Where Is The Love?

I want to feel elated today because last night, we officially ended these last horrible eight years. Years when some of us were wrongly arrested, and others were spied on for no cause. Years that people were tortured in our name and wars were based — and lives lost — on sheer lies and political manipulation. These years have permanently shaped my political outlook in the way the ’60s, Vietnam and Nixon influenced my parents.

It’s a momentous and hopeful time.

And yet, how can I celebrate when Californians voted to put discrimination in the California constitution? The same voters who helped elect our first black president also voted to prevent same-sex couples from marrying. We took a step backwards in California, while the rest of the country moved forward.

But then an unnamed commenter (identified only as a newly married friend) on Daily Kos put it in perspective for me:

This may be a setback, but really, it’s just a single slap. I do not intend to cringe and sulk in the corner. I do not intend, even for one tiny second, to let the forces of intolerance think they have won even a battle. They haven’t. They want to rest now. They want to think that this is it, that they can go back home and sleep because they’ve stopped something they hate and are afraid of. They haven’t. We’re not down. We’re not wounded. We’re not battered or bleeding. We’re in love.

This was exactly what I needed — a reminder that this is about love, and love doesn’t end because of some state ballot measure or some hypocritical religious belief.

Because of love, consenting adults have committed their lives to each other, even though their government doesn’t recognize their union and even though their commitment doesn’t provide them the same rights as other loving, committed couples. And this love is what fuels all of us, gay or straight, who fight to end discrimination.

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