Dan, fuck all these people that come here to bitch at you. This was well said, and you where FUCKING AWESOME on Colbert last night.

'Soak it up' is the new gay catch phrase.
And that was a racially-mixed crowd at the Stonewall. Urban. Gritty. The problem we are currently facing is a commercialized identity--much like Rap music, as popularly portrayed--full of people who are walled-off into demographics and don't want to mess up their hair.

I've seen a couple of those metrosexuals everyone was buzzing about, more in touch with their feminine side. They started a fistfight after the first one called the other 'faggot'. Yeah, 'branding' identities works wonders culturally and also to the extent that tolerance is concerned.

You're out of touch, and rapidly losing relevance with your ignorant posts.
#2. That made absolutely no sense. I'll read it again. Nope still don't get it. Don't even get your handle.
I have to wonder if there wasn't some sort of Queerdly Effect that caused complacency for a fair chunck of liberal voters. The Field Poll released Oct 31st had 49% against Prop 8, 44% for, and 7% undecided.

Dan mentioned on the Podcast this week that San Francisco only had 50% voter turnout. Not including the thousands that were donating and getting the word out like Savage - maybe some people just didn't REALIZE they would have to fight tooth and nail to win this thing.

That said, time to fight tooth and win this thing. All over the country.
Thank you Dan for finally saying what the Gay media and our so called leaders refuse to say.

New Gay leaders need to emerge, I think it's more than obvious that the ones we currently have are more than ineffective and just serve to reinforce the stereotype of the limp wristed, castrated Gay that those outside of the Gay community have of us.

A new brand of brave leaders willing to confront bigotry and homophobia no matter from which group it comes, be it Mormons, blacks, protestants, Catholics, no matter, needs to arise if we want to have a chance at victory.
#1 I concur. Dan you were great on Colbert. You keep looking more and more relaxed everytime you make a television appearance.

However, there must be a funny spokeshomo for Lesbians somewhere...
I'm saying that the people of whom Dan speaks are no longer the lifeblood of the movement. There are no remaining large independently-owned gay newspapers. Hell, there are no remaining independently-owned *city* newspapers. It's all marketing, and focus-groups; people like Larry Kramer, for example, are regarded as kooks. Harvey Milk is dead, and so is his 'gay brothers and sisters' rhetoric.

Hence the apathy. Hence the racial animosity. Everyone has been programmed to think that being gay doesn't require you to do anything except fuck and buy things. The infrastructure required to mount the sort of push that needs to happen has rotted away; gays don't have it. The right-wing does--this is a problem.
I think Dan's pretty much spot on with his assessment on why homosexuals tend to be more reactive.

@2 darn it--you got this song stuck in my head:
Hindsight is 20/20. If gays were marching in the streets before the vote, Prop. 8 very well might still have passed, and you can be sure that pundits would then have blamed it on the protests alienating "moderate" voters ("I don't have a problem with them but why do they have to rub my face in it"). Of course they have to find something the gay community supposedly did or didn't do to blame it on.
I would have donated thousands and bajillions of dollars to NOP8 if I knew that Prop 8 was going to pass. I was content with the $25 I gave because I thought it would be an easy victory (I'm a hetero female with few gay acquaintances). Maybe in a way this is a good thing- hear me out- if Prop 8 had failed with as close of a margin as it won, that huge number of people that voted for it might still carry their misconceptions around with them forever. Now we have an opportunity to create social change as well as political change, and a reason to rally together. Imagine how exciting it will be when next time around we can win with 70 or 80 percent and what kind of a message that will send. It wouldn't be debatable any more at that point. And those 20 or 30 losers who support the ban will be leaving us soon anyways on account of their age, as Dan pointed out last night. By the way, way to stay cool last night Dan, you kept him on his toes the whole time.
You'll notice that the last item on Dan's list happened over nine years ago. Out. Of. Touch.
You should throw bombs and riot as right now the image is of a bunch of pampered rich white guys getting manicures and whining that the negroes are stopping them from getting to dress up for a wedding while simultaneously gentrifying cities so they can live in "peace". Even though that's only 1% of gay people, that's the image the media puts out so most people accept it and don't really care, and then anti-gay marriage amendments pass even in really really ~white~ states like North Dakota. Oh well.

People have to listen when you actually take action for once.
A young white woman who is a lesbian here in fly-over, applied for a job as a building manager at the local university family housing department, she was turned down for it even though she was highly qualified and lived with a stable partner, the job went to a not-so-qualified white woman who was a single mother without any support. The qualified lesbian was upset about this and met with the vp of student services who is a black man. After she finished telling him her story, he hugged her and told her he was sorry that she was treated like a n*****. As a straight black person it sounds hypocritical for me to say that gay people will get through this and win the battle in time. I know this is crappy but you will.
@7. Right on.
I'm a straight black woman, and I love Dan Savage and was really surprised that 8 passed. I'm even more surprised that blacks are being blamed, as if there's a large enough black population to make/pass any laws. Black people have labored arduously for years to get fair treatment under the law. Women still don't have equal pay for equal work. I'm afraid that gays will have to do what every other group has done to get much deserved rights--keep pushing and pushing until the electorate catches up. I'm really frustrated by the attack from the gay community over this. Primarily, because I don't really remember a vocal gay audience during that time when blacks were being hosed and lynched. In fact, I'm sure many gay people spat on, yelled at, and discriminated against black people. And you expect to be supported just because you want to get married? That's just naive. Here's a tip. If you eventually want to marry, forget the civil rights link. It's like using the Holocaust for jews. It's just offensive to most blacks. Come up with a pitch that engages the black community in a new way, instead of just assuming you have the black vote. I voted for your rights the first time and i will vote for your rights again. The biggest threat to marriage isn't gay marriage--it's divorce. But I live near San Francisco. You need to convert blacks in the hood. Which means you will actually need to go there...
Nothing is wrong with gay people. It's the indolent straight people who COULD NOT be budged from their stupor before the vote. You know, straight people - the ones making up 95% of the population. The ones who can't understand why we're so upset when, after all, they "gave" us domestic partnerships which they would personally touch with a ten foot pole.
Maybe that's changed now. Maybe the straights are waking up. I sure hope so.
someone changed their tone for the better pretty damn fast ;)
this whole thing will be good too if it sparks a true open discussion about black gays and gay-black relations.

I'm thinking this all may open some great lines of communication and some changes of heart.

On that note, I wonder if we should expect a hot rear guard action by black reverends and rappers who have been using homophobia as a target of "otherness" for their own self-agrandizement.
"the Stonewall Riots were are a response"

Dan, you are brilliant; confirmed. But would a read-over or two for well organized and important posts like this kill ya?
God knows, if we marched in the streets everytime we needed our rights defended, we'd never have time to build your deck or cut your hair...

One of my friends said yest. "Gay is the new black" I promptly said "Not true at all. Gay is the new Jew. fine when we are doing what we are supposed to do, like make you laugh or entertain your women with shopping but the first one to go out the door when trouble comes."

I was working last week in Portland teaching medical people how to use their new electronic medical record. Adoctor I had come to respect made a comment that "the alternatives are protesting... what are they going to do, stop defining fashion?"

I scooted over to him and said "not necessarily, they could stop teaching you the computer."

He was embarrassed.. I was only sorry that as a counsultant, I couldnt say it outloud so others could hear for a greater humiliation factor...

There is this tired old song from the 60s that I hear us homos sing on occasion "We are a gentle angry people and we are singing, singing for our liiiiives."

I'd like to see us change the words to "we are an angry pissed off people and we are blowing, blowing up your caaaaaaar."
I thought we were all "playing nice" to try to get Obama elected.

hey, you were great on Colbert. "I've had a few black men hold me down" HAHA great opening! the audience loved you

Radicalism and anarchy are the dissipation of once-useful energies due to their overabundance in a spirit not properly trained to contain them. That kind of shit would energize the far-right, scare off moderates and give all sorts of reasons for WTO-style gay-bashing by police officers in the name of public safety. It didn't work for Labor, it didn't work for blacks, and it won't work for us. Period.
@15 Thank you!

Some of us have been trying to explain that although there are similarities between the gay rights movement and the civil rights movement of the 50s 60s and 70s, that there are also limits to that comparison. And strategically, despite these similarities it is probably not worth antagonizing voters for whom the differences between the two movements overwhelm the similarities. You are right on all counts. There just aren't enough blacks to make that much of a difference in California (I"m in the Bay Area too) but if gay people do want to reach blacks the visible mainstream of the movement which is white is going to have to build a MUCH stronger alliance with marginalized black gay people not to mention with other black people, and to do that they are going to have to approach them; the struggle is going to take awhile (it has for EVERYBODY ELSE); There is not always a natural empathy between groups who have struggled for civil rights and the notion that blacks owe gays something is laughable (and reinforces the notion that they are mutually exclusive groups; Gay rights shouldn't have to make a comparison to anything. Its a civil right; that we are not talking about being wed with a high mass at the cathedral needs to be reinforced. It is a civil issue and right and doesn't need comparison to anything else to be justified.
I live back East. I constantly read about huge doners to the anti-8 campaign. It sounded from here that quite a bit was being done to fight Prop 8, but it wasn't enough.

I'm also under the impression that many gay folks were busily working for Obama and other Democrats this year. Not that they didn't care about Prop 8 - they did. But it was a pretty big time sink. Kind of hard to be in two or more places at once.

I think the fact that Prop 8 won is rotten. I hope to get to my local anti-Prop 8 rally this weekend. And that anti-adoption measure in Arkansas goes beyond being rotten.
Strong post, Dan. I'm still waiting to hear exactly HOW we should move FORWARD after Saturday's protest, and how we reach the voters we need to in order to reverse the recent votes in California and Florida and Arizona.

Yes, the protest on Saturday might finally drag those privileged who "pass" out into the streets. I certainly will be there marching and waving signs and blowing a whistle and whatever political theater is required.

But when we all walk away from Westlake Park after the rally on Saturday, exactly how do you suggest we get the votes we need to reverse the rulings in the three states above, as well as turn back any similar legislation here in Washington State--because it WILL come just as soon as the courts rule in our favor, which they are likely to do? Legal precedent is on our side.

Yes, it helps to look back to our queer activism history to inform our future initiatives--learn from what worked and what didn't. But how specifically can we get communities of color to join our coalition to restore and support queer civil rights? How do we keep these suddenly-motivated queers active? What do we give them to do? And how do we do this without turning into a shrill thorn in the side of our new President-elect, the way the lifting the military ban on gays kneecapped Clinton before he was inaugurated?

You saw HIV-prevention efforts failing in the past, and you suggested/founded Gay City in Seattle. I respect that you have insight on the past and vision for the future. I'm anxious to hear your constructive suggestions. I know it's a lot to ask, but it's also a lot to achieve.
That LATimes editorial is defeatist and sucks. It says the "recent protests come too late to make a difference." Without irony it later adds: "It can take years of nonviolent resistance, passionate speeches and even in-your-face radicalism." And it ends with: "Supporters should take some lessons from the many mistakes made in this round."

In other words, go away you marchers, come back next round after you've done your work. Eff you! It was the 2nd most expensive political issue after the presidential election, one of the most crucial in the history of this country. Plenty of time, money, and work was put into it. With a Democratic Congress and president coming up in a couple of months, there's a lot that can be done soon. I'm just waiting for the LA Times to say in two months, "it's not a priority."
The idea that we can discriminate by referendum is scary. What if in Kansas they would have had a state referendum on school desegregation instead of taking it to the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board?

But for some reason tyranny of the majority is okay with respect to gay people.

This is why we have a republic -- a representative democracy. The founders of America were smart enough to know that the great masses shouldn't themselves vote on individual issues; a recipe for disaster.

I know I'm going to get hit for comparing gay rights to Brown v. Board. But seriously, the people of CA, in their infinite wisdom, just voted to invalidate the marriages of thousands of their fellow citizens. At some point the comparison is valid.
You should throw bombs and riot as right now the image is of a bunch of pampered rich white guys getting manicures and whining that the negroes are stopping them from getting to dress up for a wedding

Actually that isn't the image I have of gays. Right now there is a group that has lost credibilty by claiming they are protesting injustice by looting Radio Shack, claiming to be poor and "underserved" while wearing $500 sports shoes and $1500 worth of gold chains while whinning about the whites, jews, and asians who aren't doing for them, what they could and should be doing for themselves.
Stereotype much kelly? At least I have a new name for racist - Dan stop acting kelly we know you can do better!
That's bullshit. You apparently have no grasp on history or fact. Just as a 20th C. example, hundreds of thousands of gay people were murdered along with Jews in the Holocaust. Where were "black" people when this was happening? Do you see how stupid your line of argument is? LGBQT folks, a very diverse tag in and of itself, have suffered just as long as any other marginalized group, only it has been a more silent struggle. Gay people have routinely been murdered throughout America's history by even acknowledging their existence. Don’t play some stupid game with “suffering” and one group’s struggle being more important than the other’s. To sit back and say the LGBQT community they haven’t suffered enough to warrant equal rights makes you no better than the right-wing ideologues who deny civil rights. Shut the fuck up. Full disclosure: I am a straight non-Caucasian male.

Right now there is a group that has lost credibilty by claiming they are protesting injustice by looting Radio Shack, claiming to be poor and "underserved" while wearing $500 sports shoes and $1500 worth of gold chains while whinning about the whites, jews, and asians who aren't doing for them, what they could and should be doing for themselves.

You left out Latinos. We ("the group") whine about the Latinos too

and as for that mystery "group" you are referring to why don't you just come on out and say black (or whatever your preferred term is). It would probably lower your blood pressure.

You are an ignorant racist cretin with a seemingly endless store of racial slurs about black people (and only black people) at your finger tips. I didn't know people like you still existed.
Bravo, and thank you.
Primarily, because I don't really remember a vocal gay audience during that time when blacks were being hosed and lynched. In fact, I'm sure many gay people spat on, yelled at, and discriminated against black people.

I don't remember a vocal black audience EVER chanting "NO JUSTICE NO PEACE" for anyone but themselves. Maybe if you looked around you would realize a lot of people have done for AA's and you have done zero in return. There are blacks in this country who have spat, yelled at and discrimintaed against women, gays, asians jews give me a break.
Secondly, and this should be commonsense, THERE WERE "OUT" GAY GROUPS AT THAT TIME. There was an AA prominent in the civil rights movement who was gay (see the movie Brother Outsider) and he was treated with contempt in the movement. How do you know that many of the whites or jews that took part in the civil rights movement weren't gay??? If you knew anything about that period of time you would know that it's not like anyone would wear a t-shirt saying it or anything.

To hds @ 24:

I agree in part as to the comparison between "civil rights" and gay rights. But I'm not convinced.

We live life in the context of history and we understand the present in large part by comparison to the past (do we ever hear about the current economic crisis without comparisons to 1987, 1991, 2001, or 1929?).

We need some way of contextualizing the gay rights struggle. What to most people know about and understand? The civil rights era.

So, at what point are gay people oppressed enough to compare our struggles with black people? It's not to say they're the same, but the comparison helps to contextualize the struggle for millions of Americans who otherwise don't feel a connection to gay rights.

And where do we draw the line? If we decide not to use the comparison, can we even refer to gay rights as "civil rights"? Or is that term so tied to "the civil rights era" that we shouldn't consider gay rights to be civil rights? That's certainly the position of some.

I still think you might be right. Perhaps right now the comparison is so incendiary that it's more harm than good. But in some sense it also means that it's a lot harder to explain gay civil rights.
If you eventually want to marry, forget the civil rights link. It's like using the Holocaust for jews. It's just offensive to most blacks.

It is not offensive to me as a Jew if someone compares the mass killing of people to wipe out their culture to the holocaust.
Gays comparing their fight for equal rights to the civil rights movement is 100% accurate. If they compared it to slavery or the holocaust THEN it would be inaccurate and I could understand the offense. (Although in places where gays are being killed for being gay I can take no offense if it is compared to the holocaust, even if it's not a huge number of people killed, it is still an attempt to "kill off" a certain strain in the culture).

@16 - It's not the "straights" anymore than it is the "blacks". It's the homophobes. Just because they are straight doesn't mean they are opposed to your rights. Remember, a lot of them voted No on 8 as well.
Kelly --

As much as I think that gay rights are indeed civil rights, and that a comparison between the two is fair (although whether it's a good idea is another question), I don't think we should ever frame this as a gays vs. blacks situation. But that seems like what you're trying to do.

Look, we need the support of all Americans. And it's evident from the Prop 8 vote that African Americans do somewhat disproportionately not support gay rights. But that doesn't give us license to lash out at all black people. And it doesn't give us license to throw around stereotypes of black people. It doesn't give us a right to spread hate and stir up prejudice ourselves.
@15"Primarily, because I don't really remember a vocal gay audience during that time when blacks were being hosed and lynched"
Umm, that might be because there was no vocal gay audience period at the time. At least not in a mainstream way. I mean, Stonewall was 1969 for heavens sake. How exactly could there have been a vocal gay audience denouncing racism if the gay rights movement hadn't progressed to the point of even visibility on the national stage?

"Here's a tip. If you eventually want to marry, forget the civil rights link. It's like using the Holocaust for jews. It's just offensive to most blacks."
Because something is offensive it shouldn't be used? I fail to see the logic. Gay marriage is offensive to most blacks (apparently, based on voting statistics), should we forget that? I agree that "the civil rights link" cannot be the sole basis of gay activism, especially between the gay and black communities, and that there are a great many differences between the civil rights movement and the gay rights movement, because of course the nature of discrimination towards the two groups has been very different in cause and nature. But the fundamental argument of the civil rights movement-that we are all human beings that deserve to be treated equally regardless of differences that we were born with-is the exact same argument as the gay rights movement, indeed any movement for human rights, and to ignore that or try and claim that it isn't is to adopt a position counter to the very point of the civil rights movement.
In other words, the civil rights movement will never be truly won until the gay rights movement, the women's rights movement, until all human rights movements are won because they all are facets of the same human truth. To back away from that, especially for as weak a reason as "it's just offensive" may be pragmatic, but it is logically and morally wrong and counter to the spirit for which so many from all movement have fought.
@ 28: Mike, I'm not offended by comparing gay civil rights to African American rights. (I'm black AND gay.) I do think it is dangerous because I think the tendency is to borrow from the same playbook. That's not going to work.

As a matter of history, the Supreme Court almost always follows-- not leads public opinion. Loving v. Virginia is an example. Only 15 states had laws against interracial marriage when the decision came down. The "consensus" was clear before the court acted.

And while there was de jure segregation in the American South, most states didn't have laws segregating the races by the time Brown was handed down.

Lastly, I agree with you about America being a Republic. I don't like referenda and think they should be banned. I felt this way LONG before Prop 8.
To Brandon @ 41:

I'm not sure that I agree with your conclusion that comparing gay rights to the civil rights era will lead to using the same tactics. I haven't heard many gay people advocate taking their struggle to the US Supreme Court.

At the same time, the California Supreme Court seems to have led public opinion. The court interpreted the state constitution as prohibiting discrimination by sexual orientation as to marriage. The public, as we've seen, is not there yet.

I think the comparison between the civil rights era and gay rights is helpful to explain the struggle to those who might not be inclined to otherwise support gay rights. And I'm just not convinced that this means that the gay-rights movement will be drawn into civil-rights-era tactics when it isn't advantageous to do so.

Nonetheless, the discrimination by referendum stuff has to stop.

That's not what I was saying. But I hope you feel better now having displayed your superior grasp of history and fact.

For one, I am speaking specifically of the struggle towards forming the more perfect union right here in the United States: non land owning white men, Blacks, women, Latinos, gays etc. These struggles have taken generations and are ongoing.

Gay identity, not to speak of the "gay community" is a slippery concept. I for one think people are and have always been born with a sexual orientation, but theorists much more skilled than either you or I debate the usefulness of speaking in terms of a gay identity or community when looking back historically. It might be anachronistic and makes comparisons between gays and other groups problematic. Which is not to say that gay people haven't been closeted and persecuted (with brief but fascinating exceptions. Read Gay New York by George Chauncey if you haven't already for one of those exceptional periods).

For the purposes of this argument, I'm dating the birth of the gay civil rights struggle at around stonewall. Of course gay people didn't descend from the heavens in June of 1969 but its around that time give or take a decade (Mattachine Society anyone) that an organized political struggle around a specific identity for gay people began to take shape. In that context -- and only in that context -- the struggle for gay rights is relative new (but no less important or urgent) compared to longstanding struggles for basic civil rights (you know, freedom from chattel slavery, the right to vote or own property, not getting murdered for looking funny at people, work, right to divorce your batterer, marital rape as a crime etc.)

@ Mike 36. I too am ambivalent about the comparison. But think that in terms of bringing others on board, strategically it MIGHT not be useful. But I could be convinced otherwise. There does have to be some way to appeal to common sense and empathy. "We" are a lot like "You" usually works. But it may backfire. Its a tough call.

No civil rights struggle in this country is 100% like any other. They may be substantially alike or minimally alike, or anything in between but the historical details and origins give each movement a unique trajectory and set of priorities that are important to acknowledge.
Someone on here know where the California proposition system came from? I think it had something to do with railroad barons buying the state legislature lock stock and barrel and was devised as a way to break through that corruption, but I'm not sure.

In any case its gone haywire. I'm all for open government and I don't know whether other states have California's system, but if you've got enough money you can get just about anything on the ballot here for an up or down vote of a very ill informed public
My impression is that the referendum problem is widespread. In 2000 and 2004, the GOP used it as a get-out-the-vote tool. Remember all of those anti-gay marriage initiatives that passed in dozens of states?

But anti-gay marriage initiatives aren't so threatening in Nebraska or Alabama. But Prop 8 is sort of a whole new world -- rolling back our existing rights and apparently invalidating existing marriages.

The scarier thought is where we go from here. This problem of anti-gay referendums will get worse. The next wave of referendums will be directed at eliminating our rights to have children. We've already seen it in Florida, Utah, Arkansas, and a few other states. But those responsible for referendums like Prop 8 have been encouraged by their success and they're getting bolder and bolder. It's really scary. If there was a referendum today in California or New York to eliminate adoption by gay people, would it pass? I hate to admit that I think it almost surely would, especially given that anti-gay groups would be stirring up fears and prejudices about gay people being harmful to children.
To Mike @ 42: Instead of working (which I should be doing) I've been reading about gay people who claim that civil unions, instead of marriage, is separate but equal. I actually had a gay guy say that to me last week. The primary issue with separate but equal was that it was it was unequal. Yeah segregation was wrong, but black people weren't fighting for the rights to be around white people. They wanted the substantive things like money to build good schools and to have the same number of books. It was about having access to the public facilities for which their tax dollars paid, but that only white people could use.

My point is that gay people are trotting "separate but equal" whenever anyone suggests that perhaps there may be more support for labeling gay partnerships as something other than marriage-- like civil unions. I am not concerned about the name. I just want the statutes to read in such a way that the rights are equivalent at both the state and federal levels.

A more appropriate analogy, given the lack of federal recognition for gay relationships is Separate and UNEQUAL.

If there wasn't this effort to link the two movements, perhaps you'd have less mindless quoting of phrases and more thought about the serious issues in a liberation struggle.

As for using the Supreme Court, gay people have talked about this but you have to get decisions in lower courts first. Additionally, the reason it is talked about less now is because the Defense of Marriage Act helped take the full faith & credit argument off the table. Gay people were going to use that angle to get a gay marriage case to the Supreme Court.

And remember, Lawrence v. Texas where a sodomy statute was overturned by the SCt.

Lastly, federal courts were thought to be the only hope for blacks. Clearly, gays are winning in state courts. Though with so many right-wing judges after Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II, the SCt. is going to be a hard sell.

Thanks for the kick ass assessment. i just posted the following comment to another site and then i read your comments.

I live in San Francisco.

I'm a lover not a fighter. I'm completely out of the closet to everyone with whom i interact. Coming out of the closet is the number one activist act one can do to inform people that we are deserving of human rights.

here is my admission: prop 8 has been on my radar since gay marriage was legalized in california. i've been worried about prop 8 all along, but, in the beginning the polls showed that support for it was not high with 55% against the proposition. i think the LGBT community was complacent after this poll came out. then, as the "yes on 8" campaign started coming out with their ads which portrayed gays as a threat to children, churches, and society, and, as the polls shifted completely in the other direction to 55% in support, i began to emotionally crumble. I was fucking paralyzed All my shit from my youth/adolescence came up about being less than human, not deserving, defective. i donated more than i could afford, i was unable to focus on work/school and i basically contracted into a really dark space. i remember hearing gay groups talk about toxic shame that we as gay people harbor due to the heterosexist world in which we live. the weeks before the election were spent with me dealing with this toxic shame. i did volunteer for the no on 8 campaign, but, i should have done more. i should have done more.

for that i am truly sorry.

however, now that i am backed into a corner with the religious right breathing down my neck, fighting is my only option. i can only speak for myself, but, i am wondering if any others out there can attest a similar reaction to the weeks leading up to the election.

we have work to do. i have work to do. prop 8 has galvanized the entire gay community. MILK will be out in a couple of weeks. prop 8 may have the unintended consequence of igniting the LGBT rights movement.

@48: While Prop 8 is Le Suck, I moved here to San Francisco from Wichita, KS. I still have the "Love needs no amendment" bumper sticker on my car, extolling people to vote "No" on April 5, 2005. 70% of Kansas voted "Yes" on that amendment; only a handful of counties swung "No", and the Wichita area wasn't one of them (despite being the "other" big urban area in Kansas besides KC).

Kansas requires both houses of the legislature to approve new amendments by a 2/3 majority before they go to the voters. In practice, that means Kansas will never repeal that amendment in the next 100 years: even if Kansas swung blue and the Republicans turned gay-friendly, there are going to be enough Strom Thurmond hold-outs in the state legislature to vote it down for the foreseeable future. The only chance Kansas has of ever seeing gay marriage in my lifetime is if the US Supreme Court gets off its ass and decides to enforce the "Full Faith and Credit" clause of the Federal Constitution.

So, while Prop 8 does indeed suck, look on the bright side: even if all the current court cases fail to pan out (the "revision" versus "amendment" thing has a better-than-zero chance of success), then we just pass our own amendment in 2010. Unlike Kansas, the cards aren't stacked against us. With everyone shocked that Prop 8 passed, we won't take 2010 for granted like No on 8 did this year, and with any luck we'll wage a better 2010 campaign than the Right does. And if 2010 fails, we try again in 2012, and again in 2014 until it sticks.

As others have pointed out, time is on our side: Prop 22 passed by 62% in 2000, but Prop 8 passed by only 52% in 2008. That's a drop of more than 1% per year. Every year, more people take our side, and we only need to swing the vote by 2%. Unlike in Kansas, it's not even remotely hopeless out here.
To Brandon @46:

The reason gay people criticize civil unions as "separate but equal" is that anyone with a knowledge of history or who was alive during the civil rights era understands that separate is not equal. They understand the hypocrisy of that phrase and of the people like George Wallace who perpetrated the notion of separate but equal.

I disagree with you somewhat about one thing: language does matter. It does matter that we call something a civil union instead of a marriage. Marriage has critical social meaning. It is not just a collection of practical devices to make a couple's relationship more convenient.

When was the last time a straight couple told you they were getting married because it would make inheritance easier or for the hospital visitation rights?

No -- people want marriage primarily for its social meaning.

Forcing gay people into civil unions is forcing them into a second-class form of matrimony, one that purposely lacks the same social meaning as marriage.

Thus, civil unions are to marriage what black schools are to white schools: a second-class substitute. Civil unions are marriages without the important social meaning.
Several Mormons were arrested on suspicion of committing a hate crime for beating up some protesters....yes, theat church is all about family values.…

As for our gay "Leadership" since Prop 8 passed, the "No on 8" coalition has sent me 8 e-mails that only talk about how bad it is to blame any minority community or religeon. They say NOTHING about what steps they will take to restore this right. The gay leaders are so paralyzed and overly PC that they are now avoiding the fight for our rights to act like paid lobbyists for the Mormons and the AA churches. Thank god for protests!
Do we need another March on Washington like the one after Clinton got in?
Gay men and women can already get married in dozens of legitimate churches, temples and mosques. At what point does the US government's refusal to recognize those consecrated ceremonies by established religious organizations constitute religious discrimination against the millions of people, gay and straight, who worship there?

It's as if the federal government has decided that while the Mormon church has the right to marry whomever it wishes, the Metropolitan community church is a "lesser" church due no respect or recognition. What the fuck?

I say if these assholes want to make this a religious issue: BRING IT ON. I'm not particularly religious, honestly - but if the LDS Church wants to play dirty, dirty is something I know pretty fucking well. Just wait for MCC v. USA.

I think a lot of the difficulty here---and the reason for so many of the breathtakingly stupid posts here (see #15)---is that the gay community has a bit of an identity crisis about where, precisely, we fit in the struggle for civil rights.

For better or for worse, gay rights are part of the larger question of feminism. This may sound counter-intuitive, but you can see it very easily when you consider who the opponents of gay rights are: Mormons, fundamentalist Christians, and blacks.

The degree to which any interest group opposes equal rights for gays always correlates precisely to the degree to which they believe that women should be kept firmly in their place. That's the right frame for understanding this issue. And if we're looking for the proper political path to gaining full equality for gays and lesbians, it would be pointless to look at the civil rights movements of the 50s and 60s. We'd do better to see how women's equality has progressed, and by what means, over the course of the last century.

I've read in several different articles that San Franciscians did not show up at the polls to vote against Prop 8. Voter turnout in SF was greater than 76% and Proposition 8 failed in San Francisco and the surrounding counties. Look at where Prop 8 passed. What happened in LA County that caused it to pass Prop 8? San Diego is conservative, but what happened? Why was the vote so large against Prop 8 in Orange and Riverside Counties? We need to constructively look at the voting results, and decide how to propect gay rights where we lost. It is obvious that vote totals from the SF region cannot overcome the vote totals from Southern California.
I think that part of the reason that the gay community and allies didn't mobilize over Prop. 8 was the fear that doing so would hurt Obama's chances. They didn't want to bring attention to a wedge issue that could benefit the Republicans.

Nonetheless, I think that the president-elect wimped out on this which is especially galling considering some of his supporters gave it the margin of victory and the arguments against gay marriage are essentially the same ones that would have prevented his parents from marrying in much of the US at the time he was born. Sadly his minimal effort in defeating the proposition does not compare favorably with Reagan on the Briggs Initiative or Truman on civil rights for blacks in the 1948 campaign.
Dan, point taken. I'm saddened by my own lack of foresight on this. But enough is enough. I know a lot of pissed off homos, and many of us will be protesting in Philadelphia on Saturday. But we need leadership that will take us beyond mere protests. We need to start winning the hearts and minds of the current electorate--we can't simply wait for the next generation to unfold, no matter how pro-gay they seem to be.

Thank you for your efforts on Anderson Cooper. I've long been a fan of your books and column, but I'm so proud that you've emerged as a spokesman. We need your pen and your voice right now. Please keep it up. We're going to win this thing.
Mr. Savage, I'm a heterosexual parent of a 19 year old son who came out to us just this Summer.You remind me of an older version of my boy. Before my son came out, I watched politicized Gays from the sidelines. It wasn't my fight.

Now things are different; it's personal.

As for the Churches who led the charge against Prop 8, you are all a disgrace to your God, to your fellow Americans and to human decency.

Fight on, Mr. Savage, fight on.

It's a bit off topic, but Julie G - I should point out that gays were treated exactly the same as Jews during the holocaust. With the exception that, when the Allies liberated the camps, gays were just transferred into Allied jails.
I think, incidentally, that the word "marriage" is too confusing. We should start separating in our discourse the concepts of "marriage" and "holy matrimony", as I think most people's objections to gay marriage lie in the ambiguity. Separate the concepts, and draw an explicit analogy to the separation of state and church, and it becomes harder to argue against. We are not asking for "holy matrimony" after all.
Tychus, gays were not treated exactly like Jews during the holocaust. Though cruelly persecuted, for the most part they were sent to prison not extermination camps. And even that was limited to gays that the Nazis perceived to be Aryans. Homosexuals from countries other than Greater Germany were not persecuted by the Nazis any worse than they were by other governments.
I just watched the Anderson Cooper segment. I like the Colbert segment better as he got to form more coherent thoughts.

Dan would do better to hold his tongue and ask to interrupt when his opponent has completed a thought. Regardless of how the opponent behaves, this would paint him as being more reasonable and rational.

This shouting down each other is just childish back of the school bus behavior. This talking over others talking is just a waste of my time as I can't hear either argument.

I think you're great Dan, keep up the fight. In regards to the content of this entry, you might be interested in something I wrote:…
To Tychus @60:

You're right to see the distinction between "marriage" and "holy matrimony." In other words marriage for its personal/social meaning vs. marriage under a certain church or religion.

But remember that some gay people do have a church/synagogue/place of worship that accepts them. And they do want BOTH marriage and holy matrimony.

And keep in mind that a lot of straight people could care less about any religious meaning of marriage and really just get married for its important social meaning.

Since straight people are free to get married in a church or at the justice of the peach, so too should gay people be able.

That's not to say that gay people have ever argued that we should be able to get hitched in any particular church.

Gil Franco @61:

You're simply wrong.

By way of example, from…

"The leading scholar Ruediger Lautman however believes that the death rate in concentration camps of imprisoned homosexuals may have been as high as 60%. Homosexuals in camps were treated in an unusually cruel manner by their captors, and were also persecuted by their fellow inmates. This was a factor in the relatively high death rate for homosexuals, compared to other "anti-social groups". More recently however German state television channel Deutsche Welle updated this figure to "almost 55,000" deaths following the study of documents from archives in East Germany that had been inaccessible to researchers for decades after the war. After the war, the treatment of homosexuals in concentration camps went unacknowledged by most countries. Some that did escape were even re-arrested and imprisoned based on evidence found during the Nazi years."
Note to gay whites: Black people don't owe you anything. Just like you whine that straight blacks shouldn't be homophobic because they know what discrimination feels like, you in turn shouldn't be racist either, but both groups have their issues. Some gays are racist (as proved by the feral reaction to those percentages) and some blacks are homophobic (as proved by the percentages themselves) Hitching your wagon to the civil rights movement whenever it is convenient for your cause while simultaneously marginalizing the people of color that do exist within the gay community is the height of hypocrisy, and that's why queers of color have a hard time exhibiting solidarity within the mainstream gay community. This community needs to get its house in order first before telling others what they should and should not do. Dan in particular should be ashamed of himself for being one of the first to fan the "gay vs. black" flames based on that faulty exit poll data, and then backing off of it like a wimp and shifting the blame to old people as if that made everything OK. If the passing of prop 8 has taught us anything, it is that the racial rifts in the gay community have been exposed for all to see, and it wasn't pretty. Gay whites AND homophobic blacks have some work to do. Gay people of color are the bridge between these communities, but after the events of last week, I can't see us falling over ourselves to help.
Do you know why gay rights (for whites) and the black struggle for civil rights is not the same thing: the majority gay people can "pass" for straight and "blend in" whenever they choose to. Therefore, they can secure jobs, housing, memberships, television shows, acting jobs, and whatever else they want to attain whenever they like. And while yes, some black people have been "light enough to pass", the majority of black people can't tuck our minority status away when we need to. We can't be white during a job interview, and then after we're hired, come out of the dark closet. There's no presto-change-o for us.

White people fight for certain rights (voting for women) little is done to make sure those rights also include black people. That is why it is not only the gay community's struggle, but also feminism that black people have a hard time signing on to - we are not represented in the struggle. Our unique issues are rarely on the table when collective rights are sought.

Until other communities to which we also belong embrace us as their own too, black support for groups with a white majority will be hard won.

To the extent that black gay people have trouble exhibiting solidarity within the gay community, it's at least in part because of the extreme intolerance displayed against gays in the black community. And this comes from the same two things that cause intolerance in any group of people: religion and lack of education (and I don't necessarily mean "schooling" when I say education).

But -- I should clarify one thing. Not all black people are intolerant of gays because this isn't about race; it's about religion and education. I've rarely met a non-religious, educated person of any race who is intolerant of gays.

And I'm not saying that there aren't racist or racially intolerant gay people. Trust me -- I know there are. And unfortunately, some of the proof has been displayed on this message board.

But instead of just saying that gay people marginalize people of color, could you please tell us how? Because I don't see it as a widespread problem throughout the gay community.

I know I'm going to make enemies with this post. Because the tendency among progressive people is to never let someone deny that racism exists (which is not what I'm saying) or that racism is a systemic problem; it's totally not PC. But I also have to call a spade a spade.
This fight needs to be gays against bigots. Whatever form the bigots use to justify themselves that is our enemy. If its churches then we need to call them on it specifically. We can't attack churches in general because that will set a lot of people against us. Our fight is to gain our rights so we can have our religious freedoms along with the civil rights, so our worship which includes our marriages will be realized.Also we should stop this pointing at the blacks as the fault, it was a lot of groups who voted wrong on 11.5.08 Infighting is what our enemies are hoping for. These groups that deny our civil rights are denying our religious rights also and that's something that hasn't been said loudly enough yet. Who says they have the last word on Gods word. Isn't this a country founded on the principle that I get to define my God for myself? These bigoted churches are the same ones that defended racism and slavery and my favorite witch burning! along with a host of other ungodly practices and sins until they were forced to face the truths of their times. They are simply wrong and by explaining their defects we can secure majority support. It will take time and effort but we have the power of gay on our side and thats worth a zillion to one of their bigoted holier than thous any day.
To Stella:

About your comment: "Until other communities to which we also belong embrace us as their own too, black support for groups with a white majority will be hard won."

Honey, just because you're black doesn't mean you get to certify who's been oppressed.

This is a classic case of the oppressed become the oppressors.

So, you're voting to deny gay people the right to marry each other because -- because why?

That's the real question: what on earth do you suggest that gay people do to make the gay community "embrace" black people more as gay?

Please -- something specific. Not just abstract bitching. Give us something concrete, please.
CAH @68:

I don't think it's us pointing at black people anymore. This current discussion is about gay people being able to compare the gay rights struggle to the "civil rights" struggle -- not about who was responsible for Prop 8. And it's about the accusation that gay people are intolerant as a group against black people and/or black gay people.

I've never taken the position that it was black people who were responsible for Prop 8 (it was ignorant people of many types).
A few thoughts - Some posts here are talking about "black rights" and "gay rights" as though these are all different kinds of civil rights. I think such distinctions confuse the issue. Civil rights are not owned by any oppressed class, and are simply the rights of any American citizen as an American citizen. One does not have different civil right by being black or gay or a woman or a religious person. Our civil rights are what allow us to be understood independent of our particular classes. Civil rights are personal rights guaranteed and protected by the U.S. Constitution and federal laws enacted by Congress, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Some civil rights include, for example:

freedom of speech,
the right to vote,
due process of law,
equal protection of the laws, and
protection from unlawful discrimination.

The debate with prop 8 is whether or not it is discriminatory to not allow gay people to marry. I for one firmly think that it is discriminatory to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples. Marriage is deeply tied to civil rights. The issue is one of discrimination and no American citizen should be discriminated against by the law, whether that person be of ANY class or group whatsoever. The legal issues gay people face every day are definitely issues about civil rights

A thought for Stella (comment #66), You're right gay people can hide their identity. But which is more insidious? Black people being oppressed by white? Or gay people being forced to oppress themselves out of fear that everyone they know, from family to co-workers may find out and disown/fire them? Being able to hide our gayness is not necessarily a good thing, avoiding conflict is not a good thing. Nothing ever gets settled by avoiding it. Only by standing up for our rights, like blacks and women stood up for theirs, will we ever be free to be who we are and to pursue our happiness without fear.

Personally I think we need to turn the debate around and challenge the governments recognition of marriage period. By recognizing marriage and giving special consideration to those who are married, government discriminates against single and polygamous people. Single people have to pay more taxes to subsidize married people's tax breaks and benefits. For example: a single (or anyone not recognized as being married) person isn't allowed to name a beneficiary for their SS benefits, yet married peoples spouses automatically get to be beneficiaries. There are a lot of single people out there who are domestic partners with other single people (siblings, parents, friends) who get none of the domestic benefits that married people get.

It's time we live up to the promise of the second amendment, of the freedom of association and to be free from laws based on religious doctrine. And no one can rationally deny that the argument against same-sex marriage is anything but a religious argument.

Ok, so have it your way, marriage is a religious institution, therefore recognizing any marriage is in violation of the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Remove it from all the law books.

Instead put into law the ability of individuals to name beneficiaries for their governmental and private benefits, and make such documents legally binding towards professions that provide a public service to recognize any relationship which is legally defined. Right now, same-sex couples and single people have to create legal documents to grant their partners or friends visitation rights or to make decisions in regards to medical issues in case they become incapacitated.

Force everyone to take an active role in deciding these relationships and planning for their retirement environment.
You know, many years back someone invented the definitive Suffer-o-meter. It was an amazing invention: all you did was enter all the injustices and pains the world has inflicted on various different groups, everything from genocide to cold glances at birthday parties. The marvelous machine then mashed and mixed them all together and wrung out all the hyperbole and emotion and assigned a numerical value to each and every outrage of the past so that everyone could clearly see who had been most wronged. Sadly, we no longer have access to the invention because those whose interests are best served by our squabbling and who feel threatened by our cooperation and understanding bought the patent and hid the device away.

Well put.
#11 -- You missed the point. Dan is presenting a timeline of benchmark moments when gay activists fought back. To quote Dan: "Anita Bryant, Harvey Milk's murder, the AIDS epidemic, Don't Ask/Don't Tell, Matthew Shepard's murder." The fact that it was nine years ago that Matthew was murdered is irrelevant. Dan is certainly not "out. of. touch." as you snarkily claim; he's articulating better than anyone else out there why Prop 8 will be the next moment in that list... and I'm guessing you'll be there nine years from now whining about that.
I agree 100% with what Dan says. It's just a shame that when the Oregon voters nullified my marriage a couple years ago (along with another 3000 or so same sex partners married in Multnohma County over the course of a few months), my gay brothers and sisters as well as straight allies were not equally up in arms. Maybe it just take a few "Hollywood Elites" getting thier basic human rights stomped on before people begin to notice?

If my brothers and sisters in California feel insulted now, just wait until you get your marriage license refund in the mail along with an "apology for the inconvenience".

Basic human rights are should never be open to a vote of the public. Isn't that why we have a constitution?
Um, I don't have the faintest idea who you are. And probably I should, so maybe I'm embarrassed by that. But Andrew Sullivan linked to your appearance on Anderson Cooper, and then to this site--which, honestly, is just mystifying. Am I at a magazine? A newspaper? But whatever...

Holy COW, you rocked with Anderson Cooper. I'm a straight, middle-aged, boring, middle-class white woman who does not particularly care about gay marriage one way or the other (although I did vote against the initiative in Florida, but that's really just because anything my neighbors are in favor of I oppose by reflex)...but you made me care. I get it. Well done! You were brilliant. Terrific. Really, you just did an incredibly good job there of both defending your point and making Tony What's-his-name look like an idiot, and I wanted to congratulate you. I do feel as if I ought to know who you are, but I promise you that next time I will, and I'll look for your commentary eagerly. (And should there be anything I can do to promote gay marriage, I'll do my best.)
It's only slightly ironic that a group (Mormons) that was persecuted for their own marriage practices now finds itself persecuting another group for the desire to be married. Perhaps some here will disagree, but why not fight for the abolishment of the rule of government to define marriage. It makes no difference to me if someone wants to marry the same sex, or 3 or 4 people of whatever sex, as long as all are willing adult participants. Some super smart lawyer ought to be able to get a case to the supreme court arguing that any government definition of marriage is an endorsement of a religious belief that should therefore be thrown out as unconstitutional.

You aren't at a newspaper or a magazine. Indeed, this is a blog -- a blog called Slog.

In any case, does anyone know where I can see a clip of Dan's appearance on CNN? I'll look again on YouTube. But I don't have cable, so I missed it there.
Mike, has a clip of Anderson Cooper and Dan; scroll way down.

And while I take your point about some gays wanting holy matrimony, don't forget they can ALREADY have it if their churches believe in it - even if they cannot get legally married! (Likewise, most straight married couples I know - I'm a Brit - are not in holy matrimony. The two are already fully separate). Making sure voters understand we only want legislation on civil marriage - and that we in no way wish to compel churches to wed gays - could qualm evangelical fears.

Gay marriage was legal in California and it's legal in Conn and Mass. No church in any of those states is/was compelled to marry gay people.

In any case, I'm not sure we disagree. We both want gay and straight people to have the options of (1) legal marriage and/or (2) holy matrimony.

And you're right about one thing: it needs to be conveyed to religious people who don't believe in gay marriage that this argument is one about option number 1, not option number 2.
I think Dan has a good point. We react to being attacked, but it's much harder to get our collective butts out of our chairs to do something proactive. I'm not sure this is a gay trait, though, I think it's generational. The younger folks have been looking to us for leadership and we haven't been providing it. They've given up and risen past us on their own. It serves us right for being complacent and waiting for the last 20 years for society to deliver us a plate of hot, steaming equality to chow down on before heading to the clubs.

It's time for us to roll up our sleeves and join in the fight while we still have some left in us.
I haven't yet heard or seen Dan correct what he said on the podcast about San Francisco voter turnout. Sure it probably could have been higher, but it was over 80% (and they're still counting), which is pretty good.
@65. Thanks Rob. I wouldn't go near a no on prop 8 rally these days. I'm partnered and would like to consider marriage, but the venom that I've seen and heard is not encouraging

Mike: If you need evidence of how the larger gay community marginalizes black gay people, how about how even after offering their help to fight prop 8, the black glbt leadership was ignored.

I have no doubt about the homophobia in the black community. You really can't imagine any other ways in which black gays are marginalized within the larger gay society?
You All wanna know what the real problem with Gay Men & Lesbian Women is?!? The problem is that They are openly Gay/Lesbian & That's Fine....If you let it go & don't care that a person is one way or the other & you still like to be with them and hang around with them because they are just a good person...They Try to fucking FORCE gay on everybody else, as if to say "Everyone that ISN'T GAY IS WRONG!!! GAY IS THE ONLY WAY!!! & We're Going to just Force EVERYBODY else into Homosexuality Too!!!" Listen Gay/Lesbian(s)....YOU WANNA BE GAY/LESBIAN....FINE!!!! I'm Straight, I'm gonna KEEP Fucking Women, now Go put on 'Logo', Have a Coke & a Smile & shut the fuck up!!!!!
The problem with Gay people, is that if you look the other way & try to let them have all the same rights as a straight person & whatnot, THEY STILL FORCE THEIR LIFE CHOICE ON EVERYONE ELSE!!! They have this fucking Attitude like "GAY IS THE ONLY RIGHT WAY TO BE & EVERYONE ELSE IS JUST WRONG, & We're gonna Pressure All the Straight People in the world into 'Realizing' that they are gay too (Forcing people to choose gay over straight to fit in w/ them). YOU WANNA BE GAY?!? FINE, GO!!! BUT GO BE GAY QUIETLY & LEAVE PEOPLE WHO CHOOSE THE OTHER LIFE CHOICE ALONE, OR EVENTUALLY YOU (As a type of People) WILL BE FUCKING EXTERMINATED....
the problem i have with gay ppl is there fucked up (the ass that is) but there just deranged. they should find another way to deal with not fitting in instead of screwin someone up the ass and if god intended for ppl to be gay he would have made one sex not two plus if the whle world goes gay how are we going to reproduce to keep the world living.

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