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Pointing fingers at Prop 2 will not help us repeal Prop 8.
The movement against Prop 8 is a powerful, unstoppable force. Hundreds of thousands of people have been out in the streets these last few days, myself included. But negative references to Prop 2's victory are diverting attention away from the issue at hand, and are not going to help us overturn Prop 8. We're all in this fight for justice together, let's do it right.
Friends, fellow activists, culture jammers, reformers -
For the Prop 8 rally on Friday, I made signs, sent emails, called friends, and gathered people to go to SF and show everyone that we're not ready to let this go easily. I was stoked to see the thousands of people who came out to protest. However, I was disappointed to see sign after sign stating “animals have more rights than humans" or making other references to Prop 2's recent victory, which gives farm animals in CA enough room to stand up, turn around, sit down, and extend their limbs.
I worked tirelessly on the Prop 2 campaign for over a year, and cannot express the joy and relief I feel now that Prop 2 has passed, allowing 20 million farm animals to be less confined. But to say that chickens have more “rights” than people is far from accurate, and hurtful to my work on the campaign. Chickens can now stand up, turn around, sit down, and extend their limbs before slaughter. I wouldn’t call these “rights” in the least.
I was angry, upset, disgusted, when Prop 8 passed, just like all of you, and cannot tell you how much I am willing to fight to overturn this. But it’s not right for those frustrated with Prop 8's passing to take away from the Prop 2 victory that hundreds of dedicated volunteers worked for for so long, or from the animals who live in filthy, cramped, painful, conditions their entire lives before being slaughtered, and deserve to be able to stand up and turn around. Signs, emails, and articles refer to Prop 2's victory when expressing disappointment with Californians for banning same-sex marriage. Even though it may not be intentional, this almost implies that Prop 8's passing was Prop 2's fault, which it is not.
Prop 8 passing had to do with religion, which unfortunately is still so ingrained in government and society, and Prop 2 probably passed because it is less controversial. Prop 2, and the animal rights activists, veterinarians, small farmers, health and safety advocates, who supported and helped it to pass, are the wrong people to be pointing fingers at. I also hope that those who support marriage equality will not let resentment stop them from supporting animal rights initiatives in the future, as we are all in this struggle together.
Signs that say chickens have more rights than people are diverting attention away from the issue at hand, and will not help us repeal Prop 8. They are also offensive to those who feel passionately about both human rights and animal rights and are not asking for an “either – or” ultimatum.
Just as many folks who are against Prop 8 are exuberant that Obama won, it is okay to be celebrating one victory while still fighting for another. If anything, one change makes us stronger in creating more. We’re all in this fight for justice together, let’s target the right people, organizations, ideologies, and governments, to help us on our journey. Yes we can.