Archive for November, 2008

What It’s Like For Our Children

More real stories from the Republic of T.

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 awareness, politics, queer No Comments

Marriage Does Matter

Yes, it matters for white, affluent gay and lesbian couples, and they do seem to be the primary backers of the marriage equality movement, but it matters for gay and lesbian couples of color, too. And for some proof of that, I would point you to this post by Terrance on the Republic of T site.

Thursday, November 13th, 2008 politics, queer No Comments

So What?

In the past couple of days, as news has trickled in about the initial passage of proposition 8 in California (overturning that state supreme court’s decision recognizing same-sex marriage as a fundamental right under their state constitution), I have seen a lot of anger. That’s to be expected, and normal, especially as the bitter disappointment of the actions of the slim majority who voted for the proposition sinks in. But along with that, there has been much anger directed at minority voters who supported the proposition in large numbers, specifically the african-american and latino communities. I’ve seen calls that the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) community should no longer support those minority communities when it comes to their own civil rights issues. The writers point out the greater numbers within those minority communities who follow certain religious traditions, and the animosity toward gay and lesbian rights expressed by certain leaders within those minority communities. But to those who are calling for pulling back support I say: So what?

Support of minority rights is the morally correct thing to do, period. This is not a zero-sum game, nor is it some sort of tit-for-tat, you-scratch-my-back I’ll-scratch yours transaction (though of course those agreements will occur in politics around individual efforts). We should support minority rights because it’s the right thing to do. This is the essence of the christian commandment to turn the other cheek – that one should do the right thing no matter that those whom it helps might turn around and stike you.

And frankly, pulling back support will do nothing to help GLBT rights, and will do everything to hurt them. It will further alienate the minority members of the GLBT community, and would merely make us appear to be petty, self-serving children who refuse to play when the game starts to go against us. We cannot be seen to pull back from our support for full and equal participation in civic life for all minorities. While I understand the urge the pull back, to assess blame, and to point fingers, that’s exactly what we cannot do now.

What is needed is more outreach to those communities, to show how same-sex marriage does not harm them, to debunk the lies told by those who seek to manipulate those communities for their own agenda, and to show how their leaders how their support for anti-gay positions harms members of their own community. We won’t convince all of them, that’s a given. But we will get to some, and we will impress others with our commitment to minority rights.

This is a long-term fight, and pulling away from our natural allies, even where members of those communities vote against us, is counter-productive and will lose us more in the end than it gains us (no matter how good it might feel to be able to point to someone else as the bad guy).

Thursday, November 6th, 2008 awareness, politics, queer Comments Off on So What?