Jan 18 2009

Election Day 2008

I’d intended to write this as soon after Election Day 2008 as possible… Oops! At least I got it in before Inauguration Day. This is the last of my planned “Election 2008 and Prop 8” entries. Hopefully, I can keep things a little lighter (and less lengthy) in the future. In any case, here’s how I experienced Election Day 2008… Continue reading

Nov 30 2008

Phoning folks

Phone banking. My first day of training I was completely hung over from overwork, coming off a 20hr day with only four hours sleep. It was scheduled to start 10am at 2278 Market St: a 30 minute car ride, 10 minute Muni ride and two-block walk from my apartment. I was going alone, I didn’t know what exactly I’d be doing and the idea of calling strangers to talk about a highly charged political issue didn’t sound like fun. I almost didn’t go, but…

Back in August 2008, polling numbers showed 54% of Californians opposed Proposition 8. Then Yes on 8 stepped up their campaign and really put the scare in people. October polls showed the Yes on 8 ads were so effective they had eroded No on 8’s lead and split voters down the middle. As a result, the No on 8 campaign finally switched off auto-pilot and started seriously campaigning. When I called them to ask what I could do, they said they needed people on the phone banks, so I signed up. Continue reading

Nov 23 2008

Flyer vs Flyer

November 1st, 2008, the Saturday before election day, I attended a No on 8 SF training session and an East Bay volunteer coordinator was there to give us some news and ask for our help. The Yes on 8 campaign had just completed a massive Oakland flyer drop targeting Obama supporters with flyers that had large photos of Obama and a quote from him saying “I’m not in favor of gay marriage”. (Never mind that Obama actually opposed Prop8.) To counter that effort, No on 8 printed flyers with Obama’s photo and stating his opposing to Prop8. The East Bay coordinator asked us to volunteer for an “emergency flyer drop” all over Oakland.

Now, going up to the front doors of complete strangers in neighborhoods I know nothing about is not something that sounds like fun to me. In fact, given this issue, it sounds like it could potentially be dangerous. But we needed to counter our opponents actions quickly and with the election only three days away, this was the way to do it. So I signed up… Continue reading

Nov 17 2008

Star Trek ends, Reality sets in…

It’s been a crazy few months! Here’s what’s been happening in my life…

Post election. It’s two weeks after the election now and I’m just beginning to recover from the emotional vicissitudes of having “won the country” but “lost my rights”. I understood from my junior high experience what it felt like to be bullied for being queer, but not until now have I had to deal so directly and so often with people who consider me immoral or disgusting, who hate who I am and don’t mind letting me know. And never before was I willing to admit that when people vote on issues like this, it’s a public referendum on me personally, on who I am and the outcome of these votes affects my life directly.

This experience (the election, volunteering for the No on 8 campaign) gave me a much broader perspective of the world I live in and a clearer viewer of the people around me and the work I have to do. The experience taught me I cannot let myself be invisible and I must find my voice and use it. I know we all have different parts to play and I played only a tiny role in this campaign, but I am inspired by the many faithful players around me and I can feel in my core that I’m just getting started.

But let me wind the story back a bit… Continue reading

Nov 3 2008

Prop H8

A friend from work sent me this article with some amusing, pointed writing and links to a few Prop 8 ads I hadn’t seen. I especially connect with the Home Invasion ad because the proposition does invade and violate the lives of committed, loving couples. Git off my property; git outta my life! Oh and as a side note, some Mormons out there do support marriage equality. Thankfully, there are still many members of every religion who haven’t lost sight of the need for a world with more love in it (I just wish there were more of those folks)!

Nov 1 2008

No on 8 Ads from work, sort of

Two weeks ago an acquaintance at work, Matt Baume, put out a request for help creating some No on 8 ads. He aimed to do youth-focused ads in both English and Spanish. Unfortunately, I found out about this late and wasn’t able to be involved – blast! Anyhow, Matt just finished the ads and they’re now up on No on 8’s youtube channel. Here’s one ad (Matt’s the first person who talks) and the rest are after the jump:

Continue reading

Oct 30 2008

Letter from Paul

And here’s another great letter directly from a former coworker, a friend and a very inspiring individual, Paul Hill. I featured his marriage to his husband Brad earlier this year. I am also very touched by this letter. Folks… this Proposition 8 thing affects me and my friends directly. If you support NO on Prop8, please take the time to donate today. My best, Michael

On June 17th, 2008, just after 8:30 in the morning, I married my longtime partner Brad Akin…again.

I had always told our daughter Alex that I would marry her dad the very first minute I could, and that’s what I did. In 2004, it took us about an hour and twenty minutes, and then that marriage was nullified. This year, we did it in under forty minutes.

But now, there are people who are trying to take away the right of same-sex couples to marry in California. It’s the California voters who are deciding, but it’s groups from out of state, who are sending millions of dollars to pass Proposition 8, which would amend the California Constitution to deny same-sex couples our hard-earned right to marry. Continue reading

Oct 30 2008

Letter from Anthony

I received this letter through MoveOn.org today. It was written by Anthony Romero, Executive Director of ACLU. I don’t always agree with MoveOn and I don’t always agree with ACLU, but this letter moved me and I thought I’d share it. Cheers! -Michael

Dear friend,

I’m angry and heartsick about what may happen in California on November 4th.

In the most personal way possible, I’m writing to ask you for a favor: help us ensure that gay couples all across California keep their fundamental right to marriage—the basic right to be treated just like anybody else.

I hope you will forgive the indulgence when I speak from the heart and tell you my personal story. Continue reading

Oct 30 2008

No on Prop 8!

Howdy friends and family,

I want to bend your ear a moment and ask for some help…

I live in California where there’s a measure on this year’s ballot called Proposition 8. If Proposition 8 passes it will amend California’s constitution to eliminate the right to marry for same-sex couples. I thought defeating Prop 8 would be a no-brainer since it actually eliminates existing fundamental rights for citizens. But unfortunately, the election is extremely tight due in part to scare tactics and misinformation the other side is using to promote their desire to eliminate their neighbors’ rights.

Never before have I involved myself in a political campaign, but I feel so deeply offended and personally threatened by this measure that over the last two weeks I’ve been volunteering my time and donating my money to help defeat Proposition 8. I believe it’s wrong to take away people’s rights. And I believe it’s dangerous to families to deny loving couples the right to marry. I believe we should all have the opportunity to find the person we love, to marry, to share all the rights and responsibilities of marriage and to have that commitment recognized and encouraged by our government.

So here’s where I’m asking for your help: If you, your friends or family are voting in California, and you are uncertain about this issue, I encourage you to contact me. I would truly appreciate an opportunity to put a personal face on things and to talk about any questions you may have (I especially want to make sure people aren’t confused by some of the other side’s confusing and false claims). If you, your friends or family are already voting NO on 8, THANK YOU so much for your support! Please remember to get out there and vote NO on 8 and please encourage the people you care about to vote NO on 8 as well. Every vote counts in this critical election!

Thank you for taking the time to listen and for your support. Take care and all my best to you!


If you want some more general info on Proposition 8:


If you plan to vote NO on Prop 8 or are out-of-state and would to like help the campaign:
1. Email folks you know and care about: http://noonprop8.com/messages?r=friend
2. Make a donation (the other side has raised a lot to spread misinformation; donations help us reach undecided voters who need to hear that Prop 8 is wrong and unfair): http://noonprop8.com/donate?r=friend
3. Volunteer time: Sign up to call undecided voters or help out get the word out on the ground across the state (or even phone bank from outside the state): http://noonprop8.com/volunteer?r=friend

Jun 18 2008

Gettin’ Married!

Paul and Brad marry at City Hall

No, no, not me. But my friend and former boss Paul Hill (above, tall fella on the left) was married this morning to his long time sweetheart, Brad (their seventeen year-old daughter Alex can just barely be seen behind Paul’s shoulder).

I believe this is actually Paul and Brad’s second time getting married. Continue reading