November 10th, 2008

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Youth and Adults with LGBTQ Parents Speak OUT against Proposition 8

For immediate release

November 10th, 2008

 

Youth and Adults with LGBTQ Parents Speak OUT against Proposition 8

COLAGE denounces the passage of Proposition 8 in California. This proposition eliminated fundamental rights, rights that our families need and deserve, and that fact is detestable. By eliminating the marriage rights of gay and lesbian couples in California, Proposition 8 will have a deep impact on children, youth and adults with LGBTQ parents and all of California.

In recent days, we have heard from youth and adult COLAGErs from across the state- sharing their sadness, their fears, and their rage that our society still embraces intolerance and stereotypes about us and our families.  Sharing our disappointment and frustration is one step towards healing.

However, we also call on our community to move forward together. This is not the end of a struggle for justice; it is the beginning. All of us at COLAGE have been inspired to work with our members and allies over the past months. Together we have spoken to our friends and family about marriage equality. Together we have educated our communities about discrimination and homophobia. Together we have phone banked, raised money for No on 8 ads, and rallied. And together we will continue to share our stories, educate our communities, build a vibrant movement, and impact change.

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A Request of our community from COLAGE

COLAGE calls on our members and allies to stand up against the scapegoating of voters of color in the passage of Proposition 8 in California. Some have publicly stated that the African American vote tipped the scales against marriage equality in California. African Americans represent only 6% of the CA population, while Anglo Americans represent 47% of the state population.  This means that the majority of people who voted for Proposition 8 are white. Let's reject racist scapegoating. Affirming racism while standing up against homophobia is never productive and lashing out against those who voted for Proposition 8 will not help educate or raise awareness to move our society forward.

Though we share our communities’ anger and sadness over this vote, looking for someone to blame is not the solution.  We want to applaud the leadership of our comrades at the California NAACP, the Jordan Rustin Coalition, And Marriage For All, and countless other African-American led groups that campaigned tirelessly against Proposition 8. At the same time, we call on our entire community to build multi-racial movements that combat not just homophobia and transphobia but all forms of oppression.

While I, like so many COLAGErs, queers, and allies of color, am disappointed and offended by the majority vote in favor of Prop 8, I would like this moment to stand as a reminder that we and our communities do exist not only at election time but all year long, commented Lauren Wheeler, an African American adult COLAGEr from Oakland. It is only through serious work to diversify the gay rights movement and to reach out to and build coalitions with people of color and white folks outside of our cities and like-minded political communities that real change will come--and stick. If nothing else, the wide reach of the Obama campaign should have taught us that. 

The biggest demographic factor of Proposition 8 was actually age with 63 percent of voters under 30 opposing the ban and 59 percent of those 65 and older supporting it. This and the great strides we have made since 2000 when a homophobia, anti-marriage amendment passed in CA by a much larger margin, speak to the sure eventuality of full marriage equality for LGBTQ Californians. COLAGE remains committed to educating this and the next generation of young voters so that future elections will claim more victories for important social justice issues.

To set up media interviews with youth and adults with LGBTQ parents, please contact Meredith Fenton, COLAGE Program Director at 415-861-5437 or Meredith@colage.org.

COLAGE is a national movement of children, youth and adults with one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer parents. We build community and work toward social justice through leadership development, youth empowerment, education and advocacy. www.colage.org