Sully had a great perspective on the defeat of the gay rights measure in Maine:
The hard truth is: people are still afraid of this, and our opponents knew how to target their fears very precisely. They have honed it to an art – their prime argument now is that although adults can handle gay equality, children cannot. And so they play straight to heterosexuals whose personal comfort with gay people is fine but who sure don’t want their kids to turn out that way. One way to prevent kids turning out that way, the equality opponents argue, is to ensure that they never hear of gay people, except in a marginalized, scary, alien fashion. And this referendum was clearly a vote in which the desire to keep gay people invisible trumped the urge to treat them equally.
I honestly don’t know where the gay rights movement goes from here. There have been some recent successes- there seems to be some movement on DADT, an openly gay mayor was elected in North Carolina, Washington state passed a gay rights bill, Obama signed the Shephard legislation, the HIV ban was lifted, and some other victories in other states in recent years. At the same time, I understand (as much as I can) the anger and the frustration. They did the right things- they had bills passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, followed the legitimate political process, and unlike any other civil rights issue, laws are only temporary for gays and a year later it gets overturned in referendums. It has to be maddening, and I have no answers. About the only thing I can do is to stop being a jerk and openly taunting gay bloggers when I think they are doing something stupid or flailing pointlessly at the administration, because at this point I can’t think anything other than that they have every right to be pissed. I don’t know if it will work, but maybe the only recourse left for the gay rights movement is legitimate anger. Nothing else seems to be working.