Today I write more from my gut than maybe you have ever heard. Quite honestly to all those who have found my words inciting in the past, just move on. You are not going to be happy this morning reading further.
After a very restless night of sleep and some deep thought, I am ready to share with you some thoughts (this might not be my most 'smooth' writing). Forgive me that it has taken a while for me to compose myself so that I can write from my values and principles and not anger. Because my anger will blind me to the truths of yesterday. Let me do my best to share my deep beliefs and not out of anger or fear like the people who insist that we continue to create a system of Gay Apartheid in America. This will be part one of two parts on the election.
First and foremost, Enough!
We have poured over $100,000,000 in the last two years into efforts where Americans feel it is there obligation to vote on our freedom. The entire concept is repugnant and disgusting. That we for the last three decades have been drawn into this game of 'this is politics' and fighting these ballot box horrors so that maybe by in five, ten or twenty years we will have enough victories to force our federal government to protect our freedom is simply not acceptable anymore. Imagine the good we could have done with all that money. Imagine the civil rights movement we could have built if we had the leadership that was willing to think out of the box and put it on the line.
Second, call this campaign against us what it is - Gay Apartheid.
Refuse to allow any of our fellow Americans, President Obama or our allies to view this as a political issue who time hasn't quite come. America is in the process of creating a system of Gay Apartheid. We will not quietly sit and accept it. All over the place, this nation is creating one set of laws for LGBT Americans and another set for all other Americans. That is the classic definition of Apartheid. Either our political allies are for Gay Apartheid or against it. If they are against it, they must fight with us and no longer duck like President Obama did in Maine and Washington. There is no half way in fighting Apartheid.
Today many will claim that we must surrender the word marriage or accept some sort of separate but equal arrangement. It didn't work in the African-American struggle for freedom and it doesn't work for us. We want full equality with the same rights, benefits and privileges as all other Americans now. We say to those friends, allies and even in our own community who want to accept that second class citizenship, "Oh No You Don't!" We will accept no compromises, time-lines, incremental approaches with our freedom. Don't counsel patience as if this is a new issue. We have been fighting these ballot box bigots for over three decades. Enough.
Third, it is clear that the political establishment in Washington doesn't understand that we no longer willing to wait until it meets their timetable or political needs.
President Obama standing on the sidelines in Maine and Washington was appalling. The failure of our national organizations and leaders to demand his involvement was equally appalling. The outrageous act of the Democratic National Committee sending an email into Maine asking Maine Democrats to call into "NEW JERSEY" instead of to support the fight against bigotry was unbelievable. No one gets to sit on the sidelines in an epic battle against apartheid and no one gets a free pass. If you want our support, you have to earn it. We are way beyond where we will accept a little bit in 2009, some in 2010 and maybe more in the second term. Does anyone think after yesterday election results and the upcoming 2010 election, Obama has the ability to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and "DOMA" next year? Does anyone really believe we haven't already missed a historic opportunity in the first 10 months of this year? Only a courageous fighting President and Congress can now help turn us this around and that we have not seen so far. Enough.
Finally, yes, as a community we have every reason to be proud. We raised the money, we made the calls, we came not in anger and we made the case. My hats off to the brave people, gay and straight, of Maine and Washington who fought in the trenches. We all are so proud of you and to be part of your community. You have no idea how much we love you for your work, dignity and honor. However, it is no longer acceptable to be viewed as brave, patient warriors in defeat.
I don't want to be a brave warrior, I want to be a free one.