Sara Whitman

Too Much Hate

Filed By Sara Whitman | November 03, 2008 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: California, gay marriage, marriage amendment, marriage equality, Prop 8, Prop. 8, same-sex marriage, volunteer work

I drove up to Oakley, California Sunday to check polling locations and also went through Pittsburg, and Bentwood, all small towns north of San Francisco.

It was the hardest day I've had here, by far.

Everywhere there were Yes on 8 signs, nowhere No on 8 signs. Neighborhood after neighborhood, signs were on lawns of suburban houses not unlike my own. I came across two small Yes on 8 "rallies" at intersections, and people where honking and cheering in support.

I wanted to cry.

I feel so hopeless right now. It is an old feeling the roots from long, long ago. I'm surprised it has not come up before now. Maybe because I still had more to give, more to do, more to write.

I don't. I'm exhausted by the argument that I'm a normal human being. I swear, I'm going to go shave my head. Why bother trying to fit in? What good does it do? I have no more money to give and I leave today to go home.

Over and over, I saw little suburban boxes all lined up. How easily I could be in one of those houses. How many LGBT people are in them? One in ten, as they say, feels so lonely. I hope there are two in twenty- or more.

This fight will leave deep scars. No matter what.

We almost had to do this in Massachusetts. How many of my neighbors would have put up the hateful signs? I like to think none but I know I would have driven by some every day.

It feels like "You don't belong." Countless numbers of LGBT youth kill themselves over that message every year.

I am deeply grateful to all those who worked on the Massachusetts campaign. I feel even more protective of my state- we can never let this happen.

I don't want to take away the right of those twenty men on one corner, all shouting out cruel things. I only want to have the same rights. Why is that so threatening? If you don't want to be married to someone, then don't do it! Is that really rocket science?

It was a hard day yesterday. The polls show this so close every single vote will count. Driving around, I have never felt so hated before in my life. Just because of who I love.

The campaign office is still full of energy and enthusiasm. I'm certain a great deal comes from Red Bull and coffee, but not a single person has let up.

If we lose on Tuesday, it won't be because there was not enough effort. It will be because there is too much hate.

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Karen Collett | November 3, 2008 2:18 PM

Sara, from the bottom of my heart: Thank you!

Sarah, thanks for all your hard work. Bear this in mind the words of Dr. King as you watch the election returns tomorrow night.

We must accept finite disappointment, but must never lose infinite hope.

Never lose infinite hope that things will get better. The minute you stop pushing for the better world you visualize, the bigots win.

You left your family to fly to another state and work hard against it. Nevermind the hate - that's love.

Sarah, I don't even know you - but I'm sending you love from me and all my friends and "family".
Thank you so much for doing what many of us couldn't!

I didn't do that much- but I did have the privilege to witness history and an amazingly hard working group of people.

they are the ones to thank!

I didn't do that much

Don't see yourself short. :)

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | November 3, 2008 8:56 PM

Sara, I can totally relate! A neighbor just put up a "Yes on 8," sign right across from my living-room sliding glass door. We don't know one another, but the sign still felt very personal. Walk into my living-room, and it's right there, unavoidable!

I hadn't planned on putting up a sign, but I rushed out of the house to the "No on 8" HQ, where they rustled up two signs (they'd run out!). I gave one to my upstair's neighbor and put the other on my small balcony, facing the neighbor.

This IS personal.

Thanks for coming to California!!!

Sara, as another Mass resident I agree that we have to be sure that this doesn't happen in our state. And I'm glad that you are there helping with the fight. Keep up the good work.

Sarah, Bryn and all, I know exactly how you must feel. The worst, absolute worst, moment for me of this entire campaign season was when I IMed a (closeted) "friend" in California to tell him that my girlfriend and I are getting married, only to be met with a ten paragraph diatribe of the hater party line, plus "the people have already spoken...activist judges, Newsom is a jerk," blah blah blah in the same vein. I was appalled.

All I could think to say in response was that the reason the framers set us up to have a balance of powers was to prevent an uneducated, ignorant majority from infringing on the rights of minorities. He ignored that, and said he had to go but "I await your rebuttal". This was coming from a man who is not only gay, but had himself been pushed aside when his partner was dying of AIDS, by a brother who objected to their relationship, due to his religious beliefs. That being the case, how utterly cruel and heartless of him to wish the same on other people! I am not sure whether the way he is acting is just a classic example of cognitive dissonance or he truly believes his own bullshit (judging by how adamant and unreasonable he was, I would bet the former), but whatever his reason, the fucking hypocrite is not only voting YES on 8, but doing his damnedest to influence other people to do the same.

What really hurt was that this was his response to being told I just got engaged! And he thinks that Newsom is a jerk???

Y'know, I'm married. I'm a CD, and I have a wife. We appear to the world as a straight couple. We live in a state that has a constitutionally mandated ban on gay marriage, and take it from me, it's 18 kinds of stupid. Our state did it in the 2004 election, and it was the worst mistake the population of Kentucky made since joining the Union in 1792.

My state isn't changing. Probably 20 years from now, Kentucky will still not allow gay marriage. Alas, we have a lot of very stupid people who live in this state. But it is my home, and I am here to stick in the jerks' craw, if nothing else.

Thanks to you, Sara, and to many of your friends there, I believe California will defeat this initiative. I wish I could have gone out there.

I sent my check. It wasn't much; I had a lot of good candidates to support with my limited funds. But No on 8 got a small check from a straight married couple from Kentucky. Why? Because there's not a reason in the world why the rights my wife and I enjoy should not be open to same-sex couples who are committed to each other. There is no justification for passing Prop 8 that isn't bigotry-encrusted. This is not a gay right, this is common sense, a human right, the common justifications (devaluation of marriage? Give me a freaking break!) are BS.

Those who don't like gay marriages may choose to not attend them - but that's their loss. If they can tell you that you can't be married, then start telling them they can't be religious-based bigots. It's that damned simple.

Thought you might like to know... My sweetie spoke to a co worker who lives in Brentwood today. Some one put up yes on 8 signs on her lawn with out her knowledge. She was so darn mad about it she went out and chopped them up with her hatchet. She was already gonna vote no but it motivated her to speak out loud and clear about the bigotry of the yes crowd.

Thanks for all your help out here. I know that cryin feeling. I'm so worn by the indignity and meanness of this process. I would never wish on anyone this humiliation of having ones fundamental human rights put to a simple majority vote.

We'll be out tomorrow before the polls open, doing what we can. It ain't over til its over. Take care of your self and I wish you a celebratory homecoming.