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Please Vote

November 6, 2012

It’s election day here in the US. I wasn’t going to post anything political, but I’ve been overhearing conversations for the last couple of days that bother me. People saying “Well, my state is so Blue/Red that my vote doesn’t count anyway.”

Please Vote.

There is (thank God) no state in the Union so homogeneous that all public officials are from the same party or elected by acclaim. Those smaller races are important too. The judges, the school superintendents, the State House and Senate – they too have a profound impact on the quality of life at the local level.

This year we seem to have so many candidates who are openly anti-LGBT. In my home state of Minnesota we have a politician who ran for presidential candidacy putting her hand over her heart and pledging to God and Nation never to let those LGBT people have equal rights and status. We have major candidates who are not just opposed to gay marriage, but to civil partnerships, gay adoption, work-place protection from discrimination, gays in the military and any other form of social equality and protection.

There are also a host of ballot initiatives in various states that have significant civil rights implications. Often they are worded in misleading or complicated ways. Figure out your position. Vote. Make your voice heard. Whether your vote is enough to tip a balance or not, it counts. A gay marriage amendment that fails by 2% is far more likely to succeed next time, more likely to even be re-proposed, than one that fails by 15%. And if it passes, every added vote is added legitimacy.

For some of you, this election is no doubt difficult, pitting your social conscience with regard to gay rights against your preferences for the economy, the cost of protecting the environment, and other parts of social and economic policy. I wish you all the best in making your choice.

To me, we are at a tipping point for GLBT rights. Just as, fifty years ago, a candidate’s stance on race equality was a measure of their ability to see all Americans as equal, as human and valuable and worthy of fair treatment under the law, so I feel a candidate’s stance on LGBT rights is similar today. If someone feels 5% of Americans don’t deserve to love, to work, to raise children, as the other 95% do, that is prejudice. To me, it does not speak well for their commitment to the rights and well-being of their constituents. If someone can see other humans as “less than” because of a fundamental part of their nature, then I believe they are someone open to treating people unfairly for superficial reasons. That’s not what I want in a leader.

But however you will vote, please, even if it’s hard and you are digging out of last week’s debris and it seems like you won’t make a difference, vote if you can. Our system stands on the idea that it represents the will of the people. Make your will clear.

Thank you.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 6, 2012 11:46 am

    Hi Kaje! I voted for the very first time today since I wasn’t old enough the last election. It was so cool to actually stand in line with all the other voters and feel like I was part of something really important.

    • November 6, 2012 11:58 am

      hey Brad 🙂 Congratulations! It is important and every vote counts. I hope a lot of the younger people in this country get out and get heard. They are the ones who will live longest with the consequences of what we do today. Thanks for taking the time to be informed and vote.

  2. aprimo permalink
    December 2, 2012 5:45 pm

    I voted, even though a Democratic vote in Texas is nearly useless, even in Houston. I also called my best friend in Virginia who has never had much interest in elections and asked her to vote for Obama for me, since she lives in a swing state, and she agreed. For the record I am not LGBT but I have relatives that are and I would be for equal rights for all regardless. I think we have a LOT of problems to overcome in this country, socially, economically, politically and constitutionally, so the outcome of this election leaves me mostly just relieved, perhaps slightly encouraged at best. Sorry, off my soapbox now.

    On an unrelated note, I have just finished re-reading “The Rebuilding Year” and I loved it all over again. Would you consider writing a sequel? Or at least maybe a little holiday epilogue or something? There is a lot more I’d like to hear from those characters.

    • December 2, 2012 7:03 pm

      I hear what you’re saying about this country, but at least in the realm of LGBT-rights this year seemed to be a tipping point for popular opinion, with all the proposed gay-marriage issues going in a positive direction for the first time. You do what you can, as we all do. You got a vote registered in a swing state – that’s excellent.

      As far as The Rebuilding Year, I’m beginning to think there may be a sequel brewing for that book. Not in the next three, but I’m starting to hear Ryan’s voice in my head. So definitely there might be a follow-up. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  3. aprimo permalink
    December 2, 2012 7:12 pm

    You’re right, the LGBT votes this year were encouraging, and the pot votes as well. I tend to be a pessimist and need some outside inspiration, but I’m also stubborn and never give up! So glad to hear you’re “hearing” Ryan again. Seems like there should be a lot more material there, so I await further inspiration. 🙂

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