The passage of Proposition 8, which eliminated the right of same sex couples to marry in California, put a serious damper on what should have been an amazing election night for many of us. While 52.2% of California voters said yes, we can take maybe a little bit of comfort in the fact that bigotry isn’t quite so much in vogue in our neck of the woods – 62.2% of Alameda County voters said no. (Just for fun – our no vote was bested only by Marin, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma Counties, and we tied with Mendocino County.)
It was a banner day for intolerance, not just in California, but across the country. Arizona voters approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage 56.3% to 43.7%. Florida did the same thing, voting 61.9% to 38.1% to “protect marriage.” Even sicker, 56.95% of Arkansas voters decided they don’t think gay couples should even be able to adopt children. WTF?
This Saturday, equality advocates across the nation will come together to protest this widespread show of intolerance and rally for an end to discrimination and equal rights for all citizens. Protests are being organized in more cities than I can count, and Oakland, of course, will have one of its own at 10:30 tomorrow morning in front of City Hall. Lucky for us, local organizers have lined up some truly excellent speakers, including newly-elected at-large City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan and Equality California development director Sean Sullivan. So if you can, please try to make it down to City Hall on Saturday morning and show your support.