The day after election day in 2008 was extremely difficult for me.
The night before I had shared in the raucous celebrations of Obama’s victory with my friends on the East coast. I had watched Obama’s victory speech with all of the optimism that seemed to capture much of the world that night.
But once the speech was over, once the confetti had fallen, once the East coast had all gone to bed, I was alone in California obsessively refreshing the returns on Prop 8.
After two terms of President Bush, I was determined to leave it all on the floor. I campaigned for both President Obama, and the No on 8 campaign. I had invested time and energy in both campaigns. But by morning, it was clear that Prop 8 would not be defeated. And while the Obama victory was sweet, the loss on Prop 8 was devastating.
Overnight, Californians had passed a proposition that would legally require chickens to have more room in their chicken coops, and they passed a proposition that denied gay Americans their right to marry. It was almost inconceivable to me that Californians cared more about the lives of chickens than they did about the civil rights of their friends and neighbors.
That’s why this morning is particularly sweet for me. That’s why, for me, 2012 beats 2008 hands down, no question, no contest.
Because this morning, I woke up to a world where two (and maybe three!) states voted to ensure marriage equality for all citizens, and another state defeated yet another attempt to deny the rights of gay Americans. In four years, this country has come a very long way.
If Prop 8 were to come before Californians again today, I still can’t be sure which way we’d decide. But what I do know is that now, when Prop 8 (or DOMA) finally comes before the U.S. Supreme Court, it will also come with a clear message from the people of this country. The Justices will be hard-pressed to deny the direction of history. That the right to marry who you love is encompassed by those freedoms granted by the Constitution.
So for me, today, the day after election day, is a sweet, sweet day.
President Barack Obama congratulates Google Science Fair winners, from left, Naomi Shah, Shree Bose, and Lauren Hodge in the Oval Office, Oct. 3, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
by The White House on Flickr.
Three girls? Sweet, I hope they stick with it.
this is just the best.