Prop 8 taught us many lessons. The amount of time we had for the equal rights movement to gather steam was only a few months. We didn’t get the message out soon enough. Many of us couldn’t imagine our state had enough hateful people in it that we’d see something like it pass. Early polls in support of equal marriage gave us hope it would fail at the voting booth. Prop 8 passed with 52% of the vote. The law was overturned two years later, but it took another three years for marriage equality to resume in California.
California, we’re facing another fight. A conservative group has gathered enough signatures to put an initiative on the ballot next November to overturn a landmark law protecting trans rights in California. Jerry Brown recently passed AB 1266, which allows for any student to join any sport team, elective or club of their choice regardless of sex and protect them from discrimination by school officials. Conservatives are saying it “violates the privacy rights of the non-transgendered.” It violates their rights that schools can no longer discriminate based on what’s between people’s legs? Wrap your head around that one.
Unfortunately, the conservative group gathered 620,000 signatures so far. That’s 620,000 people in your state who want Californians to decide on the ballot whether or not transfolk have a right to be protected.
If you think something like that should be up for a vote, I’d like you to consider the following video. It’s from 2011, but was making its round on the internet recently, and I have to warn you, it is brutal. It shows footage of a transwoman being beaten up by two girls in a McDonald’s while an employee stands and videotapes it.