Journo Eleveld Celebrates, Laments Tuesday’s Wins, Losses


It’s rare that Advocate journalist Kerry Eleveld make herself the story, but that’s exactly what she did in an editorial on Tuesday’s election.

You know, the one where a black man was elected president, but gay marriage got trounced in three states? Yeah, it was emotional and Eleveld, seen here interviewing Barack Obama, had to get some things off her chest:

Wednesday morning, I awoke red with anger and blue with sadness even as tears of joy had graced my face for progress the night before.

This week, voters across the nation affirmed a promise that was launched from Middle America. Barack Obama, half black, half white, raised by grandparents who hailed from the heartland, became the president-elect of a country beleaguered by partisan, socioeconomic, and racial divisions that have haunted our nation for decades and escalated to a crescendo in the last eight years.

…Even as one prejudice fell to the will of the people on Election Day, LGBT Americans awoke the next morning to reports from the West to the South that all but confirmed one thing: We are most certainly second-class citizens in our own country…While I do not agree with the notion that I am undeserving of the same rights provided to other citizens by the Constitution, I cannot escape the reality that a majority of my fellow citizens still feel exactly that way. So perhaps it is time to reevaluate our movement’s approach with an eye to the area of our country that just supplied us with the single biggest civil rights advancement in a century.

Eleveld goes on to discuss how Obama told her he approaches gay rights from a strategic perspective, and concludes by suggesting that gay activists should be sure not to forget other struggles – i.e. hate crimes, employment non-discrimination – in the quest for marriage: “…Let us not deify marriage to the exclusion of pursuits like employment nondiscrimination, hate-crime protections, and basic partnership recognition. Perhaps we can embrace the lessons of history — and even smile in the knowledge that the path to freedom is not always straight.”

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19 Comments

  • michael

    America is such a hell hole. I thank God I no longer have to live in that place. Obama was not going to let her piss on his parade. LGBT’s are just gonna have to wait. We have waited 40 fucking years since Stonewall. It took less than half that amount of time from Rosa Parks to the Civil Rights Amendment. Does he realize that that hell hole, California, just voted to STRIP AWAY rights? This is the same thing that happened in Germany and it kept going and going. I am telling you people, the Christian Reich will not stop until it sees us dead. They have the same mentality that Hitler had and if you think they don’t then just sit back and watch. What happened this week is probably the most evil thing that has happened in the United States this century, and its just the beginning. And as we saw in the vote in California, we are not going to be able to count on other minority groups that have known and experienced oppression to help us.

  • Vague

    The problem is the notion that rights can be given or taken away by majority vote. That’s not acceptable.

  • paul

    Yeah, we Americans like patting ourselves on the back and say look how good we are, we just voted in a black man. But the real truth of our character happened in those smaller elections that night. While we were elevating a black man and creating a new “mask” of progressiveness and goodness to hide behind, the reality is we as a people we were destroying the very souls of another minority group of our population. Let none of us fall prey to the belief that America “woke up” or evolved last Tuesday, it devolved. And believe you me, very little of America was outraged. Where is Obama’s outrage? He has none because, as stated earilier, nobody is pissing on this parade.

  • Cam

    So Obama said …Eleveld goes on to discuss how Obama told her he approaches gay rights from a strategic perspective, and concludes by suggesting that gay activists should be sure not to forget other struggles – i.e. hate crimes, employment non-discrimination – in the quest for marriage: “…Let us not deify marriage to the exclusion of pursuits like employment nondiscrimination, hate-crime protections, and basic partnership recognition. Perhaps we can embrace the lessons of history — and even smile in the knowledge that the path to freedom is not always straight.”…
    ——————————————–

    Ok Barak, Well when somebody comes up to you and says that since you are half white you can Michelle can’t be married, I’ll remember to tell you. “Don’t worry about it, think strategically, do this in small increments, don’t worry so much about marraige.”

    Seriously, there are already laws on the books protecting me from somebody shooting or mugging me so frankly fuck hate crimes. It is meaningless if I don’t have the basic civil right to choose who I love.

  • Wayne

    Obama is a joke, he exploited the homophobia within the Black community with his “Faith Tours” to help garner votes. Obama’s old friendships with anti-gay bigots like Donnie McClurkin should have taught the gay community a lesson, but most of us put blinders on when it came to Obama and his pretty words. And many gays and lesbians worked hard to elect the first African American president, only to have African Americans betray us by voting against our equality in droves. (CNN Exit Polls show 70% of Blacks voted Yes on Prop 8, and a staggering 75% of Black Women voted Yes).

  • mds

    And what really irks me is when people come on these threads defending the actions of black folks. Saying shit like “why are you focusing on blacks you racists” or the blacks were not the ones that made this pass, there are not enough of them. These thick heads don’t get the fact that regardless of all the other bull shit, they, as an oppressed group of people showed absolutely no empathy and had no problem doing to us what was done to them. I don’t hear Obama chastising his own people for voting for bigotry. Hell no. I wish McCain would have won because he is exactly what the U.S. deserves because he better reps. who they really are. I voted for Obama because I did not wanna catch bullshit from others, well that will not happen again unless I see some action out of him. Trust is something earned,
    only a fool trusts someone based on no evidence. When I see evidence then I will support him. Till then, let piss rain down on his parade.

  • Bob R

    I have mixed emotions here. It’s reported that 27% of Gay voters supported McCain/Palin. I wonder how many of that 27% voted yes on these amendments? I personally would support Gay Marriage, but even though I’ve been with my partner 25 years, I doubt we would take advantage of it. Still I wouldn’t deny it to those who would.

    We need to build unity in our own community, which I’ve come to believe over the years is really not much of a “community” at all, before we look to place blame on others. Not that there isn’t enough blame to go around. But until we speak loud and clearly with one united voice, we’ll never be able to convince the American public.

    We ran a bad campaign. We took a lot for granted. We do not have all the support we need from our brothers and sisters in the Gay community. A lot of gay support was really lukewarm. When waging a cultural war against religious fanatics you must be as organized and as determined as they are. We obviously were not. Not enough alliances were built. There’s a lot of work to do, but perhaps we should remove the log from our own eye before we try to cast out the mote from our brother’s eye?

    Another thing to consider is that no minority group has depended on obtaining their rights directly by the ballot box. If the Civil Rights Laws were put on State ballots in the ’60’s, African-Americans would still be separate but equal. We are being failed by our Gay leadership. We must get our house in order if our rights are to be secured. Our rights will only be secured through Congress and the Court, not by State initiatives.

  • Kenya: We have your idiot.

    Someone tell the clown named Obama that gay rights is not a “strategy”.

    It was a “strategy” to not talk to the gay press in order to win

    It was a “strategy” to not be photographed with Newsom.

    It was a “strategy” to not come out clearly about Prop 8

    It was a “strategy” to get 97% of the black vote and not tell 100% of the black voters about our civil rights.

    You suck Obama!!

  • No Bill Clinton

    Hillary mentioned gay people and our rights. Obama failed to mention us at all.

    Hoodwinked. Bamboozled. By blacks.

  • Dykes Lesbos Oh My

    Lesbians have no right to bitch and moan.

    It was the lesbo school teacher who decided the zoo and museums were too mainstream for a field trip and instead decided a lesbian wedding at City Hall three weeks before an election would be a better idea.

    Blame the dumb dykes.

  • Russy

    I honestly don’t think America feels like America unless it is oppressing some minority group. The mere thought of putting civil rights of a minority group to a vote by the majority is disgusting. Land of the free’ my ass.

  • get out

    No. 5 — Your comment loses validity in the end based on your conclusion

    “And many gays and lesbians worked hard to elect the first African American president, only to have African Americans betray us by voting against our equality in droves.”

    This statement goes on the basis that most gays and lesbians supported Obama for the reason that he would be the first African American president, which is false.

  • Ryan

    @michael: While i’m with you on the fact that what happened on tuesday in California was pretty awful, I am not yet convinced that it was also the most horrible thing to happen in the past hundred years. The tuskegee experiments, japanese internment, lynchings, forced sterilizations of the mentally unsound (including queers) all strike me as pretty horrible as well. That being said I do find it sad that the extreme right has managed to use this issue as a wedge to drive minorities apart rather than bring them together. Without getting preachy, you cannot effectively fight for your own civil rights, unless you are willing to fight for the civil rights of everyone else. The most profound, powerful and iconic of civil rights leaders, MLK, Mrs. MLK, Mandela, Tutu, Milk, Chavez etc all understood this idea. The roots of our struggles and the manifestations of them may be different but they all come from a common place ignorance and intolerance.

  • Max the Communist

    Damn! I just came to this site for a little more info on Prop 8. I didn’t realize what a load of racist assholes y’all are.

    If I were both black and gay I wouldn’t want to help you.

  • chuck

    @Max The Communist. 69% of black voters in California voted yes on Proposition 8.

    obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/11/prop-8-and-the.html – 106k –

    Stating that fact makes us a “load of racist assholes”?

    Obviously, you wouldn’t say the word “shit” if you had a mouthful, would you?

    I don’t know about a load of racist assholes, but if you happen to have a mirror handy, there is is least one dumb asshole that you can take a peek at!

  • Tony

    Nope. Max the Communist is right.
    The sheer amount of hate i’ve read in these comments is appalling.
    Though on a level I’m glad for it.
    The ingrained racism in the gay community is something no one ever wants to speak to.
    Yet here it is plain as day.
    No one wants to talk about the work of the religious right in this, or the voting rates of the elderly. Just how black people sold you down the river and how much you want to hate them for it.
    Pointless.

    Moreover. News Flash. Black people have always had very low voter turn out rates.
    So much so in fact that even if not a single solitary black person had voted for prop 8 it still would have passed.
    Black people did not make or break this initiative.
    All the white people in the OC and central valley who voted in tenfold the numbers of black people did.

    Finger pointing solves nothing. Working together changes everything.

  • kabulykos -- a brown homo terrorist.

    @Kenya: We have your idiot.: Yes, us black people are lemmings, and we would’ve done whatever he wanted us to do.

    You dumbass. It’s called “progressive” politics for a reason — the only things that manage to happen overnight are backlashes.

  • cmac

    It’s interesting how the mainstream gay community is finally showing it’s true colors. The issues of racism within the gay community are finally exposed. However this is no surprise to me. The gay community acts like it carries the torch of diversity issues but refuses to confront their own internal divisiveness, where it’s gays vs. lesbians, asians, blacks, latinos, transgendered, bear/cub etc. etc.

    Is it possible that the measure could failed because maybe the NO on Prop 8 groups did not reach out to all groups of people. When I was in San Francisco there were plenty of NO on 8 campaigners on Market and Castro but interesting I didnt see any in Oakland. Did they campaign in any rural areas, and latino or black neighborhoods, etc etc.

    I’m black, gay and opposed Prop 8 because its discriminatory. I’m fully aware of the occasional racism in the gay community, so none of this surprises me. It’s interesting how some people are so quick to drop the n word.

  • August West

    The LGBT community has been USED by the Democrats for years. Obama is not in favor of gay marriage. We have to remember that he will say whatever he wants us to hear. If he speaks to largely gay crowd, then he will feed us the “I’m for you all” spin. If he is in a church, he feeds them the “I’m not for gay marriage…but…we need to come together” spin.

    Obama IS a fraud. He hooked the majority hook, line, and sinker.

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