President Obama. Of course.
The Democrats now have 56 seats in the Senate. Four seats are still undecided, according to CNN, but it looks like they’re all going to go Republican. Our best shot to pick up one last seat is Al Franken in Minnesota — who, with supposedly 100% of the vote counted, is less than 600 votes behind.
The Democrats now have 252 seats in the House, which is a 16 seat gain. Ten seats are still undecided.
Democrats have a majority in the NY State Senate for the first time since the New Deal. Wow. Do you mean that we might actually get some shit done?
Kay Hagan got Elizabeth Dole out of office. Gotta love that.
The South Dakota abortion ban, Measure 11, was decisively knocked down by a 10 point margin. A huge congrats to all of my friends at SD Healthy Families!
It looks like California has shot down Prop 4, the anti-abortion parental notification initiative, with 95% of the vote in and 52% voting No.
Arkansas Initiative 1, which bans adoption for unmarried couples, passed. This initiative is clearly anti-gay, but it also denies adoption rights to unmarried straight couples and could affect single people as well.
Nebraska Initiative 424 passed, and bans affirmative action.
San Francisco’s Measure K was shot down. Measure K would have decriminalized prostitution in the area, and is a controversial proposal among feminists. I believe that it would have made the jobs and lives of many sex workers much safer, and therefore I supported it and mark its defeat as a definite Bad.
The Downright Ugly
Yesterday, I really did have good feelings about Proposition 8. I knew that out of the four initiatives that I most cared about — Amendment 48, Measure 11, Prop 8 and Prop 4 — the likelihood was that we would lose at least one. All were horrible, but if I had to pick one to pass both in terms of predictions and hopes, my money was on Prop 4. Prop 4 was an atrocious, harmful piece of legislation, and I’m so happy to have seen it failed. But in all, I think it would have done the least damage. And it seemed to be to be ambiguous enough that people might have voted Yes. I couldn’t disagree with a Yes vote any more, but at least I understand the ignorance behind it. I get a Yes vote on 4.
This, I do not understand.
Proposition 8 winning is downright ugly as opposed to just bad for many reasons. For a start, it’s in California. California is supposed to be one of our most liberal states. It’s supposed to help set the pace for the rest of the nation. California voting Yes on Prop 8 says horrible things about where the fight for LGBT equality is headed in this country. And it’s much, much worse than the same-sex marriage bans in Florida and Arizona, and not only because it was less expected — but because same-sex marriage was already legal in California.
California voters didn’t just cast their ballots to deny rights to their fellow citizens. That would have been bad enough. California voters cast ballots to take rights away.
I don’t understand how this could have happened. How can you vote to revoke the rights that people already have? How could you do it in such large numbers? How could it happen in California, of all places? And with hindsight being twenty-twenty, I’m kicking myself. What the hell was I doing phone-banking for Obama? The man won by a monumental landslide. Why didn’t I give my time to Prop 8 instead? Why was I so wrongly comfortable? How did we let them win?
I don’t know the answers to those questions. And I feel physically ill looking at pictures of “Yes on 8″ supporters celebrating. HOORAY, we took away the rights of our neighbors!, they must be saying. HOORAY, we officially got the state to recognize how morally superior our choices and biological inclinations are regarding who to fuck and who to love. HOORAY, we’re a bunch of fucking bigots who don’t deserve the rights we would take from other people. LOOK AT US, we’re ignorant, selfish jackasses with copious amounts of hate in our hearts.
Please, do look at them. Because they must tell us something about our country and ourselves. Just as it’s important to remember that electing a Black president is not the end of racism in this country, it’s important to remember how far we have to go when a country that elects a Black president would also deny basic rights to its LGBT citizens, even in some of its most liberal pockets.
Granted, the final results still haven’t been called. And opponents think that defeating Prop 8 is still somewhat possible. I hope they’re right. But even if they are, the fact that this is so close is devastating, repulsive, and ought to be truly eye-opening. It puts a profound damper on this otherwise monumental victory.
I’m sure that I’ve left some news of various initiatives and candidate wins and losses out. Feel free to leave extra info in the comments.