Permission, Protest and Proposition 8


Updated on Election Day!  Whiners on Parade!

This election season I have followed Proposition 8 closely.  As part of the debate, I have seen and personally received a tremendous amount of negative feedback.  “Yes on Prop 8” dialog was expected, understandable and welcome.  Debate is a great thing. 

What surprised me is how many people take a negative view of me (and others) exercising our constitutional right to voice our opinion on this issue.  What I saw as legitimate engagement in the political process is, apparently, not valid.  It is not protest, or political activism, it is:

  • whining
  • trying to force a minority agenda on a majority of the people
  • shooting my mouth off
  • making the loudest noise
  • complaining
  • inappropriate
  • destined to fail

My favorite is “whining.”  In honor of Joe (see my original post and his comments below) and of “whining” I’ve posted pictures of my favorite whiners below (in no particular order).  I’ve added their names in case they are not immediately recognizable to you.  What a bunch of whiners!

Who are your favorite whiners?   I’ll post their pictures.



Harvey Milk



 Martin Luther King Jr.



Rosa Parks



Nelson Mandela



Sojourner Truth



Betty Friedan



Bella Abzug



Susan B Anthony & Eliabeth Cady Stanton



Cesar Chavez



Cindy Sheehan



The Burning Monk (protesting the Vietnam War)



Nehru and Ghandi



Daw Aung Sun Suu Kyi



The Dalai Lama



Larry Flynt


Readers’ Favorite Whiners:

Kids in the White House

From Michele, Amy Carter



From Rose, Bob Marley



From Jim, Mother Jones


Here’s the original post that prompted the “whining” comment:

November 4th is getting close, and things are not looking good for opponents of CA Prop 8 at the polls.  If the election were held today, it would pass.  Please try to remember that this is civil rights issue.  It’s not about the school system teaching your children to be gay, or even about whether or not you think it is ok to be gay.  It is about protecting the civil rights of committed gay couples.

I’m voting no on Prop 8 NOTto demand special rights because of the kind of sex I have.  I am voting no because I want my government to grant me the same rights as heterosexual married couples – no more and no less.  Once married, I know my partner and I will be held to the same level of responsibility as straight couples – and most people believe marriage is a stabilizing force in society.  I’m willing to accept both the priviledge and the responsibility of marriage.  I don’t want to be treated any differently than anyone else.

I know change is scary.  But gay people are not scary.  We are human beings who want to marry the people we love without asking for permission.  For us, this issue is about love.  It’s about commitment.  It’s about stability.  It’s about respect.  It’s about equality.  It’s not about me teaching your kid to be a queer.  Your child will, hopefully, be loved and respected for whatever he or she becomes in life.  A  no vote on Proposition 8 will help ensure that vision becomes a reality.

Please vote no on Prop 8.

Via Small Town Gay Blog, via We Do This.  We Do That.:


Here is a great 2004 MTV gay marriage ad that Tanene Allison posted on her blog today with the comments below. It pretty much kicks the ass of the No on Prop 8 ads, which are a little weak on the civil rights point. Please send to friends and family everywhere in California (ask them to pass on), post on blogs and Facebook! Prop. 8 is leading — please help to defeat it!


5 Responses to Permission, Protest and Proposition 8

  1. Laura says:

    Please do some fact-checking. Prop.8 is NOT about restricting civil rights. In 2005, California gave all the rights that traditional married couples receive to domestic partnerships. (see California Domestic Partnership Law) These rights include:
    • Creating and dissolving registered domestic partnerships
    • Commu nity property and financial obligations
    • Parental rights and responsibilities
    • Public benefits
    • Health care and end of life issues
    Prop. 8 merely defines the word “marriage” as being between one man and one woman. There is no effort here to take those rights away from domestic partnerships. And there is no hate.
    In my efforts to educate people of all sexual orientations about this proposition, I have been repeatedly called a hater and a bigot. This is not true. I recognize same-sex attracted people as neighbors and friends in the community. I hope they (you) can allow me the same recognition.

  2. achievementgap says:

    First of all, I have read the text of Proposition 8 and I am well aware it does not specifically implement the active denial of rights. But, a restriction on the definition of marriage has that exact effect.

    Do you know that the rights granted to same-sex couples by CDPL do not include the full set of legal rights granted to straight couples? It is a subset of those rights – it’s been awhile since I’ve looked at a report related to this issue (one was pubished by but I believe California Domestic Partnership Law provides approximately 600 of the 900 named rights/responsibilities of marriage.

    To ensure we have the same set of rights we must enter into legal agreements. At best, these contracts do a poor job of mimicing a legally sanctioned marriage. And, as I’m sure you can guess, it is incredibly costly. Most couples I know, who chose to do this and could afford it, spent several thousand dollars on legal fees. So if a marriage is defined as between one man and one woman, and that marriage provides @900 rights for the cost of a marriage license (less than $100) than a restricted definition of marriage does, in fact, deny same-sex couples civil rights.

    Also, I know this issue is not about hate for many people. Of course there are straight people in my life, and we are respectful, loving and tolerant of each other’s relationships and opinions. What I hope you can try to understand is that for some people it absolutely is about hate. And we are exposed to that hate. It is horribly painful, and sometimes dangerous.

    Being accused of being a hateful bigot may feel much the same to you as being exposed to hateful homophobia does to me. I can certainly understand that. Thank you for your comments.

  3. underwood says:


    Here’s the problem. “Separate but equal.” Sound familiar? Separate is not equal. Proposition 8 is aimed at the same-sex community, specifically denying them the right to marry a chosen person, based on gender. That’s what it does. It imposes a (mainly religious) idea of what marriage should be on everyone. I don’t tell you what your marriage should be. Please, stop pretending that anyone gains anything by passing prop 8. It’s a proposition designed ONLY so that people lose something. No one wins. No one gains anything, except the right to dictate what other people’s personal lives are like. Sorry, that’s bigotry. Separate is not equal. If there is to be any freedom in our society, this kind of proposition must not pass.

  4. joe says:

    Hi all.
    To the opposers of Prop 8: If gay partners can receive ALL the same rights as straight married couples without having a word “marrige on the domestic partner license ,would you be OK with that? If you want to call you and your partner “married” in normal public everyday discoarse that’s fine. If that’s REALLY all you are tyring to achieve, then push for a bollot measure that would allow gays ALL the same rights as married couples and leave the tradionalist alone. If

    To those in favor of Prop8. If you beleive marriage is between a man and a woman, then that’s what it’ll always mean to you nothing can change what’s in your heart. If it’s true that you can pull your children out of scholl IF gay marriage is taught in class. Then you have no worries.

    I see no true bigotry by definition involving prop 8. Just a difference of opinions.
    Bottom line: If it’s only a “word” ..then let “marriage” stand as it is currently defined BUT, allow gays the same EXACT rights as straight couples…and stop all this whining about racism or bigotry!! You don’t know what real bigotry is…try the south pre civil rights or Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union under Stalin….Please people , be careful of what you say.
    Thanks for listening.

  5. achievementgap says:

    Hi Joe,

    Thanks for your comments. Alot of my (hundreds of) No on Prop 8 posts focus on civil/equal rights. But since you asked, I will take the opportunity to say a word about marriage.

    I cannot speak for all gay people but I, personally, want Marriage. Marriage is NOT just a word. Marriage has meaning in our society. If it didn’t, so called “traditionalists” wouldn’t be fighting about it. Marriage as an institution confers legitimacy, and provides a social context for understanding the nature of a committed relationship. I want Marriage, not Domestic Partnership, Civil Union or any other legal term that defines me as less than or different than a straight couple. Anything other than marriage is unacceptable to me.

    I’m guessing you’re not gay, and I’m guessing you’re probably white, and I’m guessing you have never been discriminated against or denied a basic civil right. If you can call legitimate political protest “whining” you have never had to fight for any of your rights. They got handed to you at birth and you probably take them for granted, making it impossible for you to understand what it feels like to have the entire country weigh in on the legitimacy of your relationships.

    Here’s a history lesson for you Joe. History is full of a whiners. For instance, that damn Martin Luther King was always whining about equality. ‘Wah wah… we just want to be treated the same as everyone else.” Harvey Milk whined about his damn civil rights all the way up until the time he got shot dead for being gay. Whiners. Well, If I am whining, I am in the most excellent company.

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