Please donate to Equality for All, the group running the campaign for our side in California. It is completely secure and safe, 100% of the money goes to the good guys in California, and you can give as MUCH as you want, there are no limits - thus the problem with the Mormons now throwing the election.
As a marketer, I think that the advertisements from the other side are going to win them this vote, and quite handily. Our only hope is that Proposition 8, after it passes, is struck down by the courts as unconstitutional. These ads are too visceral to be overcome, and we simply don't have that kind of punch on our side. The commercial for our side, "We want our gay daughter to live a life free of discrimination" is pathetic and weak. It doesn't even come close to cutting it.
Sadly, Californians, like the rest of the American people, will rush to the polls to alleviate their fear-based panic over gay marriage, based upon this slimy, low-road innuendo; however, they will surely not rush to vote to secure someone's human rights, which is a great failing of America, and something that this supposedly "best country in the world" has never overcome.
posted by Chris L., at
10/09/2008 12:00 PM
Forgive me for saying this and I mean no disrespect but, when did America become such a nation of frightened and cowardly people who are terrified by others simply wanting respect and dignity. Land of the Free and Home of the Brave....not anymore...Sad.
posted by Jon, at
10/09/2008 2:54 PM
It didn't become this way; it was always this way. This country was founded on the backs of slaves, and we had to undergo a Civil War because half the country couldn't or wouldn't see the obvious shame of considering other human beings to be their property. We are drenched in hypocritical puritanism and religious-based bigotry, which are as American as apple pie.
posted by Chris L., at
10/09/2008 3:30 PM
I agree that No on 8 absolutely needs a stronger tactic in its TV ads--something akin to '1984' w/ Big Brother keeping tabs on a perpetually dispirited, misinformed public. Apathy on the part of fair-minded straights is nothing compared to the lack of outrage among LGBTs even if they personally don't wish to be married. I just outed myself to my extended family, told them to vote No, and sent money to EQCA.
posted by Josh, at
10/09/2008 4:45 PM
Chris, I appreciate your comment, I should have pointed out I'm Canadian and am just so disheartened by what I see happening there. It really is sad to watch.
posted by Jon, at
10/10/2008 8:02 AM
Jon, thanks. I used to be anguished about the way this country was, too. I feel like America is an abusive parent to me and my gay brothers and sisters. But now I'm at the point of resignation. I've somewhat accepted the fact that this is just the way the American people are.
There are many enlightened, wonderful citizens in this country, but they are simply not the majority, they are not the prevailing culture. We now have, for example, a VP candidate who derides people who read the NY Times. How pathetic is that?
In Holland, new immigrants must take an exam before they are allowed in. One of the questions is "Can two men get married here?" (The answer is yes, of course.) Imagine the American government doing that. It just isn't going to happen, so I accept it and live my life as best as I can, trying, in fact, to be even more motivated to achieve and rise above it.
posted by Chris L., at
10/10/2008 10:42 AM
I wrote this in the BAR last month. The no on 8 campaign is deliberately weak. they don't want to show gay people. they don't want to show the children of hgay people./ theyt don't want to talk aobut prejudice. they don't want to go out and tlak to church and civic groups.
If we lose, it will be because they have chosen to execute a political strategy instead of a human strategy, when both are necessary.
Here ya go:
To begin with, I am no one in particular-- just a happy gay man who hopes my marriage will survive the election. I am politically aware, knowledgeable on gay issues, as out as I can be, and possess a decent understanding of humanity. I have no political axe to grind.
After the No on 8 kickoff, I spoke briefly to a man who is very high up in gay politics. I asked if they were going to repeat the campaign against Prop. 22: talking about being nice, tolerance, freedom, etc. Or, would they deal with the substantive issues of anti-gay prejudice, and the social, financial, and legal impact on gay people, especially those with children, of not having marriage available? He responded that the focus groups had shown that undecided voters respond best to the former approach, and that would be the emphasis in order to move those voters.
"Do you mean to say that you are going to fight an anti-gay marriage initiative without showing any gay people or even talking about marriage?" While conceding that personal stories and real people are relevant, he repeated what the focus groups show, and that political processes like phone banks will trump personal stories. Liberal tolerance will be the message.
I pointed out some things to him. A smart friend of mine saw the anti-8 ad where a straight bride is continually prevented from getting to her wedding. Until she got to the very end and saw the No on 8 message, she had no idea what it was about. She reasonably wondered why a heterosexual wedding was featured when the discussion is about gay people. I told him of my experience against the Briggs Initiative thirty years ago, when we were fighting the invisibility of the closet as well as that hateful legislation. The public could see real gay people, not the phantasms of the rabid Right. And that reality moved them.
I also pointed out that this strategy has been tried repeatedly, and possibly except for Arizona in 2006, it has yet to work. It failed miserably against Prop. 22. Now, I am not immersed in political culture. And I know that there is far more to politics than merely presenting issues and people voting. The politico may well be right, and I, quite wrong. Though his approach has merit, it is very troubling to me. It smells uncomfortably of the closet, which I have long maintained is the real enemy, not the Radical Right. It tells us to be invisible, not to talk about our lives and the REAL issues we face, lest we offend some undecided voter who needs to be manipulated into doing the right thing.
It avoids the larger issue of anti-gay prejudice, an apparently invisible 800 pound lavender gorilla. Research and experience show that people who know gay people tend not to vote against them. If we do not show gay people, we remain a faceless, menacing other, instead of friend, neighbor, or family. It is easy to vote against someone who is invisible. This was the lesson of Briggs and Prop.22.
I can see producing commercials featuring pretty straight girls. But why are we not also showing the couple who have been together for forty years, and who, because they cannot marry, are not eligible for each other's pensions, guaranteeing one of them an old age of poverty? Why not show the two women who are raising their children, children who deserve the same protections that marriage would bring their family as it does their hetero counterparts? Why are we not showing the minister marrying two men in their church, surrounded by their happy, cheering families? Why are we not showing indignant Rabbis and Episcopal, UCC, and other ministers who don't want a few denominations telling them what to do? Why are we not showing the man who nursed his partner through a heart attack? Why are we showing anything but us?
I cannot insist that I am right, but my life's experience tells me I am. And telling the truth, especially in the face of so much hate and lies, is never a mistake. What if we lost this election because undecided voters say, "I voted yes because I don't know any gay people, or anything about them. And I didn't get that commercial."
Which brings me to my final point. If you want to do the minimum against Prop. 8, unless your physical safety is an issue, COME OUT NOW-- especially to your family and friends. Not eventually, not next month, but NOW. Ask those people to vote NO on 8 for your sake, or, if they cannot vote no, at least, not to vote on it.
Chris, funny you mention the question in Holland because our new immigration pamphlet states that Gays can marry and that legal equality (both constitutional and provincial) is an established fact. As for Sarah 'plain' Palin, she is quite a frightening prospect to be sure, for both you and the rest of the world.
posted by Jon, at
10/10/2008 11:39 AM
woo hoo. look at what is happening in connecticut.
maybe this will be a big boon.
and then Caribou Barbie's little investigation is being kept underwraps. . .for awhile.
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10/10/2008 12:02 PM
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