Thursday, November 08, 2012

Video - the moment marriage equality was won in Maine

And now another video of the thrill of victory, this time coming from Maine when those for marriage equality discovered that they won the ballot initiative:

Even though I know that no explanation is needed as to why I am posting this video and the one in the post before it regarding the victory in Minnesota, I will give one anyway.

I remember the awful picture in 2008 of those celebrating the passage of Prop 8 in CA. I remember the arms raised in victories and the defiant looks of happiness even though those for Prop 8 just disenfranchised their fellow Californians.

My posting of the videos of the victories in Maine and Minnesota shouldn't be considered as payback, but just a reminder that if you hold fast in times of trouble, justice always prevails.

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'Video footage of lgbt victory in Minnesota' and other 2012 election news briefs

At 2:56 of this video, all of the board members, staff, and volunteers of Minnesotans United for All Families was informed that they won the battle to keep an anti-marriage equality amendment from going on the state constitution. What followed next was much deserved jubilation.

 In other news:  

Brian Brown's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad election cycle - And in more good news, check out how much money the National Organization spent on these candidates, who ALL LOST!  

Tony Perkins Has The Sadz - And Tony Perkins is all upset over the losses FRC, NOM and the rest endured.  

Owens: If Marriage Equality Passes the 'Whole Gamut of the Family is Going to be Destroyed' - Dear Mr. Owens, from one black man to another, KISS MY ENTIRE ASS! (Editor's note - And that note is dedicated to all of the lgbts of color who have no voice thanks to people like William Owens, especially those who are no longer with us via ignorance and hate). 

 Moving Beyond The Invisibility Of Transgender People In The 2012 Elections - And let's not just celebrate the 2012 elections. Let's use our victory as a template for more awareness, more knowledge, more education, and more victories. 

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Three reasons why NOM's anti-gay wedge strategy failed on election day

In regards to Tuesday's pro-marriage equality sweep, the one thing that will not be talked about but NEEDS to be talked about will be the utter failure of the National Organization for Marriage's attempt to play the black and gay communities against each other.

We've witnessed the organization garnering much success with this tactic in the past. However yesterday, the tactic failed miserably. The following are three reasons why NOM's strategy failed:

1. The wedge strategy becomes public - Ironically enough, the seeds of yesterday's embarrassment were sowed in March of this year when lgbt bloggers (myself included) published a secret memo from the National Organization of Marriage detailing how the organization plotted to specifically divide the gay and black communities by seeking out black spokespeople to publicly speak out against marriage equality in hopes of using these spokespeople as targets for the ire of gays:

3. Not a Civil Right Project 

The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks - two key democratic constituencies. We aim to find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage; to develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; and to provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots. No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of the party.

Marriage equality supporters long suspected that the partnership between NOM and the black leaders  who supported their cause was less noble than suspected (at least on NOM's part) and this memo confirmed it. While the revelation was too late to save NC from falling to an anti-marriage equality vote, the constant mention of this memo in later articles and interviews every time NOM trotted out a black leader to speak against marriage equality could have proved ultimately devastating because it was a constant reminder to the African-American community that NOM was using them.

2. NOM overestimated its power - Though the National Organization for Marriage never publicly declared it to be so, the organization  had a lot to do with the plan of asking African-Americans to withhold their votes. While the front organization for this plot was the Coalition of African-American Pastors, it wasn't too difficult to discover that the leader of CAAP, Bill Owens, was NOM's religious liasion and that he was on salary with NOM.  It was a plot that was doomed to failure from the start and it gave an indication of what NOM truly thought about the black community and the civil rights movement.  NOM seems to have thought that they could trot out several black pastors who would tell African-Americans what to do and that the community would follow lockstep. One of the biggest misconceptions about black people is that we are ruled by what pastors say. While we see pastors as spiritual advisors, we are not monolithic. And we are also not stupid to note simple irony. Or more specifically, allow me to reveal a few questions that ran through the mind of black Americans - What's more insulting to the legacy of the civil rights movement? Marriage equality or refusing to vote even though a hallmark of the civil rights movement was to receive the right to vote in the first place? What's more of an insult to Fannie Lou Hamer, Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner and the thousands of people beaten or killed for American-Americans to be able to vote? Marriage equality or refusing to vote at all. These were two questions which NOM conveniently did not address, but trust me when I say that they ran through the minds of millions of African-Americans.

3. The Obama factor - Let's be honest. There was no way in the world that black people were going to miss this election. People can gripe about black people voting for Obama simply because he is black but you know what? Big deal. So what. That was only a small portion of it. The fact of the matter is that Obama is a very popular person in the black community.  He has passed legislation that many African-Americans considered important. In my church, when the Supreme Court declared Obamacare to be legal, several folks called that decision an "act of God." He has been personalized as a brother, son, or comrade by millions of African-Americans, which means  many African-Americans took what they felt disrespect given to him very personally. When AZ governor Jan Brewer had that argument with him on the tarmac, all I heard in my community, particularly from old black women, was how dare she stick her finger in his face.   To us, Obama became the personification of the trials and tribulations that African-Americans face in this country, i.e. no matter how intelligent we are or how successful we become, there will be always folks who will look at us like "niggers" and will treat us accordingly. Every time Fox News came out with something ugly  about Obama or the tea party marched with their signs, it sent a message to black folks; messages that while we didn't make any noise about, we quietly noted. And we didn't forget. To those not supporting marriage equality, standing against it played second fiddle to supporting "our president." And when he announced his support of marriage equality, it wasn't a strong enough factor for him to lose support in the black community. We either rationalized his support away or began to take a second look at the issue. In other words, Obama is so strong of a hero in the black community, NOM's plans to make him a pariah was doomed from the start.

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