Congrats America, well done.
I really did not think it was possible. During the primaries I was rooting for Hillary, among other reasons because I thought a black candidate would be fighting a tough battle against racial prejudice in the national election. Thankfully, I was wrong.
Like many, I am so relieved and excited. But unlike many commentators, I do not believe the outcome shows race is no longer an issue in America. Had the election taken place in September, before the financial meltdown and a broad set of McCain missteps, it would have probably gone the other way and the current discourse would have been the exact opposite. However, it is comforting, that faced with rather gloomy circumstances, many people were able to, at least temporarily, overcome their prejudice. In the end, it may not matter how it happened; beliefs often follow actions, the outcome is what matters.
Unfortunately, those positive feelings are largely eclipsed by bitterness over the outcome of Proposition 8. It's so insanely depressing that even in California there isn't enough popular support for it. It's one thing not to allow gay marriage. It's another thing to actually take it away. That really hurts. The sheer craziness of it hits me when I think of how the couples who have already wedded must feel - what a brutal intrusion of their very private, family life. And it really makes me think: democracy is a wonderful thing, but where do we draw the line? Where can't we have a simple majority dictate and enforce their rules on us? That argument, it turns out, has some basis in the legal system, thank God, and it is on that basis that some groups are challenging Prop 8 in courts. See this Sullivan entry for some background.
Unlike Sullivan, I am enthusiastic about the prospect of litigating this like there is no tomorrow. I want to sue up to the highest levels of the judicial system. I want this to make news as much as possible. I want people everywhere to be constantly reminded of this grave ridiculousness. Why should we be educating people about our rights? Why should we be begging for someone's acceptance? As I said earlier in this entry, sometimes beliefs follow actions; other times beliefs follow law. We did not wait for slave owners to start appreciating the slaves' human rights. We did not wait for popular support to legalize miscegenation. And we are not going to wait for the majority to accept that we deserve the right to marry. We're just fucking not. A line has to be drawn somewhere.