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.”