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Gay is NOT “The New Black”! Ron Buckmire, Ph.D. Jordan/Rustin Coalition Occidental College.

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Presentation on theme: "Gay is NOT “The New Black”! Ron Buckmire, Ph.D. Jordan/Rustin Coalition Occidental College."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gay is NOT “The New Black”! Ron Buckmire, Ph.D. Jordan/Rustin Coalition Occidental College

2 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College2 Outline  History of Marriage Equality ’93- ’08  The New Black Gay  Proposition 8 Rehash  Proposition 8 Aftermath  Gay Is NOT the New Black  Next Steps and The Future

3 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College3 History of Marriage Equality ’93-’08  Baehr v. Lewin, (Hawai’i, 1993) First State Supreme Court to rule “traditional marriage laws” unconstitutional (plurailty decision)  Sex discrimination (yes)  Sexual orientation discrimination (no) Dependent on Immutability of Homosexuality  Federal Defense of Marriage Act  Sec 1: No state has to recognize same-sex marriages  Sec 2: Federal government prohibited from recognizing SSM (Signed into law by Pres. Clinton Sep. 21, 1996)  Baehr v. Miike, (Hawai’i, 1997)  Repealed in Nov by Amendment 2 “The Legislature shall have the power to regulate marriage.”

4 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College4 History of Marriage Equality ’93-’08  Baker v. State (Vermont, 1999) Ruled the State of Vermont must treat same-sex couples similarly to opposite-sex couples Vermont Legislature enacted and Gov. Howard Dean signed the nation’s first Civil Unions bill which went into effect July 1, 2000  Electoral Backlash Accelerates 1998 (HI, AK) 2000 (NE, CA)  California’s Proposition 22 passes March 7, %-38% “Only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in California” 2002 (NV) 2004 (13 states!) 2005 (KS, TX) 2006 (8 states, AZ becomes first and only state to defeat an anti-gay ballot measure) 2008 (CA, FL, AZ)

5 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College5 History of Marriage Equality ’93-’08  Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health (Massachusetts, 2003) Ruled the State’s denial of civil marriage was not “rationally related to a legitimate state interest” and violated due process (fundamental right to marry) and equal protection (creation of second class citizens) Delayed the decision 180 days to go into effect on May 17, 2004 (50 th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education) MA constitution requires amendments approved by state legislature in two consecutive sessions (earliest The People would be able to vote on the question would be November 2006)  February 12 to March 11, 2004 San Francisco City Clerk issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples  Federal Marriage Amendment (FAILED 227 Yes, 186 No Sep. 30, 2004 in U.S. House) “Marriage in the United States shall consist solely of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman”

6 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College6 History of Marriage Equality ’93-’08  Do Justices read election returns? George W. Bush defeats John Kerry in 2004 election Legislative actions: California passes marriage bills in 2005 and 2007, vetoed both times by Governator  mostly state court losses Washington (2006) New York (2006) Maryland (2007)  Lewis v. Harris (New Jersey, 2006)  State must treat same-sex couples equally  In Re Marriage Cases (California, 2008)  Proposition 22 and state’s marriage law are unconstitutional  sexual orientation is a suspect classification

7 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College7 The New Black Gay: The Barbara Jordan/ Bayard Rustin Coalition  Founded in Summer 2006  Only Black LGBT political advocacy organization in Greater Los Angeles  Major Achievements : Maintained a paid staff member Marched in 2009 MLK Day Parade Coordinated Grassroots African-American outreach against Proposition 8 Helped convene a Multiracial LGBT Collective in Southern California Quoted in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Advocate, Curve Magazine

8 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College8 The Barbara Jordan/ Bayard Rustin Coalition Barbara Jordan (February 21, January 17, 1996)  1 st African-American woman to be elected to Congress from a Southern State (Texas) in 1972  1 st African-American woman to be elected to the Texas State Senate in 1968  Gave the Keynote Address at the 1972 Democratic National Convention  Unacknowledged lesbian, met partner Nancy Earl in late 1960s

9 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College9 The Barbara Jordan/ Bayard Rustin Coalition Bayard Rustin (March 17, August 24, 1987)  Co-Organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom  Co-organizer of the very first Freedom Ride in 1947  Unofficial co-founder of CORE  Known as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “right hand man”  Pled guilty to a 1953 consensual sodomy charge in Pasadena, CA

10 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College10 Proposition 8  LGBT community started preparing in Spring 2005 Caucuses Formed (Black, Latino, API, Faith, Labor) Equality For All executive committee  Let California Ring launched in Non-profit public education campaign about marriage outside the context of an election campaign

11 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College11 Proposition 8  Spring 2007: The “Tripping Bride” Ad createdTripping Bride  October 2007: ProtectMarriage.com was approved to start circulating petitions to collect signatures for an initiative constitutional amendment  March 2008: In Re Marriage Cases oral arguments before Cal Sup Ct

12 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College12 Proposition 8  April 2008: Nearly 1.1 million signatures delivered to CA Secretary of State  May 15, 2008: CA Supreme Court issues In Re Marriage Cases decision  June 2, 2008: Proposition 8 certified for November 4, 2008 ballot  June 15, 2008: same-sex couples start marrying in California

13 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College13 Proposition 8  August 2008: Let California Ring airs “Tripping Bride” ad constantly during Beijing Olympics TV coverageTripping Bride  September 2008: Let California Ring print and radio ads run in ethnic media outlets until the end of the month  September : First NO ON 8 ad airs: “Don’t Eliminate Marriage For Anyone”Don’t Eliminate Marriage For Anyone  September : First YES on 8 ad airs “Whether You Like It Or Not”Whether You Like It Or Not  October : Yes on 8 airs “Princes” adPrinces  October : No on 8 airs response to “Princes” ad response to “Princes  October : Yes on 8 responds with “Truth”Truth  October : No on 8 ends the campaign with “Divisive” and “Discrimination”DivisiveDiscrimination

14 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College14 Proposition 8 Aftermath  Certified Election Results on Proposition 8 Statewide  YES 7,001,084 (52.30%)  NO 6,401,482 (47.70%)  Margin: 599,602 (4.6%)  Voter Turnout: 13,743,177 out of 17,304,091 (79.42%) Los Angeles County  YES 1,624,672 (50.04%)  NO 1,622,287 (49.96%)  Margin: 2,385  Turnout: 3,246,959 out of 4,111,642 (79%)

15 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College15 Black vs. Gay: Proposition 8 Aftermath  CNN Exit Poll Released showed that 70% of African Americans voted in favor of Proposition 8 (later revised down to % by an academic analysis)  Media narrative became Blacks versus Gays Between Nov. 4-Nov 18 I appeared in  The Los Angeles Times  Good Morning America (Sunday)  KABC-TV  Local radio stations (KCRW-FM, KPFK-FM)

16 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College16 Proposition 8 Aftermath: Gay Is The New Black(?)

17 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College17 Why Gay is NOT ‘the new Black’ 1. There are people who are both Black and Gay 2. Although both communities have experienced identity-based discrimination, slavery (and its incidents) is simply not equivalent to what LGBT have experienced 3. The phrase and the comparison trivializes both the experience of Black people and LGBT people in this country 4. To paraphrase Dan Savage, the gay rights movement is a civil rights movement but the movement for racial equality is the Civil Rights Movement.

18 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College18 Next Steps  Varnum v. Brien (Iowa, April 3, 2009) will go into effect April 24 th Unanimous 7-0 decision Sexual orientation is a “quasi-suspect classification”  Vermont! (S. 115 passed the Senate 26-4 and the House 95-52, enacted over Governor’s veto on Tuesday April 7 th by votes of 23-5 and )  New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maine all have marriage equality bills pending  The Task Force’s Maine LGBT Power Summit in Portland, ME (April 24-26)  California Supreme Court will issue a ruling on Proposition 8’s legality by June 3 rd 2009

19 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College19 The Future!?  Blogger Nate Silver (fivethirtyeight.com) has looked at the 30 states that have voted to amend their constitution and done a regression analysis which shows that the most important factors are 1. The year in which the amendment was voted upon; 2. The percentage of adults in 2008 Gallup tracking surveys who said that religion was an important part of their daily lives; 2008 Gallup tracking surveys 3. The percentage of white evangelicals in the state.  When extrapolated into the future it shows the year in which a similar vote to ban gay marriage would fail in each state

20 April 10, 2009 "Gay Is NOT The New Black" Bowdoin College20 Thank You  P. Gabrielle Foreman  George Aumoithe ’11  Bowdoin Queer-Straight Alliance


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