Civil rights laws — especially civil right protections for minorities — do not belong on ballots.
Like the title character in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, sometimes I struggle with the notion of a democracy. How can you trust people to decide when there are outcomes like this one, governed by spite and misinformation?
There are surely treatises on that question, but I don’t have time to research them now. I’ll save them for another day. In the meantime, here’s what I wrote on Facebook last night, addressed to my friends who were at the forefront of this fight from the beginning:
It’s so damn hard when you fight (emotionally, financially, with time and sweat and tears) for something that matters, that will actually make a difference in the real world and protect those you love, and you lose to hatred and fear-mongering. It’s not supposed to work like that, according to all the stories we’re raised on, the stories that inspire us. And it’s easy to get discouraged, to feel powerless, and that all your work is meaningless.
It’s not meaningless. It mattered that you fought. It won’t be forgotten — not today, not tomorrow, not the day when we eventually win the civil right protections each of us deserve.
Please remember this is only a setback. The cultural tide is with us. There will always be pockets of hatred, but their voices will be drowned out, irrelevant, with time.
That doesn’t do much good to those who needed #HERO today. But I know those who began this fight, those who carried it all this way, won’t give up now. They may take a breather, but they’ll be ready to find the next step.
I know I moved really damn far away, but I still feel like a Houstonian tonight. Trust me — I don’t relish living in a more liberal state now. Tonight, I wish heartily that I had been there, fighting these past months even though the outcome would have been the same, commiserating with you tonight, and planning what’s next.