Americans Say Let ’em Wed

April 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm 47 comments

By Rick Jacobs

Nate Sliver today in the New York Times demonstrates yet again that the best thing that ever happened to the LGBT community was the passage of Prop 8. Every time I say that, people get all bent out of shape. “How can losing our rights in an election be good for us?” people often ask.

It’s simple, really. Prior to Prop. 8, no one in California really thought we could lose. There was no real movement for full equality. Look back to 2004 when Bush and Co. used anti-marriage and anti-LGBT ballot measures to drive right-wing turn out. Did you fight against those measures? Did anyone ask you to? Yes, some folks did, but there was no movement.

Remember in December 2004, Senator Feinstein herself said that pushing for same-sex marriage rights may have been too much too soon, as if somehow Gavin Newsom’s brief winter of love may have lost us the election. But then Senator Feinstein, like many in this country, completed her own journey and cut perhaps the best spot of that whole not-so-fun Prop. 8 campaign, saying that same-sex marriage is right for California. And now she has applied her formidable talents and determination to winning repeal of the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) in the Senate. As someone who has watched her for years, never doubt her ability to get something done, no matter how tough.

Nate Sliver points out that for the first time in an amalgam of polls, 51% of Americans favor legalized same-sex marriage with 47% in opposition. He further shows that the pace of acceptance of marriage equality has accelerated in the past three years.


1. Prop. 8 passed and that galvanized all of us. We were in the streets in November and December of 2008.

2. We did not rest until repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) passed.

3. That collective movement across the nation demonstrated that discrimination against LGBT people profits no one, and as Sliver says, is beginning to hurt Republicans and right-wingers.

4. The Internet. Telling stories changes minds as we saw with Louis Marinelli right here on P8TT. The Internet allows for many more of those stories to be told and more importantly viewed very widely.

5. The Prop. 8 trial. It upset the apple cart and also made clear that only by reaching for full equality, not fractions, will we end this battle.

We’re not done by a long shot, but thanks to you, we’re getting there. This poll helps us repeal DOMA. And the work on repealing DOMA helps improve the next set of public polling results. It’ll be a bumpy ride, but we’re winning.

Entry filed under: Community/Meta, Prop 8 trial.

Afternoon equality round-up Tiny violins for NOM’s social media

47 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ann S.  |  April 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm


    • 2. Kathleen  |  April 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm

      Great to see you here, Rick.

      • 3. LCH  |  April 20, 2011 at 4:07 pm


        • 4. JonT  |  April 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm

          • 5. Straight for Equality  |  April 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm

          • 6. AnonyGrl  |  April 21, 2011 at 8:44 am

            <3 Rick!

  • 7. Sarah  |  April 20, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Wanna watch this discussion… :)

    • 8. Ed Cortes  |  April 21, 2011 at 6:02 am

  • 9. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  April 20, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Bumpy indeed…but a road need traveled

  • 10. nightshayde  |  April 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    In addition to bringing GLBT forces together, Prop 8 did another important thing — it brought the issue to the attention of straight folks who might never have really considered the fact that gays & lesbians would even WANT to get married.

    I had never really thought about it before it became a political issue. I was raised to believe that homosexuality was just another form of “normal” and that gay relationships are just as valuable as straight ones (as I’m teaching my daughter) — only when I was a kid, I don’t think the idea of marriage equality ever occurred to anyone in the mainstream straight community.

    I remember thinking it was a really cool idea way back when it looked like Hawaii was going to be the first state to legalize gay marriage — but I didn’t put much thought beyond that into the issue.

    I got emotionally involved with the issue during the 2008 campaign & have been ever since. Before the 2008 campaign, I don’t think my husband ever gave any thought to the issue. During the campaign, before I had become quite so vocal, he asked me how I was voting on it & I went into a LONG rant. I think I surprised him a little. Being a smart & fair man, he listened — then told me I made way more sense than the anti-equality person he had talked to at work & that he’d be voting No on 8.

    He’s still nowhere near as passionate about the issue as I am — but he is quietly supportive. He’s gone shopping for silk flowers a couple of times with me & has offered to help make bouquets. I doubt he’ll come with me to distribute them (nothing to do with anything but the fact that he’s not much of a people person), but he’s totally fine with the idea of me going & taking our daughter to distribute them.

    I’m sure that we’d still have widespread support even if Prop 8 had lost in California. Just bringing the issue to the forefront & getting so many straight people to realize this is a civil rights issue rather than just a “gay” issue set the stage for marriage equality becoming the law of the land. It may be taking longer than any of us wanted — but it’s also happening a lot faster than many people dreamed it could.

    • 11. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  April 20, 2011 at 6:17 pm

      thank you for all you do nightshayde! I looking forward to the time you can distribute more flowers in California! : D

      • 12. nightshayde  |  April 20, 2011 at 6:21 pm

        So am I! I bought a whole bunch a few weeks ago (though I haven’t actually done anything with them yet).

    • 13. rick jacobs  |  April 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm

      Really great points! Thanks!!

  • 14. Alan E.  |  April 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    waaaaaay off topic, but the President’s motorcade just passed by my work.

    I think he was really riding one of the motorcycles at the front.

    • 15. Alan E.  |  April 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm

      check the box dummy

  • 16. Alan E.  |  April 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    no one in California really thought we could lose

    And there were many of us who thought that, too, but we still got married (the day before the election actually) without much planning. I’m sure there were many out there who had their plans set for their dream wedding who had to wait until later when they could ave a ceremony after the election, but they got married before just to get it done.

    • 17. Mark  |  April 21, 2011 at 5:48 am

      I have mixed thoughts about Prop 8. If we had won, the proponents of Prop 8 would be mobilizing to put it on the next ballot(s) until THEY finally won. Since they won, we put it in the hands of the legal system. I know it is a slow process, but in the long run it should have the preferred results. When (I don’t say if) it is finally declared officially unconstitutional, they cannot bring it to the voters again in the future.

  • 18. Kalil  |  April 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    6. Lady Gaga, Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart, and a number of other pro-LGBT public figures and celebrities have done a great deal to inspire youth and move the nation. Gaga deserves a lot of credit for entering the DADT fight with the full force of her voice and her following. Maddow walks on water, as far as I’m concerned, and Stewart and Colbert never fail to paint the opposition as the complete morons they are.
    Also, big thanks to Kerry Eleveld at the Advocate for consistently making politicians on both sides of the aisle squirm.

    The press in general is completely unreliable, willing to give ‘equal time’ (or greater) to SLPC-certified hate groups. Those in the public light that recognize and step up to their moral responsibilities deserve a lot of credit.

    • 19. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  April 21, 2011 at 10:12 am

      good post Kalil – I appreciate the work Anderson Cooper has done on a national scale as well.

  • 20. Maggie4NoH8  |  April 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I have to agree – it was only after intensely following the Prop 8 trial here, that I realized a civil union wasn’t enough for me.

    It was during this trial (and via all the live blogging/comments here) that it became absolutely concrete, for me anyway, that separate but equal really isn’t equal. I had never dared hope for civil marriage, but now will accept nothing less – and I am a gay man!

    Prop 8 opened my eyes to the many ways inequalities are suffered by LGBT (and many others). I *knew* they were there, but never considered them as inequalities, but as “differences”. They aren’t differences. You can’t call them anything but inequalities. That simple.

  • 21. Sagesse  |  April 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”

  • 22. Fluffyskunk  |  April 20, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    It’s Silver. Not “Sliver.”

    • 23. rick jacobs  |  April 21, 2011 at 4:48 pm


  • 24. Up&Adam  |  April 20, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Once the Prop8 Trial videos are unsealed, just wait until the American public gets a load of Blakendouche & Tam’s testimony, that’s when we’ll see even greater numbers in the polls in favor of equality. Lets hope Maggie testifies in front of every state legislature in the country, the more she spews her bile, all the more people will see the hypocrisy and misplaced prejudice that taints NOM’s song & dance.

  • 25. Sagesse  |  April 20, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Turning up the heat on King & Spalding

    The DOMA Gag Rule?
    Contract with King & Spalding bars all employees of the international law firm from advocating for repeal of DOMA

    The contract wording sounds like a standard provision to prevent government contractors from lobbying (another form of advocating). Does anyone here understand how these restrictions are supposed to work?

    • 26. Lesbians Love Boies  |  April 21, 2011 at 4:28 am

      I’d really like to know that answer too. I also wonder if this is going to move them out of being a “diverse” work environment.

  • 27. Sagesse  |  April 20, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Speculating on whether Boehner can access DOJ funds to pay K&S legal fees.

    Speaker Boehner- You Can’t Pay For DOMA Defense Out Of DOJ Funds Like You Want To

    • 28. Carol  |  April 20, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      Does anybody else think Blowhard Boehner is simply talking to his base and doesn’t actually plan to use taxpayer money to defend the indefensible? Pelosi and the other Dems will have such a field day with him if he does. I imagine he can easily tap a few private donors, who can think of it as a campaign donation.

      • 29. Chris  |  April 20, 2011 at 10:49 pm

        I think this whole thing is him talking to his base. Some politicians are unintelligent. However, you don’t become speaker of the house by fluke. I think Boehner is a smart individual. And I think if he was a businessman instead of a politician he would probably be for equality. Something tells me he could turn a Chaney and declare a divine revelation right after he retires.

        By the way, can we come up with a term for that? I feel like we should have a term for when a career politician who never fully sides with equality, suddenly becomes pro-equality after they retire. It’s happened enough already.

        • 30. Lesbians Love Boies  |  April 21, 2011 at 4:29 am


      • 31. Sagesse  |  April 21, 2011 at 4:31 am

        I think he can use the House budget to do it, just not sure he can access the DOJ budget. It may be a stupid use of funds, but it is within the mandate of Congress.

  • 32. Ronnie  |  April 20, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Gay Suicide in the U.S., By Region
    Jeffrey Fishberger, MD
    Psychiatrist and LGBTQ Youth Mental Health Specialist, On-Call Clinician for The Trevor Lifeline

    two paragraphs from the full article…..

    More than 70 percent of the thousands of calls to the 24/7 Trevor Lifeline originate in the southern and central regions of the United States, where there are traditionally fewer legal protections, in- and out-of-school support services and accepting environments for LGBTQ young people. While there are wonderful programs in these areas that do excellent work, some youth in these areas receive less support and face tougher challenges in their communities and schools.

    For example, 1.95 percent of the United States population resides in the state of Missouri, yet 3.37 percent of the 2010 volume to The Trevor Lifeline originated there — illustrating a disproportionately high demand for LGBTQ crisis intervention and suicide prevention services in that state.

    (me) Sooooo…..loving, accepting communities with protections & support means less suicide attempts while hateful, demonizing, non-accepting, primarily religious based & non-supporting communities means more suicide attempts…..Is there any surprise that Missouri, the state that had a NOM supported Republican (who supported a Christian rock band that advocates the mass murder of LGBT people) run for Governor is the source of a large & disproportionate volume of calls for help & hope to the Trevor lifeline?….hmmmmmm…. : ( …Ronnie

    • 33. Ronnie  |  April 20, 2011 at 8:19 pm

      Minnesota not Missouri …. : / …Ronnie

  • 34. Sagesse  |  April 21, 2011 at 4:44 am

    A welcome breath of morning silliness.

    Dispatches from the Culture Wars

    Thoughts From the Interface of Science, Religion, Law and Culture

    Religious Right Wants Prop 8 Ruling Vacated

    • 35. Lesbians Love Boies  |  April 21, 2011 at 5:06 am

      Like the way the RR seems to have a very bad case of “foot-in-mouth” syndrome. Not only will they lose this battle, but they are helping us get the word out to more and more individuals. This will surely insure moving steep curved line of SSM advocates on a more upward slant.

  • 36. Sagesse  |  April 21, 2011 at 5:02 am

    Federal support for social services for LGBT youth, and for LGBT adoptive and foster parents. There’s a Part II to come.

    HHS urges child welfare agencies to better serve LGBTQ youth

  • 38. StraightGrandmother  |  April 21, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Loosing the Prop 8 referendum in California, for the most part only affected the citizens of California. However the Prop 8 Trial that happened subsequent to the political loss, energized the whole country, particularly citizens in States such as Ronnie pointed out in his comment, that live in states where the chance of ending Discrimination in their State is slim to none.

    With the Federal Trial, which was advertized to us would go all the way to the Supreme Court, now this was a chance to end Discrimination for everyone no matter which state you lived in. Finally with a chance to win full civil rights for everyone everywhere, I know that is the reason I joined the fight right at the start of the Prop 8 Trial. Without the Prop 8 Federal Trial the politics of California did not affect my family way over on the other coast (not directly). The trial awakened me, it said “Yes this is possible” and energized me to fight the fight to end Discrimination wherever I can. So while it is sad and unjust for the citizens of California to loose politically, it did Start the Fire that has spread across the whole country.

    When you live in a state with no “Hope” and if you dare stick your head up you can loose your job, loose your income, loose your home or business, it is very hard to fight. What did Harvey say? You gotta give them Hope. The Prop 8 Trial, especially after the District Court verdict, has given us all Hope and motivation to fight.

    • 39. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  April 21, 2011 at 7:54 am

      I live in one of those “no hope” states… your post reminds me of why the passing of prop8 originally lit a fire in me…

      Me and hubby were up until after 3am (pretty late as alarm goes off at 5a) passionately discussing these issues…and others related to the strain placed on us as a couple due to living in a no-hope state and how DOMA strangles us. Tears streaming down my face as I type this (seems I’ve been crying extra this week)…wishing a magic wand would be waved and equality throughout the land would prevail. Tx SG for your comments.

    • 40. Kathleen  |  April 21, 2011 at 9:34 am

      Passage of Prop 8 did indeed mobilize the country and to some extent the world, evidenced by the number of protest demonstrations that sprang up beginning in late 2008 and going into 2009, before the lawsuit was ever filed. The demonstrations were in support of marriage equality, but Prop 8 was the rallying cry. The Perry case may have been the first time some people noticed the issue, but for most of us it merely shifted the awareness away from the political process and to the possibility of challenges in the federal courts.

    • 41. gaydadtobe  |  April 21, 2011 at 9:44 am

      And your daughter lives in Virginia, which is even going more backwards.

  • 45. RWG  |  April 21, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Diane Feinstein may be an supporter of marriage equality for California, but she’s still not on board with the UAFA. She has withheld her support with flimsy claims of concern of ‘fraud’, as if same-sex couples applying for immigration would not be given the most probing, intrusive and hostile reception by the US immigration personnel. Any couple who is willing to put themselves through that gauntlet of homophobia and hostility must be sincere, otherwise they’d never endure the official hatred they’d receive at the hands of the system. Until she gets off the dime and throws her weight behind the passage of the UAFA, becoming a Co-sponsor in the US Senate, I’ll continue to view all her other positions with skepticism.

    • 46. Maggie4NoH8  |  April 21, 2011 at 10:08 am

      I am surprised by this – do you have links that you can provide for research?

      I’d like to write to her inquiring about this (I live in California)…

  • 47. Rhie  |  April 24, 2011 at 12:15 am



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Support the Prop 8 Trial Tracker

Connect with us

Get to know your fellow Prop 8 Trial Trackers on Facebook.

Please send tips to

Follow us on Twitter @EqualityOnTrial

Sign-up for updates on the Prop 8 trial, including breaking-news alerts.


TWITTER: Follow us @EqualityOnTrial

Share this

Bookmark and Share

SITE STATS (by Wordpress)

  • 4,585,331 views of the Tracker and counting as of today...