One thing I’ve always said regarding the battle for LGBT equal rights, was that the movement is far too passive, even “respectful” of those who legislate against us, as they have now done again.
I’m not condemning any of the incredible efforts made by LGBT camps in our fight against Proposition 8. On occasion after occasion I was very moved by the rallies, the crowds, and especially the younger people, of all degrees of sexuality, who energetically participated in the campaign. But as someone in his forties, who’s been watching this battle unfold much longer than many of those volunteers have been alive, my conception of how the battle should be fought was, and is, much more aggressive than what was carried out.
Let’s look at it from an historic perspective. Despite all the bloggers and opinions out there who are once again, even in the face of a devastating defeat, pumping out the philosophy of “they just don’t understand” or “we’re fighting ignorance, not hatred” or “respect their beliefs” or “we have to be gentle with them”, I vehemently disagree. If we continue to fight this war with those philosophies as our foundation, we will lose again and again and again.
Why? Because we don’t live in the past. We live in the present. We aren’t having this debate at a time when the medical community is complacent in electro shock therapy to “cure” homosexuality. We aren’t having this debate at a time when “coming out of the closet” is not an option. We aren’t having this debate at a time when false propaganda is the only information about gays being circulated. It’s not a time when even the most powerful in our nation adamantly believe that being gay is an illness. It’s not a time when a gay person has no way of knowing that they’re not “the only one out there”. It’s not a time when gays have no rights, let alone a voice. It’s not a time when our numbers are invisible, when no one on the television or in the movies is like us. And it’s not a time when even an LGBT American who also believes in a Christian God automatically believes they are a disgrace in the eyes of their deity.
No, we are living in 2008. It was over 30 years ago that medicine and science declared that being gay was as natural as being straight. It’s a time when homosexuality in the animal kingdom has been well documented. It’s a time when all the lies used by anti-gay Americans (it’s sick, we’re pedophiles, we’re not fully developed emotionally, that it’s a choice, that our children are less developed and stable, same sex marriage is detrimental to society, our marriages “threaten” theirs, etc.) have been absolutely and unequivocally denounced and proven by the facts to be wrong. We live in a time when we all have instant access to all information, all the facts, at the click of a button from the privacy of our own homes, and yet, we want to continue to “respectfully disagree” with these anti-American, disingenuous bigots? Why do we continue to act as if any of their points are anything but laughable?
I for one, will no longer be a part of it. I married my partner on June 17th of this year and on that day I felt my political anger subside. I would still write and debate and volunteer and record the movement, but there was a quieting of my anger. Now, less than 5 months later, it’s back, and in full force. It’s time for the LGBT community to get up and SCREAM. We have the truth and evidence on our side. That’s the reason the primarily conservative California Supreme Court ruled in our favor. Eventually, through the courts, our rights will be written into stone. The courts, although broken in many instances and still subject to reinforcing the prejudices they themselves occasionally feel, will ultimately come to understand that the propaganda is a lie, that religion or belief cannot restrict equality in this country, and that civil rights are not allowed to be overturned by the will and bigotry of the majority. And with each court case which rules in our favor, the next one becomes easier. This Proposition should have been denied by the courts. Ask yourself if any Proposition to make inter-racial marriage illegal again could be placed on the ballot. Then why was this one allowed? Ask yourself if any Proposition restricting marriage to only those with children would be allowed on the ballot? Then why was this one allowed? Ask yourself if a Proposition denying heterosexuals more than one marriage would be allowed on the ballot? Then why was this one allowed?
The Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969 were the catalyst for the expedited LGBT movement forward since. For those who don’t know, those riots were just that, riots. Fires were started, people were beaten, police cars overturned, aggressive police actions rebelled against, and it was all started by us. We had enough and we exploded. In the 80’s, when we were dying in droves due to AIDS while at the same time being vilified and ignored, denied intervention or even acknowledgment, groups like ACT UP took to the streets again and through acts of angry protest and violence, made our voices heard.
I’m not suggesting we become violent, but we’ve got to stop being passive and respectful of those denying us our equal rights. We have to get ANGRY. We’ve got to demand our rights through the court systems. We’ve got to have more loud protests and less quiet, complacent gatherings. We’ve got to hold up copies of past legislations which overturned restricted civil rights instead of just mentioning them. We’ve got to hold up a physical copy of the constitution and force them to point out where it says we can be denied our rights. We’ve got to hold up oversized images of the crimes that have been committed against us. We’ve got to hold up physical copies of the real scientific studies which clearly state that we are natural, that our children are as well or better developed, that it’s not a choice, and that it’s not just gays and lesbians, but transgender, transsexual, bisexual, and every shade in between that are just as natural and American as anyone else, and just as deserving of equal rights.
We need to get SPECIFIC. When all those lies within the Yes On 8 ads were running, why didn’t we get very specific and hold up physical, documented evidence that it wasn’t true? Why didn’t we have more TV ads which showed on the screen a physical copy of the proof that a civil union is not equal to marriage? Why didn’t we show documentation that churches would not be required to participate in same sex marriages? Why don’t we show a physical copy of the statistics which prove that pedophilia is virtually exclusively a heterosexual act? We can spew opinion back at opinion all day, but why has America become a place where this conversation can continue to move back and forth without resolution? Why aren’t we acting in rallies and demonstrations as we do in court, when we use concrete documentation and evidence? Why didn’t we run full page newspaper ads that showed the truth in plain black and white? Why aren’t we protesting often in front of places like the Cornerstone Church, and every other religious organization in America responsible for this anti-American travesty? Why aren’t we publishing regularly the hypocrisy and corruption of religion in this country? Why aren’t we holding up the official Norwegian studies which detail the truth, that same sex marriage DOES NOT negatively affect heterosexual marriage?
Our rights may NEVER be granted by the majority of Americans. The IRONY is, in America, no majority is supposed to be able to choose the rights of a minority. Yet it’s happening, even as the court systems finally come to reality, as they did with inter-racial marriage, and issue rulings to stop it. We share the responsibility by continuing to allow it, with a smile on our face and an “I respect your belief” from our lips. I, for one, don’t respect their beliefs. Not when they’re using it to legislate against others simply because they can. When Christianity stays within a person’s home or place of worship and never again tries to change the landscape of America to fit their beliefs instead of the constitution, then I may respect them, but not one day sooner.
Being very young grants you an incredible ability to believe that “everything eventually works out”, that “the truth will eventually win”. Unfortunately that is as far from the truth as anything can be. It’s time to get angry and specific, and for all courts in the country to be inundated with LGBT lawsuits. We live, as Americans, in The United States Of America. We, as Americans of all beliefs, do not live in any kind of church.
(By the way, for those who were married after June 17th but never went to the Hall Of Records to get an Official copy of the marriage license, I’d suggest you do. We went and got ours.)
I found some other articles online today that discuss the anger we need to put into action. Click on the links below.