It wasn’t just queer people. It wasn’t just straight people. It wasn’t just white people or black people or brown people. It wasn’t just Christian people or Jewish people or atheist people or people of other faiths.
It was people. Period. It was about people coming together to support equal rights for all. It was people joining together to make an impact for civil rights.
I actually arrived early at Irvine City Hall yesterday. However, I wasn’t alone. Hundreds of activists were already beginning to pack both sides of Harvard Avenue AND Alton Parkway. Protesters were gathering all around the intersection for a peaceful demonstration for the repeal of the odious Prop 8 and the guarantee of equal rights for all.
I spoke with married couples who didn’t want to see their relationships and other couples’ relationships disrespected. I encountered straight guys & gals who aren’t threatened by equality, but rather by inequality. I met families who felt that hate is no substitute for love.
I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever experienced something like this in Orange County before. Sure, I’ve been to other protests. However, this wasn’t just another protest. This was an affirmation of the power of love.
The people who protested yesterday didn’t just make an impact at one busy intersection in Irvine. They were part of a national movement making in impact for the next great struggle in the civil rights. This struggle is being seen in the California Supreme Court. It is being seen as a movement that will impact future elections here. It is being seen in states that have never before witnessed this kind of struggle for equality. And ultimately, it will come to Washington & resonate nationwide.
And believe it or not, a part of this wider movement for equality was present in Orange County. The Yes on 8 campaign may think it’s succeded in writing hatred and discrimination into the state constitution. I’d think otherwise. Not only was their effort an illegal effort to revise the constitution, but their rather clumsy effort has resulted in sparking grassroots action that’s growing a national movement for equality.
The other side may claim victory now, but we are the ones making a righteous impact that will ultimately win.