Last night, I couldn’t sleep. Out of nowhere, I had started to feel really sad, and at first I couldn’t figure out why. Then I realized that I was worrying about the passage of Prop 8, which would take away my right to marry the woman I love.
When the California Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, I couldn’t have been much happier. It was inspiring to watch some of the first same-sex marriages happen at Oakland City Hall. It gave me so much hope for the future of our state, and for the first time, my girlfriend and I started to think seriously about the possibility of marriage.
But now I’m facing the reality that this right could be ripped away from me. A few months ago, I thought Prop 8 was sure to go down. The polling looked good, and I thought that the thousands of same sex couples who were getting married would shift this debate forever. Didn’t everyone at least peripherally know one same sex couple who had gotten married?
Now I think my assumptions may have been off. The Mormon church has dumped millions of dollars into passing Prop 8 and has run extremely misleading ads that seem to have been very effective. The polling is far too close for comfort.
But all of this was still very far removed from my own life. That changed on Saturday, when I took the bus down to Lakeshore in Oakland, as I got off the bus, I saw a large group of Yes on 8 protesters shouting and waving their signs. They were mostly kids, with a few adults. And they seemed very, very angry. There was a small contingent of No on 8 people across the street, who were standing quietly with their signs and passing out fliers.
I left this scene feeling upset – sad, angry, and afraid. I could not believe I had just seen people expressing such hatred in the heart of Oakland. These feelings grew in me all weekend, and I realized that I needed to do something about it. I’ve been so engrossed in Rebecca Kaplan’s campaign for Oakland City Council and the No on Measure KK campaign in Berkeley, that I’ve done almost nothing for No on 8.
Well, that’s going to change. I’m going to dedicate most of my energy this week to No on 8, and I hope you will join me. Here’s what we can do to make sure that one day I can marry the woman I love and that all Californians have the right to marry whomever they love, regardless of gender:
- Donate! Like I said, the Mormon church has raised a ton of money for Yes on 8. We need to counter that with funds of our own. Do not wait another day – give generously today.
- Volunteer: I’ll be phoning at the Oakland United Democratic Campaign office at 1915 Broadway in downtown Oakland several nights this week (I’m headed there right now). The great thing about this office is that you can phone for various campaigns at once – I’ll be phoning for No on 8 and Rebecca Kaplan. Join me any night from 5-9pm. If you’re not in Oakland, you can find your local No on 8 office here.
- Do Personal GOTV: Don’t assume all your friends are going to vote. Call, email, or bang down their doors – just make sure everyone you know is voting No on 8. The California Democratic Party has set up this great tool that allows you to text your friends for free. Check it out and personalize the message to remind your friends to vote No on 8.