Monday, December 15, 2008

Why We Lost Prop 8 and How We Can Win Gay Civil Rights and Marriage Equality – A Countdown of Political New Year's Resolutions! #3: History

Clio, The Greek Muse of History

Reason Three: History

We missed the opportunity to build a broader coalition of support among minorities. We needed to make the case that this is a battle for ALL of our civil rights.

Like the Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller, a Holocaust survivor, famously said:

"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."

Well, in California they were coming for the Gays. And California Voters didn’t speak up.

New Years Resolution: We need to speak up about the history of minority oppression, and successfully make the case that when ANY minority is denied their rights, it's bad for ALL minorities.

Or, In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., in his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," April 16, 1963:

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

2 comments:

virtualredhead said...

What I can't stomach are the prop 8 donors who are now acting all "victimized" by boycotts.

http://urbzen.com/2008/12/15/tacos-with-a-side-of-bigotry/

C. B. James said...

Thanks for such an interesting series. Insightful and thought provoking.

My partner just got the new repeal prop eight bumper sticker the HRC put out. Sad to say it looks just like the signs that lost the vote in the first place.

I much prefer the Stop the H8 stickers.

I'll be at the candlelight vigil on Saturday in Napa, CA.