Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Gay Rights Movement

I will admit that I was disappointed, and even a little hurt, that gay rights propositions were defeated in California, Florida, Arizona and Arkansas. I wasn't, however, surprised. I've been out for almost 30 years now which is long enough to see how far we've come. It also makes me old enough to know that this kind of change happens over a very long period of time.

I'm shocked and dismayed by the words and deeds of some of my gay brothers and sisters in response to these defeats. I understand their outrage. But in no way does that justify the hateful comments appearing on many blogs. Hatred toward Mormons and others that campaigned for Proposition 8 is over the top. Hate breeds hate, and is born out of fear and ignorance. I really thought because of our own experience we were better than that. Apparently not. It's like Karl Rove is now in charge of the gay agenda.

I was appalled by the treatment of the little old lady who foolishly ventured into a gay rally bearing a cross. I don't agree with her beliefs, but she is entitled to them and has every right to voice them. Rude and obnoxious behavior by the big gay bullies at the rally does not help our cause one little bit. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that footage will show up in churches all over the place. Thanks guys. Trampling crosses and roughing up old ladies is going to win us a lot of friends...NOT!

I'm stunned by the hateful and racist comments that are posted on Joe.My.God in response to an article by Jasmyne Connick that dared to suggest equal rights for African-Americans are more important than gay rights. Let me be very clear here--the fact that I am gay is not a choice. That I choose to let others know that I am gay IS a choice, and that's what makes gay rights very different from civil rights for African-Americans.

Other than not being able to marry (and missing out on the privileges that go with marriage), I have never, ever been discriminated against because of my sexual preference. I venture to say there are very few African-Americans who can say that they have never, ever been discriminated against because of their race. It's apples and broccoli--not even in the same food group.

It's interesting to me that the reaction to the defeat of Proposition 8 in California is so much more than any reaction to the losses in Florida, Arizona, and especially, Arkansas. The Arkansas initiative that outlawed adoptions by gays and lesbians was really a much bigger deal because gays and lesbians have been able to adopt and serve as foster parents in many states for a very long time. In my view, it represents a bigger step backward than the marriage initiatives. Why isn't there more of an outcry from the gay community?

Because Arkansas is not California, and doesn't count. I hear a lot about stereotyping--that gay white America is largely affluent. I don't know if that' s true or not, but it sure looks that way. How else do you explain the obvious air of privilege and the strong sense of entitlement that pervades the movement? Much of what I read sounds like something I'd expect from Republicans. Being sore losers is not attractive, and it won't help us move forward.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It's the only way to gain respect, and with respect, rights. Strident, bitchy, over-the-top rhetoric isn't helping. It just makes us all look bad.



rptrcub said...

Respectfully: I while agree that virulent hateful words dropping the f-bomb and using racist hatred do not help, religion is one of those subjects where reconciliation is never going to be truly possible with many of the certain elements. I have tried and I have gotten nothing but hatred in return.

The cross incident was not helpful, and I hate to be acting like I'm blaming the victim here, but a solitary woman going into a crowd like that makes me think that she was trying to be a martyr.

I am guilty of giving into this rage and I'm trying to resist giving into my instinct of attacking back. But I am not Gandhi, Jesus or MLK, and loving my enemies is not an option at this point.

In 2004 in Georgia, when 76% of the people voted to make me a second-class citizen, I was really depressed and sad. In 2008, I am enraged.

California has supercharged many in the community like no other initiative. Prop 8 actually took away a right that was confirmed by the courts, a revocation from the tyranny of the majority. Granted, the No on 8 people really screwed some things up, but we must fight, even if the margin was something like 52-48.

We still have a right to speak out to those who funded the Yes on 8 campaign, and they must learn that while they have the right to free speech, we have the right to free speech as well and we can choose to spend our money elsewhere.

If it takes boycotts and peaceful protests to get our anger out in a constructive way, I'm all for it.

I like your blog, BTW, and I enjoy reading it. Thx.

The Crotchety Old Man said...

I'm all for peaceful protests and boycotts. I'm also for civil discourse and debate. That's not what I'm seeing from the gay community right now. Push to far, and the opposition will push back. Maybe I'm for incremental change, which seems a more realistic goal than sudden societal change. Anyway, thanks for reading and I'm glad The Crotchety Old Man is something you enjoy.

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