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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Yes We Did!

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

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"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Yes We Did!

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As I posted about on Monday, I was not particularly nervous about President Obama's chances of reelection yesterday, as--popular vote aside--he seemed to have more than enough electoral votes. My true worry was Question 6, the Maryland ballot question that would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. As I said Monday, this issue is one of the biggies for me. While it would not impact my family directly--we need laws at the federal level since immigration issues are also involved--it is a huge symbolic victory for us and, of course, it will extend rights to many couples in Maryland who don't face the same legal obstacles that my sister and her wife do.

Last night, Maryland joined Maine in becoming the first states to pass marriage equality based on popular support.

Bobby spent most of the day yesterday volunteering at the Carroll County Democratic Headquarters. (Ever the barrel of fun, I stayed home and read The Dead Sea Scrolls for grad school.) We stopped by the election night party after collecting back the signs we'd posted Monday night. The headquarters was packed and standing-room only. A local restaurant had catered some snacks, and beer and wine were flowing. (Meanwhile, a Carroll County Times reporter reported that, over at the Republican headquarters, they were ... praying. That underscored why I've always been a Democrat.)

Like me, many at the celebration felt the most tension surrounding Question 6. Oh, we celebrated every state that fell into Obama's column--even those that we knew we had going in--but many eyes were trained to the bottom righthand corner of the screen, where results of the state ballot initiatives were scrolling. When we arrived, 52% were in favor of Question 6, with only 1% of precincts reporting. As the night wore on, the percent reporting crept higher and higher while the support remained more or less the same, vacillating between 51 and 52% in favor. But it was close, and there was always a fear that the precincts who hadn't reported were the conservative ones, where we won't likely to get a lot of support. (Like Carroll County, where Question 6 received only 43% support.) Meanwhile, several of the initiatives, including the DREAM Act (granting in-state university tuition to the children of undocumented immigrants who met certain requirements), had leads solid enough to justify calling them before all of the votes were fully counted. Not Question 6, which--along with Question 7 concerning the legalization of table games in Maryland casinos--had only a narrow margin of approval.

Around 11 PM EST, Ohio was called for Obama, thus sealing his reelection. Cue meltdowns from Republicans angry that they hadn't gotten what they'd paid for, i.e., a Romney win! Donald Trump tried to rally the pitchfork-wielding masses against an Electoral College win while Obama was still behind in the popular vote (hastily deleting that when it turned out that, yeah, Obama won the popular vote too--and where were you in 2000, by the way, Mr. Trump??) and Karl Rove launched an impromptu quest to expose the Ohio win for the fallacy it was by sending a reporter on a trek across the building to interview the rather surprised number-crunchers. More Senate victories kept rolling in too. But Question 6--Question 6 still hovered at the bottom of our screen, with the percent reported edging ever higher and higher while the approval remaining basically the same.

The hours really began to blur after that. Come hell or high water, a group of us were determined to stay until Obama gave his speech. 88% of precincts were reporting on Question 6. It was at 52% approval. And then the campaign for Question 6 posted to Facebook: We'd won! But our optimism was cautious. The numbers coming in still showed a close race with almost 10% of precincts still reporting. The Human Rights Campaign called it next. Then Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. But we were saying, "Where is the acknowledgement from a nonpartisan media source? Why is WBAL not calling this?" 92% of precincts were reporting. We were debating: Was it even mathematically possible that those remaining 8% had enough to votes to overcome the lead we'd amassed?

Then a ticker crawled slowly across the bottom of the screen. Question 6 had passed! The atmosphere was one of jubilation. We were cheering and hugging. I was so tired at this point that I felt fairly numb; the excitement came as though through a haze. But I am tearing up now, typing this, remembering it. It's my generation's chance to stand up to hatred and bigotry and welcome more members of the human race to enjoy the dignity and rights that all should enjoy. Question 6 had started heavily in our favor, but then the churches started mustering their hate, and it became contentious, but for the first time ever, they didn't win. They didn't win! We did! It was a triumph for all who believe in basic human dignity and equality. It was the first sign that all the senseless hatred against people for being born to love a certain way may yet end, not by forcing it to end through judicial and legislative decisions but because people stand up and say "This must stop. We can no longer stand for that kind of hatred on our watch."

Maine announced their victory a bare nine minutes before we announced ours--but as we pointed out, they have a much smaller population than we do, i.e. fewer ballots to count! Washington looks like they will also pass their ballot measure, but all the votes aren't counted yet, and Minnesota struck down a ban on same-sex marriage. It was a good day for us!

We ended up leaving after Obama's speech, at about 2 AM. *groan* I got in bed at about 2:45 and had to be up for work at 6:15. *groangroan* I sustained myself today on excitement and Barry's tea. What a great night!

This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

  • then the churches started mustering their hate, and it became contentious, but for the first time ever, they didn't win. They didn't win! We did! It was a triumph for all who believe in basic human dignity and equality. It was the first sign that all the senseless hatred against people for being born to love a certain way may yet end, not by forcing it to end through judicial and legislative decisions but because people stand up and say "This must stop. We can no longer stand for that kind of hatred on our watch."

    It makes me so embarrassed to be a Christian when there is so much vileness and hatred in that religion. But thank goodness not every-one is like that, and you are right, people are standing up and saying this rancid and sickening hatred must STOP.
    • I think, if anything, the Maryland vote shows that the "average Christian" is not vile and hateful by any stretch but deeply values justice. I guarantee that the majority of people who voted yesterday in favor of Q6 identify as Christians; most U.S. citizens do. They either decided that their faith compels them to embrace all humans, or they decided that their faith has no bearing in how others can live their lives. I think it's important to note, too, that some churches have spoken out in favor of marriage equality. I remember marching in DC with my gay friends and passing an Episcopalian church, and the clergy lining up on the porch to wave at us as we passed. (Actually, these same friends were married by a Christian clergy member over 25 years ago, proof that some people of faith were way ahead of even the most progressive governments.)

      As always, it's a rabid and vocal minority that engage in the hateful behavior and, unfortunately can cast aspersion on those who don't deserve it and actually work in opposition to the hate spewed by extremists. When I say "churches," I hope that doesn't sound like I meant all churches because this is hardly true--and even if a great many in places like Baltimore City (where, unfortunately, African American pastors often took to mobilizing their congregations against support of civil rights for LGBT people) and Carroll County, where we have a much more fundamentalist faction, pushed their flocks to vote a certain way, I'm sure many people decided privately that they couldn't condone injustice in the name of faith, and voted for Q6.
  • Donald Trump tried to rally the pitchfork-wielding masses against an Electoral College win while Obama was still behind in the popular vote (hastily deleting that when it turned out that, yeah, Obama won the popular vote too--and where were you in 2000, by the way, Mr. Trump??)

    I missed that drama! OMG! Pitchforks and bad hair! Awful combination really!

    Last night, Maryland joined Maine in becoming the first states to pass marriage equality based on popular support.

    I share your enthusiasm of that one! It's a big step in the right direction.

    I lived in Mexico where a groundbreaking election was stolen right in front of everyone's eyes! The computers crashed! (Yeah, right!) Everyone knew it was stolen and nobody did a thing except complain. Then there was the election here in 2000-the hanging and dimpled chads--ballots with clear intent to vote in a particular way are thrown out.
    • I missed that drama! OMG! Pitchforks and bad hair!

      Well, since everything is permanent on the Internet ...

      After Obama won the popular vote--which didn't take long since, as I recall, when Trump indulged in his rant, California polls hadn't even closed yet--and Trump deleted his idiocy, I said that maybe, instead of eating his hat, he should eat his rug. Except, sadly, I know that's actually not a rug but his real hair. How a person can have that much money and that bad of hair really just baffles me.

      Then there was the election here in 2000

      That was my first election as a voter. I remember I spent the night over Bobby's parents' house, and he and I sat up half the night on his futon, watching election coverage. It was a formative experience for me. That night is definitely one I want to read about in history textbooks 50 years from now. Such a travesty. And a travesty with aftershocks I suspect we'll feel for decades. When I feel like melting my brain a little, I think about how things would have been different if Gore had won. Would 9/11 even have happened? Even if it did, I doubt we would have gone to any much less two wars. I doubt we'd be in the deep economic hole we are right now.
      • Would 9/11 even have happened?

        Who knows. That is a bit of a stretch. I think intelligence on it slipped through the cracks while everyone was so busy trying to impeach Clinton for getting some blow jobs in his office and he was busy trying to defend himself. Don't even get me started on that one. Outrageous waste of taxpayers money and the time and attention of those involved. But you know me; I could give a damn what he was doing in his office, no matter how inappropriate or tacky, as long as he got his work done and it was consensual.

        Whatever had happened, Gore certainly would not have had the balls to spend as much money on wars as Bush did. Although, both main parties are historically far too trigger happy IMHO.
  • Good for Maryland!
  • I must admit that I went to bed, but knew Obama was winning because my DH was very grumpy. I was worried about our two amendments - both needing "no" votes to carry the way that I was hoping they would. The cities weren't the problem, but the northern counties, where the Catholic church had put a lot of money and time in trying to get out the "yes" vote, that worried me quite a lot.

    But, waking up this morning and realizing that the measure to allow same sex couples to wed in Maine and Maryland and the mandate to not allow our constitution to be changed defining marriage as only legal if between one man and one woman had been defeated - well those made me so joyous.

    This vote was for my cousin and her partner of more than twenty years who live in a state that doesn't allow same sex marriage. It was for my gay friends from college and my working life whose partners love them as much as any partner in an opposite sex relationship. This vote was for people - all people throughout our great nation and beyond.

    Someday people will wonder what all of the fuss was about. Why it was so necessary to protest, march, and dedicate ourselves to establishing something that is considered just one more aspect of human sexuality. I hope that day comes soon.

    Bravo Maryland, Maine and Minnesota, and (it looks like it may also pass in) Washington. Thanks to all of the voters who recognize that everyone deserves equal treatment and respect under the law. Now...lets work for a Federal constitutional amendment...

    - Erulisse (one L)
    • For us, it was Baltimore City pastors and African American congregations that might have been the barrier to the passage of Q6. That makes me really sad, as many people who voted against Q6 were part of the civil rights movement.

      We do need a federal law. The good news, I think, is that public opinion is rapidly changing; even the Republicans are recognizing, it seems, that they must evolve or die as a party, and same-sex marriage is an issue I hear being brought up a lot in those conversations of outmoded ideas that they need to get rid of.

      Congrats to Minnesota too!
    • That was so beautifully said, Erulisse (one L).
  • So you did. That's great. ;)

    P.s. Your sister in law is from UK, right? So, did your sister have to change citizenship after marriage, or she kept US, or one can have "double" citizenship...?

    P.p.s. I really, really hope that the day will come that all the religions will lose their influence...
    • Yes, my sister lives in the UK now; her wife is a British citizen. I'm not sure of the particulars of her citizenship (she may appear on this thread and clarify), but I think she was close to the point of being able to apply for British citizenship. The U.S. allows for dual citizenship, so she'll have both.

      (Sharon, correct me if I'm wrong!)

      I hope for the same re: religious influence on secular life. As an agnostic myself, it's something I find very hard to wrap my brain around, wanting to govern others by my own spiritual beliefs. I guess it's got enough of a historical precedent to be a bad habit for a lot of religions by now. ;)
    • Dawn is correct. :) Both the US and UK allow dual citizenship, so I am still an American citizen and I will be an British citizen too, as soon as we scrape together £1,000 to apply for it.

      Quite a long list of countries don't allow dual citizenship (or they only allow it under certain circumstances, e.g. Spaniards can also have citizenship from Latin American countries) but we are lucky that the US and UK do allow it.
  • So glad to hear that reason prevailed... on both counts! I checked for the result of the presidential election yesterday morning - which was easy enough - but didn't know about the results of Question 6 until now. Great news! Congratulations - even if it's only a symbolic victory for you! \o/
    • We're all very excited! It was a very victorious night for progressives: the presidential race, of course, but a number of key Senate races won, and many states passing progressive measures. (Every last one of the seven ballot measures that we wanted in Maryland passed.) Question 6 will be the biggie of this election for me, though. It feels a huge turning point; even though I still feel it's wrong for people to vote on other's rights, that it represents a majority being willing to extend those rights is huge, imo.
  • I have nothing of substance to add to this and the earlier post, really. I'll be doing my own post about why this matters so much to me (and it's not just that Silver Springs is one of my favorite communities from the summer I worked in DC, so MD has a soft spot in my heart. But mainly I wanted to say how much I enjoyed these posts. I'm working on my own post re: the votes, and I'll probably be linking to yours. The immediate reaction, the reasons this vote mattered so much to you - it came through so clearly.
    • Thank you, Marta--and I'm glad (and a little relieved! :) that something meaningful came across in these posts. It's such a personal and emotional issue for me that distilling that down to something coherent--and something that others are able to connect to--can feel challenging for me.

      the reasons this vote mattered so much to you

      I've always tried to talk about this issue as it impacts my family ... because it does. As I noted in a comment on the previous post, my family has been done actual harm so that others can live in a world forced to conform to their personal beliefs. I sometimes think the discussion on marriage equality becomes more a clash of values; there's nothing wrong with those kinds of discussions, but the fact that there are real people and families in there, being affected every day, can get a little lost. So I try to bring it back to that, in talking about it, and also to make it more personal for people. It's easy to oppose rights for "them"; it's harder when opposing those rights affects real people that you know.

      I look forward to reading your post. :)
  • conga-rats to Maryland on marriage equality

    User marta_bee referenced to your post from conga-rats to Maryland on marriage equality saying: [...] and here [...]
  • :D I'm glad it passed! I was keeping track of it and a lot of other races here in Indiana. I wasn't too terrified about Obama's chances either, I was more frightened that my state was going to elect Mourdock as a Senator. Luckily, though it was far closer than I ever thought it would be, we didn't.

    Maryland has much more sense than my state does. I'm so glad so many states are starting to wake up to the fact that this is the 21st century.
    • When my husband and I got to the Dem's party on Tuesday, news that Mourdock had been defeated was one of the first pieces of news we saw on TV! Yay! Definitely a move in the right direction. :)

      I think the momentum re: same-sex marriage is beginning. All of the chatter I've heard about now the Republicans have to revamp their party has mentioned changing their stance on same-sex marriage, which is rapidly becoming Not A Big Deal At All to most people in the U.S.
      • It was! Of course, for me, I was watching the results of that race as they came in - it was terrifying to watch as county after county came in with Mourdock winning it. My family is odd, I suppose, in that a lot of the people around us were supporters of him, whereas no one was supporting Mourdock (including my father, who was furious when Mourdock beat Lugar in the primaries. My dad is very much a conservative, but he's the type that thinks the Tea Party is ruining it all. Whereas I'm very, very liberal.)

        I think it is too! I'm happy for it, though once again I'm the odd person out. (...though my dad's even odder, in that he considers marriage to be none of the government's business what so ever, and wishes the government would just issue civil partnerships to everyone. I have no idea how that all came about.) I suppose it just doesn't seem to me that it's becoming Not A Big Deal At All to most people, because it's still a huge deal to people around me. *sigh*
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