In North Carolina, returns are in, and we lost, as predicted. Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell both pointed out that some version of this issue has come before the voters thirty times in various states, losing every time. Maddow also made the point that each time the civil liberties of gay people are put up for a vote of the people, gay people lose. There was a lot of chatter tonight about what this means for Barack Obama, whose views on this issue are “evolving,” or doesn’t mean. Some say it will have no effect on the November election, and some say that nothing Obama does can affect the movement for marriage equality. It is going to come, they say, with or without the president.
I can say that a whole evening of MSNBC is a painful experience for me personally, with or without bad news from North Carolina.
But the news made it worse. Even after a couple of decades of these elections, I still salivate at the announcement of one, feeling I suppose that this time, we will win. When we don’t, I get in touch with my ancient cynicism. The American people will always vote against gay people. Except they don’t, always. Sometimes they are not allowed to vote. In my own state, the leaders of the legislature repeatedly refused to allow the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to vote on the civil rights of other citizens of the Commonwealth. This went on long enough for the citizens of the Commonwealth to see for themselves that marriage between two men or between two women had no effect on anybody else’s marriage. I never forget how precious my citizenship in this state is to me.