What are we fighting for?

This post’s title is not meant to be absurdly philosophical. I asked myself this question today as I mired through hundreds of foundation profiles to find grant opportunities for PAIR. I do love my job. But working on a Sunday is less than ideal, and working with the fundraising part of my job is not my favorite part. It was moments like today that I wonder why all of us working in social change do what we do and what gets us through the less glamorous and enjoyable parts of our work.

I have been trying to follow some of the news coverage of the backlash to the gay marriage bans passed in three states. I think the measures’ success in California, Arizona, and Florida took everyone by surprise for how much progress still needs to be made. The use of democracy as a tool to curtail rights only makes it more pernicious. Blaming minorities for passage of these ballot measures only obscures the real problems of ignorance and discrimination. Using the best charm offensive may help reduce ignorance on an interpersonal level, but changes on an institutional level will require a different strategy.

So I was really inspired to read Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish as he captured photos and readers’ account of the protests this Saturday through The View From Your Protest. Here in Houston, about 600 people gathered together in support. It’s incredible to hear about so many people fighting for something because it is the right thing to do; it makes all the frustrating moments worth the struggle.

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