It's hard to not feel optimistic with the results of last night's election. It really seems like America is ready to move forward from the mean-spirited fear-mongering that has divided American politics for the last couple of decades, and I'm excited to be around for this transitional moment in American history.
But... It was an awful night for gay issues. Californians voted to nullify Ellen's marriage (and Sulu's too). I'm sure they'll rest easier now that their families are no longer threatened by likes of her. Marriage equality bans also passed in Arizona and Florida.
What disappoints me more than the marriage bans is the Arkansas measure to ban unmarried folks from adopting. It wasn't a surprise; the polls were showing it would pass. I just wish it would have been a bigger part of the national discussion.
Adoption is one of those issues I could become a crusader for. I have an adopted brother and an adopted niece, and I don't think families that are open and inclusive are somehow inferior to traditional ones.
I also happen to be pro-life (in a nuanced liberal sort of way), and when you reduce the options to abortion, you increase the incidence of abortion. People are pro-life for different reasons; I tend to side with the pro-lifers I've met in my animal rights circles whose motivations are based on their empathy with the suffering of sentient beings, not the pro-lifers whose primary motivation seems to be the resentment of people who have sex for the fun of it.
Some issues separate these two kinds of pro-lifers: the anti-suffering pro-lifers oppose war and capital punishment, and the anti-sex pro-lifers oppose birth control and stem-cell research. This measure is one of those issues; it places a higher priority on sexual morality than on placing unwanted children in loving stable homes.
In this election, Sarah Palin emerged as an infuential new face of the Pro-Life movement. I wish somebody would have asked her about this measure. I would like to know which kind of pro-lifer she is (she's a pro-war hunter, so I have a guess). If she would have opposed this measure on pro-life grounds, I think it could have influenced the outcome.