As if I needed any more reason not to see my book-wager money to fall into the hands of the anti-gay marriage crowd, I now learn that the forces of evil have vowed to undo the work of the Washington State legislators who bravely voted this week to extend full marriage rights to all its residents.
And I’m sad to think the hate crowd might succeed. Four years ago I collected signatures and stood on street corners holding up my “No On 8” sign, hoping against hope that the people of California would do the right thing and let us keep our rights. I can’t tell you how sickened, how hollowed-out, I felt in my guts when I woke up the next morning to hear on the radio that our rights had been snatched away. I thought of the “Yes on 8” people I’d seen during those weeks leading up to the vote — the crazies, the bullies, the car that slowed down in front of me so that a woman could roll down her window and confidently call out to me, “I’m voting YES …” — and realized that those people won.
I also remember standing on a cold and rainy Saturday in front of Oakland’s fabulous Grand Lake Theater, about a week before the 2008 election, and thinking to myself: why do I even have to do this? Why am I getting soaked to the skin fighting to protect a right that no bigot should be able to take away from me? Straight people have never had to fight for their right to be married; why should I?
So to the gays and lesbians of Washington, my sympathies are with you. I’m guessing you’ve got better things to do with your time in 2012 than to fight for a right that should belong to you without a struggle, but sadly, it’s looking like you might have no choice. And to the nice straight people of Washington — the ones who support gay marriage rights — you might consider standing on a corner with a sign. Please don’t let California’s shame become your own. And if you succeed, your state might just go down in history as the first to affirm marriage rights at the ballot box.
But don’t worry, you good people of Washington: you can be sure the anti-marriage crowd won’t be getting any of my money. After 26 days, I’ve written over 130 pages of notes — and the page number is mounting.
Want to contribute to the cause? Visit Equal Rights Washington.