THE BLOG
12/08/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

How Gay Rights Lost & How Chickens Won

The chickens won, and I congratulate them - because by protecting their rights we as humans are better for it. But I can't help but wonder (insert Sex and the City music) do chicken's deserve humane treatment anymore than I deserve equality from my country, from my brethren? Perhaps on the next go-around, the gays should examine how the very thing that may be on your plate, in your fridge or whose feathers might be in your pillow, organized and fought back the vegetarian-hippie-hating folks, and secured basic humane treatment for our fellow earth dwellers.

I helped deprive gay Californians of the right to vote, and I'd do it again. As a poll worker, all day I gave instruction to a most diverse crowd of folks coming to exercise their right to vote. Such excitement, such verve as the crowd came in wave after wave - citizens from every walk of life, so many not even speakers of English, came to do that that most American thing - vote. (deleted hate) How sad that as our nation took a step beyond race, a step forwards, we leapt backwards on gay rights. On the same ballot, two diametric inconsistent, mysterious, and querulous results came about by the exercise of their right to vote.

And vote they did, they voted my right to marry the love of my life - my partner for these many years, Dan. I had such faith in the people of America, and they brought that along in the spirit and form of "President-Elect Obama". Our nation steered away from the brink of a likely Palin presidency. My faith in Californians is bruised because the chickens beat out the gays to secure their rights.

I don't begrudge the chickens their victory - perhaps I'm jealous. From all over the country resources poured into the state to ensure the very chickens and hens we exploit to every dollar possible in life and then in their death, at least can meander about. In the news, no one called the chickens molesters; school age children's' parents didn't fear the teaching about animal rights in schools; the commercials didn't present the worse case scenarios about what all these animal rights would lead to in our children - Vegetarians (gasp); commercials did hammer home chickens' inhumanity or second class citizenship, I mean, sure Californians were gonna eat them (or their unfertilized reproductive products) but that doesn't mean chickens have to suffer before we do.

The cacophony on the airwaves is deafening, it is a hateful dissection of motivations and animus. I think we as a nation will look back on this age - when the last group to sit at the bottom rung of the racial/gender/nationality/etc. ladder and question what we were thinking this year. Perhaps we'll equate it with "segregation now, segregation forever;" perhaps they'll look back and giggle too at the idiotic solution to a national energy crisis solution like "drill baby drill." From that future vantage point I hope I'll be cuddled up with my husband, our grandchildren around us - so I can too be interviewed by NPR like the 109 year old daughter of slave as was done today. I'll tell them how foster care tried to cure me of being gay, how I had to be closeted for a deep sense of fear; how I couldn't hold my husband's hands in public out of fear; I'll tell them about the bad old days of hate and fear.

Next year I'll go back to the polls as a worker, and perhaps something else will be on the ballot to disenfranchise some group. But even if its there again, some hateful thing, I'll pull out the ink-a-vote demonstration kit and help Californians vote.

AFTERWARD
My only caveat and request is that we not try to explain hate; it is, that's all. I hear folks now on the radio explaining away my basic humanity and it angers me. The firehouses of the digital world are turned on us as a population, even as we come out of every major closet; even as Rep Barney Frank leads the American Congress on the economic recovery; even as Mathew Shepherd's bloods stains a post in the American Prairie; even as we are excluded form the Military. At some point, the hate will soften, and we will be tolerated. Then, later on, we'll forget what all the hubbub was about. The sky won't fall, and the nation won't be bankrupt (at least not because of gay marriage). Children will grow up, go to school, people will marry, and families will grow - and become that much more diverse then they were when most states had miscegenation laws on the book. History marches forward, not backwards - and so do rights in this great Nation, in this great State. Take heart poultry, soon we shall enjoy the same rights!