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Justice, Justice, We Will Pursue

I realized that I couldn’t not say something what happened in California today, when we found out that Prop 8 passed by a narrow margin, and that gay marriage would be legally outlawed in California. First of all, I can tell you that getting the news felt like getting drop kicked in the stomach. It was a horrible feeling, and particularly strange coming right on the heels of a night that was filled with elation for so many of us.

I’m known for being something of an eternal pessimist, but not today. I refuse. No matter what happened last night, those of us who are on the side of LGBT rights are on the winning side of history, and this will not stand. My family has been fighting actively and loudly for gay rights since I was ten years old, and for the first time in my life victory and justice are so close that I can taste it, and so close that I can see it, just over the horizon. Now is not the time to give up hope, now is the time to pick up the banner and keep marching forward.

If we learned anything last night, as we watched old black women with tears streaming down their faces hold hands and sing old civil rights protests songs, it was that in this country bigotry and prejudice will not stand. Change will come. We will get there together, we just have to keep changing hearts and minds with acts of love and tolerance and acceptance. I speak from the bottom of my heart when I say that no one can take away what I’ve been given over the last few months. No one can take away the feeling of joy and elation I felt watching celebrating legal marriages with long-time couples, how I felt that first Friday in synagogue as we celebrated brand new rights, or what it was like standing on the steps of San Francisco’s city hall as elderly gay men walked out hands held high. That taste of freedom is what gives us the strength to keep going, to keep fighting, to know that justice is around the corner.

I’ll leave you with that old civil rights anthem, which has been ringing in my ears, and is doubly meaningful today:

We shall overcome, we shall overcome,
We shall overcome someday;
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe,
We shall overcome someday.

Photo by Jessamyn Harris
P.S. Wedding porn resumes tomorrow, and excellent wedding porn at that.

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