REACT EQUALITY: Your Thoughts on the Results of Election ’08

In response to the passage of Prop 102, Act 1, Amendment 2 and Prop
8, the Family Equality Council has launched DECLARE YOUR
, a visibility campaign for LGBT parents, their
families and friends. Click here to get involved and find out

This post, “React Equality,” will serve as the message board for
LGBT parents, family and friends who want to react to the passage
of these anti-equality ballot measures–to share with each other
their fears and frustrations as well as their hopes and dreams. To
have your thoughts featured on this post, submit them
through the DECLARE YOUR FAMILY EQUAL webpage.

From Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director of Family
Equality Council:

The results are in but the fight is not over. We have seen
voters in Florida, Arizona, Arkansas and California strip away our
rights at the ballot box yet again. These votes hurt our families
deeply and impact how we nurture and protect each other. I know
right now many of you are hurt, angry, frustrated, scared and not
knowing what to do. But we have to remain focused on the future, on
the needs of our kids and on demanding the dignity and rights our
families deserve.

For the first time in eight years, we will have a pro-equality
president and majorities in many states. There are many paths to
victory, all of which we will take, but right now, in this moment,
we need to show the world what our families are all about. We need
to take our emotions and channel them to create forward movement.
While the country is watching, we need your help to declare our
families equal. We may have suffered losses on November 4th, but
our struggle to create a world in which all families are
recognized, respected, protected and celebrated carries on. So
let’s come together as a community and show our families’


[NOTE: We have received some comments reflecting on the
racial/ethnic breakdown of the vote on Prop 8. We want to provide
our supporters with the most accurate information we have on this
difficult issue so that we can avoid creating and entrenching
division where it should not exist. The numbers floating out there
about the African American vote on Prop 8 are based on exit polls,
which often include <50 African American people. In a state as
large as California, that sample tells us very little about the
vote. We also know that the Yes on 8 thread across racial/ethnic
lines was a conservative, religious-based perspective on marriage,
meaning that while we as a community certainly have a lot of work
to do to become more racially inclusive and therefore more powerful
as a diverse movement for change, we also have to remember that
religious-based bigotry brought people of all races, backgrounds,
classes and perspectives to the polls against us. For people who
are interested in helping Family Equality Council achieve its
racial inclusion and equality goals, visit]


You won. We lost. I bet you’re happy you get to keep your
“traditional marriages” and get to “protect children”. But
just think about what you have done. Now because of you and your
people, my mothers are not legally wed. My mothers and their gay,
lesbian and bisexual friends can’t marry who they love. My
mothers who have taken care of me my whole life, who have known and
loved each other for more than 20 years are not married any more.
When my mother Judy was going into labor my mother Pepper had to
lie and say that she was my moms sister to get into the hospital,
can you imagine how they felt? My little sister is scared because
she doesn’t know what is going to happen.  My little sister is
sad, mad, and scared because of you. And you claim you want to
protect children? The only way I can describe this is Hypocrite.
You also say my moms have enough rights? Why don’t you get a
domestic partnership instead of a marriage?

In the constitution it says that religion should have nothing
to do with law and government, so you can’t say it goes against
your religion. You also say God hates us. One, God does NOT hate.
He, she or whom ever you refer to as the powers that be, created
all of us the way it wanted. Two, you are using that as an excuse
for hating us and being a bigot. For those who don’t know, the
definition of bigot, a bigot is a person who is utterly intolerant
of any differing belief, or opinion, or in this case sexual
orientation. Every social group has or will have bigots bothering
them. Blacks, Latinos and Jews have gone through it now it was our

And to say that you would have to teach gay marriage in school
is the biggest lie ever told by anyone, ever. I was taught what
marriage was by my parents. Not one of my classes explained what
marriage was, the only thing that ever had to do with marriage was
when in social studies. But it was only acknowledging it by saying
“John Doe” was married to “Jane Doe”, things of that

So thanks for lying to get votes, being intolerant, and doing a
really bad thing for millions of families.”
–Cory, 11 years


“The issue that most affects me right now…my sister,
brother-in-law, and father voted in favor of prop 8.  I feel
betrayed, hated, that I am a second class citizen. I cannot fully
express the hurt that I feel.  If only our family and friends had
supported us by voting no maybe this wouldnt have passed.”



“Disappointment, but the dream lives on…

The California election results are disappointing. Proposition
8 looks like it’s going to pass, although there’s a glimmer of
hope, however faint that as of yet uncounted absentee and
provisional ballots may push it to defeat.

So yes if you ask me what I think about the results this
morning, I’m disappointed. But I also look at this very
realistically. We had the opportunity of a lifetime. Never in my
life before this year did I think that gay marriage was going to
happen in my lifetime, much like the Berlin wall coming down, or
the USSR dissolving, or an African American becoming president. Yet
all these things happened, and I’m glad and proud to have witnessed
all of them in my lifetime.

I wouldn’t have changed anything we’ve done. Our marriage was
one of the most precious things we could have done and I’m so glad
our daughter Lauren was a part of it and she made such an
impression on us. So as I’ve told some of my friends, being able to
get get married was icing on the cake for us. Our marriage was
about us, getting to state our love to each other and to our
daughter, reaffirming our family, and we held our marriage with
just ourselves and two friends as witnesses. Sure, we had a party
later, but the wedding was private, affecting only us, and no one

So, if you ask me about Proposition 8, yes, I’m disappointed,
but I’m glad we were part of this past year of gay marriage, and
we’ll continue to dream on about a world where equality prevails.
It may seem like something that won’t happen in our lifetime, but
as we’ve lived to see, anything’s possible.”
— Timothy


“I know someone will say I shouldn’t post this, but gay people
have had a loving, positive impact on my life. My cousin is gay,
and I believe he is the apple of God’s eye. When I was young, one
reason I didn’t go completely crazy or commit suicide was because
of a gay priest whom I love dearly, and a gay friend. When my dad
was recovering from alcoholism, one of his most ardent supporters
was a gay doctor.

I support gay people’s right to marry, adopt children, and just
live, like all the rest of us.”
— Stephanie


“Although I am so proud to have Barack Obama as our
President-elect, I am so very saddened by what has happened in
Florida, Arkansas, Arizona, and California.  A (straight, married,
with kids) friend of mine today was telling me how disappointing
the passage of Prop 8 was to her.  I opened my mouth to respond
and felt my face flush and my eyes well up as I realized I didn’t
even have words to respond.  I was so hopeful that, at the very
least, Prop 8 would be defeated, and there would be a chance that
my children would have rights just like hers.  Our children are
loved just as much as hers, wanted just as much as hers, contribute
just as much as hers to the world we live in, and yet they don’t
have the basic rights that hers do, just because they have two
moms.  Was I selfish to have children?  Today I wondered. 
Tonight, though, as I write those words, I realize that I am no
more selfish for bringing children into this world and loving them
than are members of other oppressed groups.  We continued to raise
and nurture girls before women had rights to property and votes. 
We continued to bear children into slave families and love them and
nurture them into adults before they had rights to their own
lives.  And I will continue to love and nurture my children and
demand that their schools, their places of worship, our insurance
carriers, and whoever else will listen do the same, even though
these beautiful children still don’t have the rights their
classmates enjoy.”


“I don’t care who tells me I can’t…who tells me I’m not…I
tell my children everyday that they CAN, they ARE, they COUNT. 
Please folks, don’t buy into the emotion of this — it’s not time
to get hurt or angry but to get EVEN.  Time to fight.  Time to
start voting as a bloc and destroy candidates who don’t support
us.  Time to take our support away from people and groups who do
not.  Time to use the courts and our money to put people out of
office, out of business, out of places of influence.  It’s time to
take action, FOR OUR CHILDREN.  Because this is about our
families, our children, our lives.  Time to take back the


“Having come this far without the legal right to marry, we
adapted, formed our families as best we could. To have this vote
eliminating our right to marry now feels deeply personal and goes
far beyond the right to marry and is feels like the slippery slope
to further exclusionary divisons.

At the same time so much love and support came our way during
this campaign that we cannot forget that our allies african
american and hispanic, asian and white did step up. I love them for
it because I know that daily they went out to campaign against Prop
We need to do a lot more education around this issue and be more
visible as happy families that this ruling attempts to wrip

The video campaign is right way to go, we need books,
blogs, pictures, stories, a barrage of constant PR. ‘Silence is
death’ has often been used as a rallying cry. We thought we were
too busy with our daily lives and that we could be silent and happy
families getting on with our lives. We cannot.

We also need to address this issue of justifying this action in
the name of God.  God being  a bigot. God is not a bigot. We do
need to separate church and state but we also need to call people
who use their religion for hatred. God is not a bigot.

WE cannot forget now what has happened in this same historic
election and occured the states of Florida and Arkansas. We need to
be aware that what happened there is now a reality of what could
happen in California, although we would never previously have
thought it possilble.

Thank you Family Equality Council.. you are right on .. we need
to channel our energy and use our faith in this new era and new
presidency that the right thing must and will be done.”





“I don’t understand how our country continues to be so blind to
equality and what it means to us and our families! I guess America
couldn’t handle electing the first black president AND giving
same-sex couples their equality.  Where are these people that
believe we don’t deserve what they have?  Everyone I come in
contact with shares my concern for my family. Everyone who meets
our family is inspired by the love and dedication we have for one
another!  People always tell me they wished they had a family like
ours!  I don’t understand why these Amendments and Propositions
were voted for.  Listen up America!  We are strong!  We are
proud!  We are loving and productive citizens that affect your
life in some way and we will not fade into the shadows again!  We
are all one America and someday we will all be equal in each others
eyes.  I just hope I’m still around to witness it!”



“Just stop and think about how much time and energy we use just
to be acknowledged as humans. I’m tired of allowing the majority to
decide if I am worthy of equal treatment under the law. If legally
we, the LGBT community, ‘don’t count’ then we all deserve major tax
refunds. If we get no support from the system, why must we continue
to support it?”
— Elizabeth


“It really hurts to say we are not family or could be part of
the “family”.  Anyone can get married but us. We pay taxes, work,
go to church, shop, pay bills, but can’t be married, collect
spousal social security or any benefits, visitation in hospitals. 
Why?  It’s a shame!  My wife and I have been together for over 10
years.  WE ARE MARRIED as far as we are concerned.”



“I am amazed that a population that goes out of its way to
humanize living conditions for animals in Prop 2, cannot allow us
basic human rights to live simply as others do in the state of


“This is a blog entry called ‘The Day After’ that I wrote

It has been nearly a decade since I have felt this good on a
day after a Presidential election. Four years ago I was dumbstruck,
and four years before that I was still waiting for results. But
this year, tired as I am after an early Tuesday morning of election
protection volunteering, I feel hopeful about this country, and
confident that the first president elected during my son\’s life
will be one who deeply cares about the issues that will face my
little man.”
–Kathy (click here to read the rest)


“Our child is transgender. We are hoping by the time she is old
enough the laws will be more on her side. I vow to be more active
in the LGBTQ community!”


“Our son is gay and he and his husband have been two of the
most wonderful parents you could ever ask for. They adopted two
children at the ages of 2 and 6 and they are now 13 and 16. They
are two of the most wonderful and happy children you would ever
want to come across. Not only are our sons wonderful parents but
they are also pillars of their community. Our whole family embraces
them and they are no different then our other 3 children and their
families. We enjoy holidays, special events, vacations and weekends
together all the time. We are so proud of them as we are of our
other children. People do not know what they are doing when they
vote against marriage and gay adoption. I hope the coming
generation  and our new political party will be more
— Sheila and Burt


“‘Those who profess to favor freedom, yet deprecate agitation,
are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want
rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without
the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral
one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and
physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without
a demand. It never did and it never will.’ –Frederick

My family is real and valid. My family doesn’t hurt any other,
or take any freedoms from any other. My family is loving and worthy
of respect. Equality is our right. I will struggle and fight for
the rights of my family–and the rights of ALL families.



“In 1985, my partner Mary and I met in law school at the University
of Chicago.  In a rigorous (and for me, terrifiying!) property law
class, we fell in love.  Big time!  Eventually, in 1997, after
twelve years of being together, coming out to our parents and
families,and struggling to come to terms with who we are, we had a
commitment ceremony, where we celebrated with family and friends.
This was a truly wonderful, personal and profound celebration of
our love.  It was not legal, but that did not seem to matter

In 1998 and 2004, we were blessed with Thomas and Lilly, our two
amazing children.  This summer, June 2008, our children, who are
now ten and four years old, served as witnesses to our legal
marriage at San Francisco City Hall.

It was a quiet and small family affair, brought on more by
circumstance than planning. After more than 20 years with Mary, I
thought that our having a marriage license would not mean that much
— that it would really be a rubber-stamp of the life we have
already built together, with children — the highs and lows, the
sick days and holidays, the birthdays and every days.  But the
wedding was incredibly special to us. It meant something to be
validated publicly, to have the city officials hand us that
certificate, to explain to our kids just what it meant.

I was so buoyed this week by Obama’s victory, that I didn’t at
first want to acknowledge any sadness over Proposition 8.  But the
truth is, I feel deeply hurt and vulnerable.  I feel insulted that
people I do not know would feel that they could judge and restrict
my very profound, personal commitment to the love of my life, Mary,
and to our amazing children; that strangers could deem it unworthy
of legal protection.  I wish they could know us — know how we
cherish and respect one another, how we struggle with bills and
child care, how we sometimes argue and always, always try reconcile
without unkindness.  I wish they could know how wrong it is to
deny us and our chilren this most basic and important right.

Thanks for listening. Thanks for doing what you can as individuals
of this great county that elected Barack to insure that we all soon
enjoy the right to marry the ones we love.
” –Julie


It hurts me to the core that as I celebrate with
the deepest joy and excitement the election of the 44th president
of the United  States, people throughout the country do not
consider my beautiful family with my wonderful son and two gay male
parents (married) and myself a lesbian woman, a real family.