Proposition 8: A Call to Protest


This was originally posted on Kasama posts this because it is important for readers to know -- but such posting, obviously, does not mean an endorsement of all the analysis of this piece.

Prop 8 Protest: A Call to the LGBTQ Community, Friends, & Family

I’m sure all would agree that with the election of Barack Obama, this week 
has been one of amazing wins in the world of equality!  Still,
 Tuesday night was one of bitter-sweet celebration, as we came together 
to witness the first black man who will become our president, and
 watched in sadness as Florida, Arizona, Arkansas, and California all
voted down equal rights for all citizens.  Pendants and bloggers 
alike have put their focus on Proposition 8, trying hard to find an 
explanation for the anti-gay wins in the face of a huge pro-equality
 event.  Some have blamed the voters, others blame religious
 groups, and even others blame the LGBTQ community for not being able to
mobilize on a larger enough scale.  And you know what, there is 
truth in every argument.

As a community, we have to admit to the fact that we are polarized 
in various ways.  Honestly, I’m not sure what community isn’t and 
I believe that our polarization is proof to our humanity - we are no
 different than anyone else, regardless of color, creed, or sexual
 orientation.  Still, our polarization has hindered us from
mobalizing as one strong voice.  We all come together in the month 
of June to celebrate Gay Pride, but few of us are even aware of why Gay
 Pride exists.  Gay Pride is a celebration to commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969.
 Many say that the Gay Rights Movement began in 1969, which means that 
we are still a young movement and have accomplished a great deal in
such a short amount of time.  The generation that fought for us in
 1969 deserves our gratitude and respect.  This is a generation of
 amazing people who fought for our ability to hold hands in the street, 
to speak out against hate, to dance to our own “thumpa thump”, witness 
television shows with a queer cast, and come together in the streets
 celebrating for an entire month!  This is the generation that
 opened the doors for us to even have a conversation about gay marriage,
and this is the generation that deserves our help and our voices
 now.  On June 27th, 1969, this generation came together in
protest, jumping from closets, taking to the streets, and mobilizing in
 ways this country had never seen before!  And what happened?


The country was forced to respond.  The Queer identity was forced
 onto the front pages and coffee tables of people’s worlds and people 
had to once and for all accept that we are human too!

Now, almost 40 years later we NEED to come together again.  We 
need to show this nation that we are ONE LOUD VOICE THAT DEMANDS TO BE 
HEARD! We need to be one organized unit.  Our gay pride shouldn’t
 be something we celebrate one month out of the year.  Our
 gratitude towards the ones who came before us shouldn’t be ignored and
wasted away with one party after another.  We beg to be given a
right that requires responsibility and commitment, yet we, as one
 strong community, have not proven to this nation that we deserve to be
taken seriously!  The gay pride parade has become a great party,
 but it has lost the memory of Stonewall and therefor given the nation
 another reason to cast us aside as irresponsible.  It’s time we
come together for debate, for public recognition, and for LOVE!

Let’s move as one full unit, on the same day, at the same hour, and
let’s show the United States of America that we too are UNITED CITIZENS 

On the steps of your City Hall on November 15th at 10:30am PST /
1:30pm EST, our community WILL take to the streets and speak out
 against Proposition 8 and all of the other pro-equality losses that we
have faced in our lifetimes, in our parents’ lifetimes, and for many
generations before us.  WE CAN’T DO THIS ALONE! WE NEED YOUR
 HELP!  We need organizers in every major city to work with us and 
get out the protest!  I know you’re all tired from all of the work
you’ve done for this great election year, but I’m asking for one more
push!  Let the country hear our voices together.  Let them
see that we are a strong, adamant, and powerful community that deserves
equal rights, and CAN’T BE DEFEATED!

Send this post to everyone!  We have one week and must react to
the pro-hate votes cast against us!  Let’s help our LGBTQ friends,
families, neighbors, and each other to IMPACT this country with a
demand for our basic human rights!  Join the cause, join the 
voice, and JOIN THE IMPACT!





People in this conversation

  • Guest - N3wDay

    Can anyone recommend a good marxist analysis of LGBTQ oppression?

  • Guest - Iris

    Yikes, N3w. I don't know what to say to the silence on your above question, but that we have a lot of work to do!

    I went to the Prop 8 demo in Detroit. It was downtown, and hastily organized by mostly suburban gay rights activists and community centers (the call was put out here 5 days prior). It was 34 degrees, high winds, sleet and sideways rain--

    --and over 150 people showed up! I was shocked at the enthusiasm and the turnout. Many parents brought their kids. There was a march around the City Hall block, and a rally in the rain in front of the Spirit of Detroit. Couples and allies spoke at the bullhorn. It had a pretty liberal character ("I could've spent my 20,000 k on a wedding in MI, instead of Windsor") but several people from the city workers union stood up to speak about how it wasn't just gay rights--it was about rekindling a whole new civil rights movement, to fight to keep abortion, gay rights and fight de facto segregation and racism; They were more radical, and I'm excited to meet them and plug into fresh local struggles.

    There was discomfort and concern among some about there being a mostly white suburban crowd marching for gay rights in Detroit--when there are so many folks here who need to step out and join that particular struggle. I have noticed a lot of liberal, white middle class gay friends and associates passing around statistics about 'how many black people voted for Prop 8' in CA--as in, some anger that many black people came out to vote for Obama, and then supposedly voted for Prop 8. There is anger around that, based on some negative assumptions, possibly racism, and a lack of exploration of that statistic.

    BAMN (by any means necessary; I don't know if they are affiliated with other BAMN folks I've met in Ann Arbor) was there, and are holding a protest to demand equal standards in a school for black Detroit students and white suburban students (two separate but unequal schools right down the block from one another, in fact) next weekend. We hope to meet the people involved; we have met several great new local organizers, one of them on Hamtramck city council.

    Spreading the word about Kasama!

  • Guest - zerohour

    According to this Washington Post <a href="/" rel="nofollow">story</a>, 70% of black voters supported Prop 8, and 53% of Latino voters did so as well. We have to remember that Obama is personally opposed to same-sex marriage, so it is not contradictory for people to support him AND Prop 8. This New York Times <a href="/;scp=1&amp;sq=Proposition+8&amp;st=nyt&amp;oref=slogin" rel="nofollow">article</a> pinpoints the Mormon church as the decisive influence, but that doesn't mean churches in the black community didn't do similar proselytizing among their congregations.

    "several people from the city workers union stood up to speak about how it wasn’t just gay rights–it was about rekindling a whole new civil rights movement, to fight to keep abortion, gay rights and fight de facto segregation and racism"

    This is a good thing. Was the civil rights framework officially put out on any union literature or was it just being expressed by individual members?

  • Guest - Irisbright

    Individual members; it was a lesbian couple who could not recieve benefits because they were unmarried.

    Yes there has been a lot of preaching about Prop 8 and the 'homosexual agenda' in the black church. I agree, I also don't think it is a contradiction for people to come out for Obama, against gay marriage. I thought it was interesting that there were divisive rumblings among middle class progressive whites that had a racist flavor. I wonder how to deal with that in the field, I guess.

  • Guest - zerohour

    "a good marxist analysis of LGBTQ oppression"

    None that I know of, except maybe Martin Duberman's <i>Left Out</i> which I can't vouch for. This analysis has yet to be constructed, and we'll have to look at some non-Marxist thinkers like Judith Butler, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Foucault as important resources. Marxist positions have largely been along liberal lines ["oppose discrimination"], but they are very empiricist and moralistic. I think only RCP has even attempted to do a historical and scientific analysis from a Marxist perspective. If people know of others, they should feel free to let us know.

  • Guest - N3wDay

    That's what kinda figured unfortunately. I remember watching a debate and hearing an anarchist talk about how anarchism had a coherent analysis of class AND non-class oppression, and I remember thinking, "where's ours?".

    I was hoping I just hadn't looked around enough, but I guess not.

  • Guest - zerohour

    Add Anne Fausto-Sterling to the above list too. She's a biologist and historian of science who has cone much to expose the biases of science when doing research on gender.

  • Guest - LS

    Leslie Feinberg of Workers World has done some groundbreaking writing from a Marxist perspective on LGBTQ liberation.

    The Workers World website has an online book, Lavendar and Red, by Feinberg here:

    While not perfect, it's quite detailed historically and politically.

    And of course Feinberg's writings on transgender liberation are pathbreaking.

  • great, thanks a bunch LS.

  • Guest - gilamonster

    A dozen essays (Marxist and non-Marxist) concerning queer oppression and liberation are collected in "Pink Triangles: Radical Perspectives on Gay Liberation" (edited by Pam Mitchell, published by Alyson Publications).

    Another interesting take -- influenced by Maoism but very original -- is "The Spiral Path: A Gay Contribution to Human Survival" by David Fernbach. (A good review of that book is online <a href="/" rel="nofollow">here</a>). I believe Fernbach has written a number of other pieces on this topic, as well.

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