Although the campaigns to defeat the discriminatory initiatives in AZ and FL must feel relegated to the sidelines as they look at the mammoth battle taking place in CA, it must be said that a California loss will be devastating to efforts to build a future where same-sex couples are not discriminated in the United States based on who they love. If passed, California would also become the first state to strip away marriage rights already granted to its state residents (couples who have gotten married would not lose their marriage status but unmarried partners and future partners would not be able to have access to them).
The extreme right-wing certainly understands that it's the battle to end all battles when it comes to the issue and have been acting accordingly treating it as if it were Armageddon itself or the final End of Days battle (a poll released yesterday shows a 49% to 44% lead for "No on 8" which is good but that lead might evaporate come election day).
Tonight, the Associated Press has the latest ("Anxious eyes on California gay marriage vote").
The Latino vote: Despite the slight lead, it's a slight lead that might easily evaporate.
Unfortunately this has led to some generalizations on both sides of the equation that the minority vote might end up deciding the future of same-sex marriages in California with the common assumption that most blacks and Latinos will vote do deny rights to the gays.
First came fears that a strong minority showing for Barack Obama in the California voting booths might mean additional support for the marriage ban ("Obama surge confounds gay marriage"), then came indications that both sides were targeting Latino voters believing that they might be the ones to push the ban over the treshhold or keep it from passing ("Leaning on Latinos" and "Prop. 4, 8 campaigns battle fiercely for crucial Latino vote").
Let me say this: I don't have much money but I have donated to the "No on 8" campaign to support their efforts (as well as "No on 2" in FL and "No on 102" in AZ); I also know that they have attempted to make inroads among Latino communities; but I was less than thrilled by their discourse in media during these last few days on the issue of Latino voters and not too impressed by their ads targeting Latino media.
Sure, they got the stars of "Ugly Betty" to do an ad in English and and ad in Spanish. Not sure how it plays out to California Latinos and particularly those undecided or supporting Prop. 8 but to me it certainly plays up the stereotype that familia trumps everything in our lives (it may or it may not but not in that La Cosa Nostra creepy way that ends up implying all Latinos are conservative because we love La Familia - which plays right into the right wing's hands). And, secondly, I also have a feeling that Latinos who watch "Ugly Betty" on ABC are not necessarily the Latino population that needs their mind changed on Prop. 8. I mean, they probably get Justin already .
Having Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa be a lead spokesperson and supporter is much better but I have yet to see efforts to engage truly popular Spanish-language television stars or singers that might reach out to a wider Latino community. This, despite the fact that Paulina Rubio and Gloria Trevi - who are hugely popular among the Mexican and Mexican-American communities in California - came out strongly against Prop. 8 this week. They should be in ads today!
[BTW: No poll is perfect but a poll released yesterday and forwarded to me by my friend Evan Wolfson actually shows Latinos in California OPPOSING the ban 51% to 46%].
Now, I've been peppering this post with a few images that seem to have no relation to the topic at hand. Heck, if you go for that metrosexual, pouty-lip, hairless chest bimbo look, you might even still be reading this post because of him. Me? Eek! Not my type at all.
Now, watch this video of the '90's Mexican boy-band (er, man-band?) Kiero and pay attention to the guy with a wife-beater shirt and no leather jacket or - alternatively - no shirt and lotsa sweat plus all his queerrific dance moves:
Part of the shock for some friends is that they assumed Verastegui was gay (a lot of them grew up watching him perform with Kiero and playing leads in popular Mexican soap operas). I mean, just by the photos and video above there's no doubt in my mind he knew exactly who his fanbase was and that it was tres-gay. So forgive some from feeling ultra-betrayed.
But those are the gays. He also has a huge female fan base (for some reason they love the bimbo pouty-lipped look too) and he certainly used it to play up his Hollywood debut in the failed attempt at cross-over success otherwise known as "Chasing Papi".
Enter his 2006 anti-abortion message movie "Bella" and his embrace of the whole US right wing enchilada (immigration issues be damned!) and lo-and-behold - he becomes a poster child for the worst right-wing policies being channeled by the McCain camp as of late (Hey! What do ya know! He endorsed McCain this week as well!).
As a matter of fact, bimbo-boy's fabulous right-wing adventure was what elicited reactions from Mexican mega-star Paulina Rubio (who called him "ignorant") and Gloria Trevi (who taped her own message urging voters to vote against the California and Florida propositions).
Let truth win on Tuesday! Vote "No on 8" if you live in California.
- Pérez Hilton lashes out at Verastegui over Proposition 8 (New York Daily News, Oct. 31, 2008)
- Mexican Soap Star shills for 'Yes on 8' (Joe.My.God, Oct. 28, 2008)
- Tell Eduardo your dreams! (Latin Gossip, Oct. 27, 2008)
- Manic Eduardo Verastegui hearts Prop. 8, McCain (Intersections)
- Perpetually nude dude has no problem with deciding other's morals (Riptide 2.0, Oct. 27, 2008)
- Eduardo Verastegui is against abortion, gays and gaybortions (Guanabee, Oct. 21, 2008)
- Spanish-language gossip show criticizes Paulina Rubio for standing up to Verastegui, Verastegui responds to Rubio's comments (Escandalo)