I didn't expect the Black Caucus to split and be the voice of derision on this issue. I didn't expect several house members to get up to the podium and quote scripture as a means of attempting to legitimize writing discrimination into the state constitution. I didn't expect one particular representative to put her very career on the line in a stunning declaration that had me on my feet clapping and in tears from the pride I felt in having her words touch me so deeply. If you live in Austell, your District 33 (post 2) you are lucky enough to be represented by Alisha Thomas-Morgan. This amazing woman stood in front of the world yesterday and told anyone listening, specifically the lawmakers of the House, that this entire effort was a mean-spirited attempt by a religious strong arm to send us as a state back in time. "Ask somebody standing in the unemployment line if two people getting married is going to give them a job in the morning. You're here trying to stand in the way of people committing their lives to each other, and for what? FOR WHAT? I hear from the proponents of this nonsense referring to "activist judges" - well if you're going to point a finger at those activist judges, you'd better start with the ones responsible for electing our current president and consigning this country to misery. I represent over 130,000 constituents in my district alone and I'm telling all of you here, all of you in the gallery above, and anyone watching this webcast that this entire issue is wrong and needs to be voted out. I represent ALL of my constituents, my phone number and cellphone number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and if you don't like what I have to say then you VOTE ME OUT OF OFFICE." She said a lot more, but until I can get a transcript of the entire speech that is all I can recall.
I called Alisha Thomas-Morgan last night and told her how grateful I was for her effort, for her conviction and for her bravery. We talked for about 15-20 minutes. I also sent her an email saying as much. She thanked me and kept saying "Wow" to all of my gratitude. She told me that she was stunned by the ignorance of every proponent to this resolution, and that is saddened her as much as it saddened me. Even if you don't live in Austell, I urge you to call her (see earlier link for her contact numbers) and thank her for her bravery. This woman was beyond magnificent yesterday, and has a new ally in me. Soon I'm going to make plans to meet with her.
Speaking of the things that were said in the chamber, here's a link to an AJC piece quoting the lawmakers. Also, check out:
- Down-to-the-wire lobbying, then tense wait for the vote
- Gay marriage ban amendment passes
- Vote elicits glee, gloom
- How they voted
The Republican party are so far behind the times of what is truly relevant and significant to their constituents that make less than $150K that it is unreal. This entire issue was nothing but a big smokescreen to curry favor with conservative voters in an election year. Even House Rules Committee Chairman Calvin Smyre of my district said that much to the chamber yesterday. They were squeezed by the Christian Coalition of Georgia for the promise of votes or the threat of those votes being taken away. It was a decision for their political careers at the expense of our freedom and civil rights. I have always been anti-republican, anti-conservative, and anti-christian and this only reaffirms those positions.
I titled this entry "I woke up yesterday in 2004, I woke up today in 1933" because that is the way I feel right now. This must be what the Jews felt like in Europe when the reign of Hitler's antisemitism began to creep into the collective consciousness and people didn't come out en masse to stand against it. This must be what black folks woke up feeling like everyday of their lives in the years before integration when they had no basis for comparison and white people didn't do enough to affect change and declare racism fundamentally wrong.
What happened yesterday made me ashamed once more of my government, and what's worse is there is not a single person on earth that can validate SR 595 as being right, yet it passed by a measly two votes.