Election Results

Not only is this not knitting—it’s political. You’ve been warned.

Like much of the country, I’m pleased with the national election results, but that happiness is completely overshadowed by the passage of Proposition 8 here in California which eliminates the right for same-sex couples to marry. On the one hand, no big deal. So we’re back where we were before June 17, eh?

Well, no.

Before June 17, Melissa and I didn’t have the right to marry, but we also hadn’t been explicitly written out of our state’s Constitution. Written out of the Constitution. As in: you are different from me and I fear you and view you as less than human and will turn my fear into an explicit rewriting of the key document that is supposed to protect all of us, so that I have a right that you used to have and that I have taken away from you without knowing you, without knowing your relationship, and without knowing the value of your relationship not only to yourself, but also to your family and your community, so that you will be treated differently than I am under the law.

And if you voted for Prop 8, don’t try to tell me you’re not denying me anything because I “can still have all the legal rights of marriage with domestic partnership.” That’s like telling someone forced to sit on the back of the bus or to go to a segregated school “you still get to ride/learn/whatever.” The back of the bus is the back of the bus—and any time you tell someone to sit there you are telling that person that you see her as less valuable, less human than you see yourself.

That’s what five million, three hundred and eighty-seven thousand, nine hundred and thirty-nine (and counting) of my fellow Californians have just said to me.

I am experiencing an anguish and an anger that I don’t know how to express fully and that I don’t know how to live with. I have a wife, family, friends, and students who need me to keep going about my usual business of loving, supporting, conversing, thinking, sharing, and teaching, and all I want to do is curl up in a fetal position far, far under the covers as if somehow that could make this monstrosity not to have happened. We are not back to where we were before June 17. We are somewhere else, somewhere much uglier—and must more unjust—than we’ve been before.

7 Replies to “Election Results”

  1. Oh, Sarah-Hope, my heart is so sore. I didn’t hear anything about proposition 8 on the channel we were watching the returns on (and of course, the time difference means the polls were still open there by the time I needed to go to bed). Then this morning I had to Google it to find out — and my heart sank. I couldn’t believe it. How could Californians vote Hope on one hand, and Fear on another?

    I know it doesn’t help, but I wanted to share that my 10- and 13-year-old daughters, without me ever explicitly saying anything that I recall to them about it (just things that come up in day to day conversation) have told me that love is love, and that those who love each other should be able to marry. I hope that belief is widespread among the young (I know a couple of their friends have said the same) so that things will truly change from the ground up.

    I hear there will be legal challenges. Hoping for the best.

  2. I don’t know what to say. I’m on the other side of the country, but have followed this closely. I stopped myself from writing yesterday… but I will write on it. I had a hard time believing we could really elect Obama, but when we did, it seemed (to me) to be a forgone conclusion that Prop 8 (and the measures in FL & AZ) would be voted down. I cried Tuesday night from happiness, but my tears yesterday were of frustration and anger. How can we elect an amazing, uniting figure and then in the same breath say that we still aren’t all free, we aren’t going to protect all our citizens… It will happen. I hate that it hasn’t yet, I hate that it’s an issue at all. Know that there are people who believe that though this may not impact us directly, it is a reflection on all of us if all our citizens are not equal. I’m going to stop typing now – I can’t know what you’re going through, but my heart is going out to you and Melissa.

  3. I’m really, really sorry. Just like the previous posters have said, my heart goes out to you and Melissa, and I hope something can and will be done to right this wrong.

    If you and Melissa ever want to move to Canada and get married here, we’d be happy to have you.

  4. Sarah-Hope, I am heartsick at the results on Prop 8. I truly hope that legal challenges will be successful here and Florida and Arizona where such hateful measures passed. Stay brave and strong.

  5. I love you both so much and am unfathomably numb over this. Everyone who knows you knows how much you love each other and how much you deserve to be together. Your marriage is much stronger and more ‘right’ than many “one man/one woman” marriages. In my heart you will always be married. And you’ll never have to sit in the back of my bus!!

  6. I’m sick about this…I’m so so sorry. What’s truly horrible is how many “reasonable” people voted for it! I simply can’t understand what people are afraid of – are they so insecure in their own lives? Stupidity…

  7. Dear friend and all those who are calmed by this…
    We shall overcome. I know what you mean about feeling worse off right now then before this all began but what hasn’t changed for me is that my supportive family has gathered around Dana and me and absolutely dares anyone to not call us a “real” family. That is our best revenge – a happy life. Can you knit me a “no heterosupremacy” sign like the one I created on santacruzdykemarch.org for Hanukkah?
    Love you and both so much. Mimi

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