Those first few days were the worst. I was scared. I was depressed. I felt less than human.
Prop H8 had passed in California. And even though I didn't have any immediate marriage plans, I nonetheless felt like all my future hopes and dreams were ripped away from me. I didn't know what to do... Until I got active in working to undo the damage.
Yet even though I'm seeing progress in my new home state, I still have raw feelings about what happened in California last fall. I still have wounds that are only starting to heal.
The yard signs that were stolen from my front yard. The homophobic insults coming from my own family. The belligerent Yes on H8 paid canvassers trying to bully my dad into taking away my civil rights. The "urine yellow" Yes on H8 signs being sprinkled all over my neighborhood by the anti-equality churches. These are my memories from the campaign.
The married couples wondering if their marriages were still "legally valid". The couples that waited too long and missed the chance to get a "limited edition marriage". The kids who were bullied in school before and after the election. These are still memories I have from the first days after Prop H8 passed.
Beating myself up constantly about why I didn't do more to stop this oncoming tragedy. This is the guilt I still have over my failure to do enough to stop Prop H8 from passing.
This is why the special elections in Maine and Washington are so important. I don't want my friends in either state to feel what I felt after Prop H8's passage. I don't want their civil rights stripped away from them. I don't want to see any more Prop H8s succeed in hurting any more LGBT families.
Just like California last year, the opposition is using blatant lies to deceive people into voting for discrimination. And in fact, the very same scumbags that ran Yes on H8 in California are doing the same with Yes on 1 in Maine!
And just like California last year, real families will be seriously hurt if the anti-equality forces succeed. In Maine, LGBT families will be stripped of their marriage rights if Question 1 succeeds. In Washington, LGBT families and seniors will lose important domestic partner rights if Referendum 71 is rejected.
Family values are important. All of our families should be valued. President Obama understands this, and hopefully voters in Maine and Washington will as well. We shouldn't make them face the same fate that so many California families had to endure last fall.
This is what's motivating me now. I don't want my friends in Maine to suffer. I don't want my friends in Washington to suffer. I don't want a "deja vu experience" of seeing the same California sad story unfold all over again.
This is why I'm doing all I can to help. Will you please join me? If each of us pitches in a few spare dollars, we can stop the radical right from assaulting our families and our community any further. We can stop being victims and start turning back the tide of hatred.
Time will soon run out. We have just over a month left until the election. Please join me in giving whatever you can to help No on 1 Maine and Approve R-71 Washington have the resources necessary to win this year. Whatever your "Prop H8 story" is, remember it and do what you can to prevent it from repeating.