I feel like I’ve been conspicuously silent since the election. Maybe even during the election. I was very emotionally invested in some of the propositions and in the presidential election and it’s been difficult for me to cope with the fact that Proposition 8 passed here in California. I didn’t want to write something depressing when I knew everyone else would be celebrating.

Electing Barack Obama was a momentous occasion and I was ecstatic to see such a sweeping victory. I think Obama will be an amazing leader for this nation and I was overjoyed by the video footage of people celebrating around the world. I’m glad to think that we’ll again be a part of the international community in a positive way. And I truly hope that Obama can bring about the change he has said he would.

What I don’t understand is how Californians can overwhelmingly support change, while at the same time rejecting equal rights for some of its people. I know there are those of you out there who did support Prop. 8 and I’m sorry if these blogs offend you, but I just don’t see the reason for getting involved in other people’s lives. I don’t understand how someone else’s marriage effects you. Nor do I understand why it’s such a bad thing to let same-sex couple’s get married.

On the plus side, this decision seems to have really lit a fire among the gay community and its supporters. Action websites have been popping up and demonstrations have been going on at the capitol (and in other cities as well) for the last two nights. The demonstrations are more to show solidarity than to ask for a re-vote in case that’s the impression you got from the news. The LGBT community wants people in California to know that they haven’t given up the fight for equal rights.

I went down to the PRIDE center on campus yesterday to see how I can get more involved. I’ve been devastated by these results, in a way that doesn’t even make sense because it doesn’t directly effect my life, and I really want to show my support in any way I can. I went to the rally last night and was so moved when the crowd said the Pledge of Allegiance, which, if you don’t remember, ends with the words: “liberty and justice for ALL.” Someone also spoke of the famous unalienable rights of man: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. I think it’s important that we remember that the constitution wasn’t meant to be filled with empty promises to the people of this nation. And I’m not just talking about equality here, but the rights granted by religious freedom – including the right NOT to be religious or to have the religions of the majority forced upon us.

Suffragists didn’t win the right to vote overnight, the battle for civil rights was a long one, and the passage of Prop. 8 just shows that the LGBT community will have to continue their decades-long battle as well. They’ve come a long way in the past 40 years though. They’ve come a long way in just the last 8 years, considering they only lost Prop. 8 by 5 points, rather than the 23 points they lost by in 2000.

If you’re interested in showing your support for the gay community in Sacramento, you can come out this Sunday to the west steps of the State Capitol at 1 p.m.