After Proposition 8 – Back to the Basics

Jacky June 19, 2013 0
After Proposition 8 – Back to the Basics

That day is almost near when The United States Supreme Court will issue its ruling on Proposition 8 and by now I’m sure you have seen the many info-charts of the many ways the court can rule. However most of us are optimistic that the courts will rule in our favor, at least I am. For many this will symbolize the moment that gays and lesbians won full equality — the final legal battle we needed to win the war (in California). But for LGBTQ organizations working on the ground this will mean a possible loss in funding which could affect the momentum built in communities of color.

Since Proposition 8 passed dozens of LGBTQ organizations sprouted up and were led by queer community members who wanted to change the attitudes and beliefs about LGBTQ people in their neighborhoods. And because voting trends after Proposition 8 showed that in communities of color much work needed to be done, mainstream LGBTQ funders poured in thousands of dollars to fund local people of color LGBTQ organizations.

However it’s a false positive to think that if marriage is obtained than all queers are now liberated and free from discrimination.  Proposition 8 was great in that it put LGBTQ issues on the spotlight and in the news (many thanks to LGBTQ organizations who fought hard to put pressure on cable news channels to not generalize or publish stereotypical and offensive news about our community). With that said, with marriage soon to be past us (hopefully), we can get back to the basics that queer people of color have been fighting for all along, the right for safety from persecution and economic stability.

This matters because the work of protecting transgender people of color from police harassment or ensuring that lesbian households have the support to raise children from previous marriage’s/partnerships is vital towards ensuring that our community is not jailed or kept in poverty. As a community of queer people of color we should be doing our most to support LGBTQ organizations vis-a-vis donations or by volunteering AND pushing non-LGBTQ organizations such as unions, economic justice organizations etc. to incorporate an LGBTQ lens into their work.

This year will be an important year for the Californian LGBTQ movement in that it will determine how certain LGBTQ organizations evolve, in their messaging strategy, fundraising and most importantly what issues they take up. For example, we can learn from organizations working in the South who are working in coalitions with non-queer groups to improve job access and saftey for communities of color. And just in case I am wrong about the Proposition 8 ruling than please put aside everything I’ve just said because we have work to do.

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