Tom Gregory

"Fagots -- Stay Out"

Thursday, November 6, 2008 permalink

Even as Barack Obama was decrying division, celebrating equality, and promising his new tomorrow, California was suffering her worst constitutional injustice since the Japanese-American internment camps.

On November 4th millions of California voters chose to eliminate a basic right that American citizens enjoy and honor. Proposition 8 was passed by the electorate. It reads:


The ballot measure was funded in large part through Catholic, Mormon and evangelical mega-churches. Money poured in as hateful well-crafted sermons spewed out to congregants anxious for the golden ticket to their beloved afterlife. This year, voter's self-aggrandizing reinvigorated Hitler's edict, "give them someone to follow, something to do, and someone to blame."

"Focus on the Family" acted against their own god's teaching when they bellowed hateful rhetoric against same-sex couples. Money that could have fed the poor was donated instead to this intrusion of church and state. Voters frightened by deceptive ads sold their souls to the devil when they pulled the YES lever for god. A lack of education bundled with ignorance and fear has caused a chasm in California bigger than San Andreas.

Same-sex couples fought long and hard for the simple recognition of their families by Sacramento. Thousands of same-sex couples - and their children are now disenfranchised by their state. Judicial prudence has been usurped when California put the rights of the few to a majority vote.

No on 8's Michael Fleming writes, "Never before in California's history has a group who currently enjoys a basic right been singled out and then had those rights ripped from them by a vote of their fellow citizens. In this fight for fairness and justice, tens of thousands of Californians built a campaign that far surpassed any previous civil rights effort on any ballot measure -- not only in California, but anywhere in our entire country." Fleming's promises, "Because of the struggle fought here in California and fought so incredibly well by the people in this state that loves freedom and justice -- our fight for full civil rights will continue."

Same-sex marriage was the sacrificial lamb to a presidential victory for Barack Obama. Gay America knew Obama could never win in Bush's evangelical America if he verbalized a distain for Prop 8. By his silence he voiced his opinion. Obama quietly let millions of his supporters vote for their political evolution while simultaneously selecting a prejudice that led to the lynching of Matthew Shepard, Lawrence King, Tony Hunter and untold numbers of hate crime victims.

Barney's Beanery, a West Hollywood restaurant and bar, had been in business for twenty years, when, in the 1940s, a sign appeared on the wall that read "FAGOTS - STAY OUT". Barney's quickly emblazoned the acrid words across their matchbooks. By the time Janis Joplin infamously carved her name into a table, the place became a seedy but hip hangout - and ground zero for Hollywood's homophobia. The bar's owner died in 1968; efforts continued to have the sign removed. In 1970, the Gay Liberation Front organized by legendary activist Morris Kight, picketed the establishment pushing for the offensive sign's removal. Kight took the vulgar sign with him, but another copy appeared until it was removed in 1984. Today the place is a piece of civil rights history that welcomes everyone as its business thrives.

No on 8's lead donor David Bohnett said, "There's no amount of money that can buy equal rights for the minority, and endless amounts that can buy tyranny for the majority," Bohnett continues, "Today was not our day, but full equality will be ours and let those who deny us our rights suffer the consequences of their misguided faith."

Today the court has been replaced by popular vote but the jury is still out on how painfully society will have to pay its prejudicial penance.