law and Estate attorneys Deborah Wald and Deb Kinney spent an hour and forty minutes helping explain the mysterious inner workings of the law, as it functions for those of us who — for the next fifty-four days, at least — have the dubious distinction of enjoying marital status at the state level, but stranger status at the federal. With registered domestic partner status woven all around that.

I learned a great deal (mostly that I should have paid more attention to the chalkboard and less attention to my spitwads, back in high school civics classes).  But it was the last twenty minutes that stuck with me. Deb Kinney embossed into our skins some facts about Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage proposition Californians will vote on this fall:

  1. No internal polls clarify that Proposition 8 is sure to be defeated; in fact, people have historically are ashamed to admit their bigotry to pollsters; in the privacy of in the voting booth, they’ll reneg and vote bigot. Like, 7-10% of them.
  2. The percentage of undecided voters on this issue — a whopping 20% — are way more than enough for either side to clinch the vote.
  3. The Yes on 8 forces are a “machine.” Meaning, busloads of people are being driven in and deposited in neighborhoods to go door-to-door.
  4. The pro-8 forces are just as aware as we No on 8 folks are, that THIS IS AN HISTORIC ELECTION WITH NATIONAL CONSEQUENCES.  The supreme court didn’t just interpret the California state constitution to protect gay people’s rights to marry.  It set out a template by which no discrimination against anyone, based on sexual orientation, is legally defensible.  Period.  No wonder this election has such wide-reaching impact.  Its success will create the blueprint for a sea change in gay politics nationally. [Read Deborah Wald’s recent post, “Moving to the Front of the Bus,” for a concise and illuminating argument for this.]
  5. It will be won or lost by a fraction of a percentage point.
I am riveted like I’ve never been riveted before.  So I am asking you something, you, YOU!  Reader!  I am asking begging you: help me.  Help us.  Make a difference.  

Goal Thermometer

I have created a donation page at the No on 8 website.  I’ll tell you straight up.  Right now, there are around about 10,000 of you who stop by and read this blog each month.  If only ten percent of you coughed up only $5 each, we could raise $5,000.  
That’s not enough money to buy an ad to counteract the misinformation the other side is going to spread.[Updated 24 Sept 08 to reflect my recent enlightenment!] That’s enough to buy several ads to try to counteract the misinformation the other side is going to spread (fewer in big markets; more in smaller ones throughout the state).  (More about the acute & immediate fundraising need here.)  But it will help produce more posters, pay for more phone bills, get more folks’ feet on the ground on election day.   Whatever.
People, help.  Help.  That’s all I want to say.  Especially you from out of state.  
A donation of $5 is way, WAY less than a movie.   It’s two coffees and a buncha donuts.  Or a single latté and maybe a croissant, depending on your bourgeois-o-meter.
A donation of $10 is a frickin’ movie.
A donation of $20 is a frickin’ movie plus some pizza and beer.
My children — and yours; hell ALL OF US — living in a world where there is no longer any legally sanctioned discrimination against LGBT families?  Which the defeat of prop 8 this fall would speed along at an amazing rate, maybe faster than any other single event in the LGBT civil rights movement thusfar?  (Which it would; you watch.)  That?  That’s priceless. 
Now please show me that it’s worth it to hope so publicly that love is capable of conquering, if not all, then this hatred, right here, right now.

fight [next in this marraige equality series: Marriage equality and my dad]

34 thoughts on “If ever there was a time to step up, it’s now”

  1. As a canadian, i’ve been watching this all continue to unfold with horror. Feel compelled to do something to help, but it’s not obvious to me what can be done from here. I applaud your initiative.

    I went to donate but not sure i can? There’s a checkbox after you put all your infomation in that says I have to be an american citizen to donate to this cause, though the credit card/address info allowed me to put canada.

    Can you let me know if I can indeed donate?

  2. FYI – Non-Americans can’t donate to anything directly aimed at Proposition 8, but we can donate to groups like Marriage Equality USA that have a broader goal. Good luck!

  3. Thank you both, sisters! And thank you lilacsigil for answering the question before I even had to figure it out. I’ve just written the No on 8 folks to find out (it’s before their office opens, as I write this, but I’ll follow up with a phone call).

    Thank you thank you. I just posted this in the wee hours about four or so hours ago, and we’ve already got five folks ponying up a total of $325. (Okay, so the first was me, a shill). But that is very heartening.

  4. Thank you for making it so easy to do something. I’ve been sitting here on the other coast feeling all hand-wringy and a few too many mouse-clicks away from actually contributing. I appreciate the motivational factor of your sense of urgency.

    Fingers crossed.

  5. I actually cried when I first learned of Prop. 8, I felt personally attacked. I live in North Carolina and the court case in California was the first real glimmer of hope I saw for my partner and I to start this family we always talk about. Massachusetts’ old residency law (and location/climate) prohibited it from being a viable option in my eyes. This post touched my heart. You are SO right, this is such an essential election on a myriad of fronts/issues. I’ve been reading your blog for maybe about a year now and every post is heartfelt, and personal to you yet never fails in its representativeness. As a younger voter (21 years old) I am ever-increasingly thinking about the future (mine and that of my potential children). And reading your blog, especially posts like this one, cement my belief in love (orientation not withstanding) and the battle for equality that is so very crucial in our lives at this moment. Despite my “broke college student” status I donate to HRC monthly and I will most definitely be contributing to the “No on Prop. 8” cause.

  6. Just donated twice (one in my name, one in my partner’s name since we hadn’t decided how much to give)! We flew out about a month ago, accompanied by three friends, my uncle, and our 8-month old son. Everyone was wonderful, from the hotel staff to the county clerk staff, and all the random people who wished us congratulations in between. I’ve left my heart in SF a number of times (b/c I love the city so much), and we appreciate more than you can ever know for the residents fighting the good fight.

    Stay strong, keep fighting (with actions and your powerful words). We’ve got your back.

  7. Oh, you people. Oh.

    It’s not even 10 am, Pacific Standard Time, and I posted this plea in the wee (talkin’ wee) hours last night. Already we’ve got 16 people ponying up a collective $620. That is heart-warming. Very much helps take the frazzle out of this morning’s get-the-kid-off-to-preschool drama, which was much more frazzled as a result of my being bleary-eyed.

    If you want to see how some of the other public No on 8 pages are doing, they have a page up that lists their progress. I can’t even tell you how proud I am to see you folks bolt out of the gate and pull this micro-fundraising effort into second place, right off (a f@#k of a lot prouder than them rinky-dink blogular popularity contests, man!).

    Does competition help motivate? Good! Let’s see if we can get this faceless (to one another), mostly nameless (to one another) community of LOVE WARRIORS here at LD to kick some pro-love fundraising ASS.


  8. Argh! Had the same heartbreak; filled out the form, and then read the fine print. Is Marriage Equality USA focussing a lot of attention on this issue? In other words, will a donation there get mostly to the Prop 8 folks?

  9. I am delurking (and registering for Word Press) just to tell you how fabulous I think it is that you are doing this. I personally just donated $50 and hope beyond hope that your fabulous blog, with all its wonderful information, can somehow make a difference.

    Thank you for this, and since I have never commented before, thank you for everything that you write on here everyday. From one lesbian parent to another, we need you.

    Thank you!

  10. I just had to sign up to say THANK YOU for doing this and for doing what you do everyday. I just got a letter in the mail yesterday to donate for No on Prop 8 and my “wife” (for at least another 54 days) and I decided we’d send them $100. Well, this morning when I mailed the check I thought to myself “is that really all we could do??” I mean this is such an important and huge measure that will affect not just us but our future children, our families and so many of our friends. So I get to work and log on to your site (as is my morning routine) and once again, you brought me to tears….so here is another $100 donated and probably more to come considering the effects of beating Prop 8 is worth far more to us than a few hundred dollars. Best wishes in getting much more than $5k and thanks again for all you do.

  11. I am also delurking for this one!

    I have been volunteering to No on 8 and there has been a lot of confusion about whether the campaign can accept funds from people who are not residents of california. The reason this is such a big problem is that if the state decides that any donation is not legit, the state takes the money. I would suggest contacting Equality for All again and making extra sure.

    Thank you so much for doing this, LD. So many people, even in the queer community, have no idea this is happening at all.

    Thank you!

  12. Oh, oh, oh you people!

    Nearly twelve hours in and we’re nearly at $1,000! I am proud of you, and grateful that we’re all in this together.

    LVAmaro, you hit it on the head. Deborah Wald said last night, it might be hard to afford. We will have to forego luxuries, and redefine what’s luxurious for the next month or two.

    But she invited us to compare that hardship with the one we would feel, come November 5, if we woke up to Proposition 8 being passed, by a hair, our knowing we didn’t do quite everything we could to defeat it.

    LaraCarina, thank you (both for the intel, and for the volunteering). I wrote a note to the Equality for All folks in the wee hours of this morning, and have been tethered w/ childcare up ’til now. I’m hoping to get a nice clear answer soon and will post it here as soon as I do.

    Thank you all.

  13. Holy crap. Over $1,000 in 24 hours.

    Yes, it was just past 3:00am when I posted this last night. Injustice does not sleep, so neither should those of us with our shoulder to the wheels that we hope will roll it out the way.

    Thank you.

  14. LD,
    I guess I could have just asked the wife about the whole donating thing in the first place, since she is the one who generally fields most of these questions in the LA office. and she says that the only requirement for donating to a campaign is that you be a US citizen. So out-of-staters can donate away!

  15. Check!

    Now the $64,000 question (wouldn’t it be a lark if we could raise that much through this site? a gal can dream) is whether or how non-US citizens can donate. We have a number of enlightened Canadians (I know; a redundancy) chomping at the bit. Can the lil’ missus check that one for us?

  16. Mr. wife says: Non-US citizens can only donate by donating under the name of a US citizen. So if someone who is not a US citizen gives us money either face-to-face or over the phone, we just pick a person (my father has “donated” hundreds of dollars without knowing it, although I always called him at the end of the night to let him know) The only thing is that, because of California State finance law, the information on the form actually has to trace back to someone who is legit to donate.

    Translation: the name on the CC card should be the name of the person on the form and employer info, etc should be real otherwise California gets to keep the donation.

    hope this helps! I am always a fan of sneekery!

  17. First – 10,000 visitors/month!! Wow!

    Second – I just donated. And, I s*it you not, I noticed that I did so while I’m wearing my shirt from your cafe press store…what are the odds?!

    Hope it does indeed conquer all.

  18. I know, SJnky, trippy, huh? Go figure. Really, I just have to think it’s all imaginary. Or, 8,500 of them are frustrated searches about lesbianism in Spanish. Naw, though. My counter thingy discounts the quickie on-and-off visits, & robots or whatever. Still, it’s a trip to me. And an honor, and a responsibility I take seriously.

    Second, THANK YOU. I love the random odds that you were all amor vincit omnia-bedecked. We just might. Lord, it’s a nail-baiter.

    And thank YOU Lynn (and kimi, and lilacsigil, and Green Weaver, and jvg5400, and justkeepswimming, and harmony, and Shereen, and the planet of janet, and forthelonghaul, and LVAmaro, and LaraCarina). Swear to god(dess), if each one of us who gave a damn about this (a) did what we could, and then (b) did what we could to move those we know and those we love, and move them enough to get THEM to move those THEY know and they love. Well. We know what would happen. Love just might conquer all.

  19. I honestly can’t donate, unfortunately, but I can guarantee you I will cry if this passes, and I’m thousands of miles away on a tiny island. It’ll just be such a huge step back, and I think most of Europe (and America for all that) will be watching incredulously at such sheer bigotry in play.

    Good luck, I hope it crashes and burns like it should’ve in the first place. It’s so frustrating not being able to do anything but wait and see how this turns out.

  20. Just a thought, LD. If you were to post a place here where I could send you some money, you could donate it for me. Don’t know if that’s a pain in your butt to set up, but I’d do it. Just sayin’.

  21. Support from anywhere will be much appreciated, Ellis, when one can’t toss money or volunteered hours into the fray. Don’t think I’m not directing some of my meditation time to visualizing whirled peas, as they say. Or in this case, visualizing a happy morning, November 5th, on both a state and a national level.

    Folks here mounted a big fight to keep the friggin’ proposition from even getting on the ballot. But the “Yes on 8” forces had legions of folks, including paid signature-gatherers and evangelical religious congregations bussed in from out of state (as they are now), working to get it on the ballot. Californians often have a “sure, put it on the ballot, let the people decide” kind of attitude about ballot initiatives. The problem is that overwhelmingly, instead of providing populist access to structuring government and governance, they provide a platform for whoever has the most money to frame (or distort) the issues in play.


    It’s an arm-wrestling match between love and hate; enlightenment and ignorance; justice and injustice. And I just can’t wrap my brain around how the anti-marriage equality contingent sees themselves on the side of love, enlightenment, and justice. But a befuddled part of me thinks that they actually do.

    Hey, Shereen. You Canadians are smart! Har, another redundancy! Watch the transom for an email.

  22. Not to mention that California has one of the most easily amended constitutions. Most states actually have to win by a margin… not us. 50% +1. oy.

  23. and another woo HOO!!! very cool to make it so easy to donate $$$$ to No on 8. And it is so exciting to hear from folks outside CA! The loving kindness feels good!

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