Currently at Costa Mesa's Tin Lizzie—Deep Purple's “Knocking At Your Back Door” is playing overhead, heh—where CNN just projected Barack Obama as president and where a loud round of “Woooooooo”s, “YEEEEEEEAH”s and claps just erupted. Sure we knew this was coming (sort of), but a packed-in Tin Lizzie and yours truly are now more concerned about Proposition 8, which would amend the State Constitution to limit marriage between a man and a woman. And if Prop 8 passes, it will take effect next Wednesday, questioning the legality of tens of thousands of gay and lesbian marriages that have taken place since May of this year.
Keep watching this space as California results start rolling in and hear reactions from Tin Lizzie patrons.
8:30 p.m.: Shawn Mussacco, 25, of Long Beach and his friends Aaron Kerspradit, 28, of Mission Viejo and Gina Robertes, 24, of Lakewood are gathered at a pool table just under one of the three Samsung flatscreens inside the Tin Lizzie where they've convened to watch the election results roll in—”And to drink,” adds Kerspradit.
The three agree it's especially disheartening to live in Orange County as LGBT residents, where Yes on 8 signs outnumber the Nos, but all three also agreed that the support for Obama seemed to be more widespread than McCain's.
When asked if they were feeling positive on 8, Mussaco hesitates. “Uh, we're hoping.” Robertes takes a glass of white wine from his hand. “There's more straights than gays, right? And how many fag hags are there?”
8:58 p.m.: Everyone whistles and cheers at the television as Obama takes the stage at Grant Park—the cheers escalate as he mentions the gay population—and a (generous) lady buys everyone a round of drinks.
9:01 p.m.: I accidentally oust a dude from his vodka tonic and roost at the bar—he insists I keep the space as he pushes a bar stool under me and moves my laptop in place. To him I say, “Aw.”
9:08 p.m.: Total fucking silence.
9:18 p.m.: Wayne Tettat, 47, of Santa Ana (said dude who insisted I take his seat) is standing next to me in a blue windbreaker and is wearing about, oh, four rings on both hands, with a drink in his hand and tears streaking down his face. “I'm feeling positive that 8 will not pass,” he says. “And I have to say when I see protesters say yes on Prop 8 that I have to understand in my own heart that I can't hate them for having their opinion but I have to respect them so that they might respect me.”
9:20 p.m.: The boyfriend, who's been drinking, wonders aloud, “I wonder if they'll get two dogs.”
9:24 p.m.: Aaron Cirilo, 24, Costa Mesa saunters up to me and my Apple in his perfectly ironed vest and tie: “A handsome young man walks up to me looking rather dapper this evening… he speaks in an accent i've never heard of before,” he dictates to me. He says, quote, “I support your heritage.”
Cirilo takes a deep breath and tells me, “Here's what I'm doing for Prop 8. I volunteered, I co-hosted a house party witih a friend where we raised over $4500. Today I went to the actual poll sites and I passed out cards to remind people to vote on no 8—but i kept my 100 yards,” he insists. “I rallied, I changed my Facebook status. I emailed my parents who are in support of Prop 8 and tried to make a good attempt.”
He's excited. Really excited. And then exclaims, “Here's a story for you! You love good stories!” He claps his hands and shares: “For my party that I had, I accidentally included my little brother in on the e-vite who I haven't spoken to in eight years since I came out. He said that I should go play in the freeway in oncoming traffic, and that basically me and my fudgepacking friends need to go die… soo… it really helped me put a face on the monster that we're fighting against and it's sad that it's family and faces we're familiar with,” he says. “But that's how I've been able to continue this fight because I know who I'm fighting against.”
He goes on to explain that even his aunt deleted him off MySpace—and that he's been alienated by many family members because of his dedication to No on 8. Cirilo punctuates his story with a couple of fist pounds to the bar.
9:34 p.m.: Boos resound as the local news announces that Prop 8 is coming at 54% yes to 46% no, with 22% of total state votes in.
9:48 p.m.: Childhood friend and Long Beach resident Daniel Tomita, 23, says, “We're pretty much fucked.” He pauses. “The LA ballots are already coming in and they're really ahead for the yes vote. And I mean, overall for all of California, we're at 54 to 45. So,” he rolls his eyes and pops a M&M in his mouth, “We're fucked.”
10:08 p.m.: A woman named Margaret tells me she reads Trendzilla and says I'm cute. AWESOME.
10:15 p.m.: Cirilo screams, “I HOPE YOU HAVE A GAY BABY!” at a woman holding a child being interviewed at the Irvine Republican gathering on the local news.
10:30 p.m.: John Mullins, 29, of Los Angeles has pretty much given up hope, even though the results aren't all in for Prop 8: “It's bittersweet. I mean it's a great night for the nation but it's a really sad night for California.”
10:52 p.m.: Neil Burns, 33, of Costa Mesa is one of many heterosexual male patrons here at the Tin Lizzie against 8: “I don't believe in God. And I think marriage is an institution of God. I wouldn't want my right to be taken away just because it started as a religious right to be married.”
11:01 p.m.: Cirilo comes by again and lets me know they just did another round of Obama Bomber shots (courtesy of Felix the bartender), which consists of a shot of whipped cream, Malibu, orange juice and Blue Curaçao that's then dropped into a glass of 7-Up. Try it at your next gathering! Also? Cirilo: “Cirilo starts new trend! Sweeps Orange County!”
11:15 p.m.: I probably should have linked this earlier, but uh, I didn't. Visit the LA Times website for an updated Prop 8 county count here (under “Available Races,” just select Prop 8). We're currently at 52.8% yes, 47.2% no, with 37.4% reporting. Orange County? With 10.6% reporting, we're at 59.2% yes and 40.8% no.
11:21 p.m.: Boyfriend drunk.
11:38 p.m.: It's a little past 11 now, the bar's starting to clear out and about quitting time for me, too—California's now at 52.5% yes, 47.5% no, with 46.8% of precincts reporting. Bummer. See you in the morning.