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04 June 2009

Comments

Kevin Perez

We're considered "bigots" because we refuse to tolerate their f*cked up views on being LGBT. We're bigots because we refuse to accept the categorization and labels by self-rightous religious zealouts of child molestors, sexual deviants, ungodly folk, morally inferior, abnormal, abomination and being scapegoated and blamed for society and the world's existing problems (you know, the decline of Western civilization).

Everything that's applied to LGBT can apply to self-identified heterosexuals but because they're the masses, they get a free pass on their own immorality and expect us to conform to their, again, f*cked up perception on being LGBT. The LGBT community should take some blame for using the world "lifestyle" or even "alternative lifestyle" because it's being used as a "weapon" against us. No, I don't life a lifestyle. These douchebags can talk about morals, God and our alleged "lifestyle" but they will truly never know anything about my life and simply base their judgemental views on what's probably seen on televison or their personal experince with an individual who conforms to they want LGBT to be. The choice argument is laugable as well. 33 states in this country can fire you based on sexuality. Add that with lack of enforcement of hate crime laws and prevention of discriminatory practices, it's virtually impossible to live. Imagine what it's like to be a person of color going through that? You're not worth a damn thing! The choice arugment is seen a lot in Black communities, which is hilarous because why would people further want to be ostracized by larger society. But no, when you point out that they go with their usual bible thumping and selective morality. Their belief and argument is that if I want no violence or discrimination towards me, I should go to church and become "straight" (an ex-gay). If I don't conform to their bigoted notions and refuse to let them shove their religious beliefs down my throat, then whatever happens to me is because I "had it coming" or "faced the consequences of my lifestyle" or worse, a "punishment from God for our sinful, deviant behavior". That's bigotry itself. Ask yourself this, would any of you stand for, as people of color, if a White American made racist remarks and generalizations ABOUT your ethnicity and race as well as stereotypes in your face but without resorting to name-calling, racial slurs, or cursing and told you you're the "bigot" because you didn't "tolerate" their point of view and accuses YOU of everything THEY'RE doing. Most of you would respond angerily and violently, in the sense you would think of something quickly to counter this person's bigotry. Or would you sit there and say "This person is just expressing his opinion! He has the right to even if it means degrading me as a human being and treating me like I'm beneath him! And I would be a bigot if I didn't tolerate this!"

As of now, I'm out of High School promising myself to get a job for the Summer but slacking severely due to my laziness. I'm up here drinking a cup of Dr. Pepper 7:00 in the morning and anxiously waiting for a Japanese video game that features Disney characters to come out this September and waiting for conformation about my finiacial aide for college, as well as spending some times looking a porn, standing outside my porch and wondering and relecting back at my childhood and the fact I've finished school only to then eat, sleep, go to the bathroom and repeat this routine on a daily bases and then perhaps watch Seinfeld or the The Simpsons on DVD. I might even finish the day looking at some porn, which for some strange reason, has has lost effect on me.

THAT'S my lifestyle. I'm such a deviant that needs God's help! Oh, how horrible the gay lifestyle is! Oh, I'm so sick! I'm going to Hell! I'm a sick individual! All I think of is sex and "flaunting" my lifestyle on poor innocent heterosexuals! because you know, with they way heterosexual men and women are, I'm pretty sure they don't act on their urges and commit sins that would make Baby Jesus cry. Oh, how Heterosexuality is so Godly and moral! Lack of commitment, out of control wedlock births, adultry, divorce! Yeah, how moral it is! Gays flaunt it but for heteros, it's an expression of their love!

Oh how horrible we are! I'm pretty sure Mark's comments would make the typical homophobe smile.

Kevjack

@ Jim

You make several good points that are worth responding to:

1) it is not true that once marriage is obtained everything else will follow. I can imagine that the SCOTUS allows marriage and states would not ban discrimination against gays and lesbians in housing, employment, etc. It could certainly happen. Marriage is by no means a magic pill.

2) the backlash has created more problems than it has solved because states put laws on the books and changed their constitutions to outlaw gay marriage. The Civil Rights Movement began long after states had discriminatory laws. This backlash has created such laws. This is a huge step backwards because marriages legal in one state will not be recognized in others. And many states will have to amend their constitutions to allow gay marriage. That is usually a difficult process that requires a super majority of voters and representatives. We may have 10 states that offer marriage by 2010/2015, but the other 40 will have to undue what has been done.

3) given what I said in (2), we have forced this issue to the Feds. This is a big problem because Obama is not for it, pelosi is not for it, the senate will fillabuster it, and the SCOTUS is far from approving it. The worst thing we could do is have the SCOTUS rule that gay marriage can be banned-- it would take us at least 20 years to undue that.

4) please read a good history of the civil rights movement. It did not begin, by any stretch of the imagination, in the 1950s. It began in the 1930s at the latest. And the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a story unto itself-- it took a dead president and a arm-twisting one to get it enacted. And the compromises that it produced left us a bill with far less teeth than people think. The real progress was made in the courts in terms of employment and schooling. The problem with that is that the progress can be turned back-- and in many cases it has been.

The sad fact is that the majority of gay couples are farther away from civil marriage equality than they were in 2004.

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It's great to see this.

Jim

Thanks, kevjack, for your thoughtful reply.

The Civil Rights movement and the gay rights movement have different histories, and the gay rights movement is only in its middle stages. Back in the early ’90s, I used to tell my friends that the gay rights movement was about where the Civil Rights movement was in the 1920s, or at very best the 1930s, so maybe we’ve reached the 1940s by now. The two movements are not really parallel, of course, but I think my point is correct: There is still a long ways to go for gay rights. The backlash you have described, with states passing discriminatory laws, is very real. You must realize, though, that the Jim Crow laws of the 1890s and 1900s were also a backlash, and some new Jim Crow laws got created right up to the 1960s, so the trajectory of the Civil Rights movement after the Civil War was not just one of constant progress, either.

I do not think the marriage issue is a magic bullet, but I do think it has changed some people’s thinking. Some have become even more militant in their bigotry, while others have come to see gay people as more-or-less equal human beings for the first time. I think that the improvement in the thinking of many has allowed the legal progress we have seen in the last few months and has set the stage for some more. I do not think, though, that Mississippi is going to acknowledge the equality of gay people any time soon.

Perhaps recently graduated Kevin Perez will see something resembling nationwide equality by the time he is an old man. But who knows? We could have a neo-Nazi takeover of the U.S. before then, or global warming could have caused worldwide famine. All we can do is keep fighting and changing minds along the way, and I think that always strategizing about what is politically possible or acceptable to the men in charge is not necessarily the most effective way to go about it. By insisting upon our full humanity, we create allies who will help the movement forward.

Kevin Perez

Jim:

I doubt it. The only way I see that happening is if the spawn and their grand kids, as well as their great grand kids don't follow in their footsteps. We're in 2009 and people still refuse to let go of long-held beliefs about different groups of people.

Some just miss the good ol' days. And let me be honest, marriage perhaps will be a consideration to me in the future but not anytime soon. Really, I have enough problems and drama and I'm not even out yet! Plus what's the point of being married if you're not protected by the law?

Equality in USA is somewhat of a myth. I would not trade my life here any where else but some people sugar coat it a lot.

Jim

Kevin Perez, I advise anyone your age and with your smarts to get out of the United States. Don’t wait too long.

Kevin

Scratch that Rod, now it's working.

Fantastic discussion here!

Dré

Obama is not going to use his political capital on this issue or "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" right now until he get's Congress to pass Health Care reform this year. It's that simple. Now, if within the next 18 months he still has not made any effort to address these issues, then I think everyone can get the riot started then...

Kevin

Man, these are some great comments.

I do agree with Jim that marriage equality, in fact, did begin from the grassroots but has been taken over by the professional gays.

Kevjack is right in shooting down what I call the "trickle down" theory of marriage equality; the idea that all our rights will flow down from there. In all of the states that have marriage equality, protections such as state ENDA, hate crimes, etc. are already codified in the state laws.
Marriage equality trickles up, not down.

Kevin

(Chitown Kev here, by the way just so there is no confusion, I signed in in order to post!)

I meant that all the rights work up to marriage equality, not the Reaganomics of rights dripping down from marriage equality.

Pastor Michael-Vincent Crea

Peace to ALL!

In 2004 I revised one of my Master
of Divinity papers, "Recognition of Gay and Lesbian Unions," to use 'Marriage" and be inclusive of all sexualities.

My M.Div. degree, earned in 1987, is from The Catholic University.
What I didn't know until taking out $10,000 in loans and a class on "the Sacraments," might surprise many and be what I think is our LGBT 'checkmate' for kings and queens and all-in-betweens.

A Sacrament is a "sign of God's Love or the Love of God," bringing grace, "the Love of God," to those receiving such a reality represented in such sacred ritual.

Of the seven sacraments [Baptism,
Penance(Confession), Confirmation,
Holy Eucharist, Marriage, Holy Orders and Anointing of the Sick],
ONLY Marriage does NOT have the priest as its minister, the Human
representive conferring the grace of God in the 'sign' or expression
in words of the Love of God.

Only the couple, consummating their "Love of God" in 'One an-Other,' are the ministers in the sacrament of Marriage. They are the sign; their words, "I DO," are the spoken reality of that
"Love of God" in their presence and their 'Being' presented to the public and or faith community.

The priest and those attending serve only as witnesses to that
reality of "L-O-V-E!"

Instead of fighting the Right's hellfire with fire, its so much simpler to just throw some of their own baptismal water in their face to wake up to their own
beliefs that "God is Love."

No matter one's faith [and/or atheism] no person or government has any right to deny this most basic of Human Rights: to Love and to Be loved, especially in a nation, ending its allegience to a piece of colored clothe stating:
"With Liberty & Justice for ALL!"

President Obama needs to realize when one tries to please everyone
instead of protecting the rights of everyone, that one thing shall always be true: he and others are wrong.

Maybe Michelle can set her husband and other straights straight, playing the Prez a li'l Bob Marley: "Stand up, stand up! Stand up for y(OUR)LGBT Rights!
DON"T GIVE UP THE FIGHT!!!"

ALL I AM
Yours-in-OneLove,
Steadfast in Spirit & in Truth,

Michael-Vincent Crea, Pastor & Founder
One World Life Systems


Kevjack

Jim

Thanks for your reply.

Let me make the following point. You are right that Civil Rights was about beating back the Post-Reconstruction backlash. But to be honest blacks had only been out of slavery for a generation before this backlash began, and the freedom enjoyed during this time were anything but true freedom (sharecropping, race riots, lynchings, etc.). So I think to call Jim Crow a backlash is debateable since the material conditions of blacks deteriorated in some ways after the Civil War. See Fogel and Engerman, Ransom and Sutch, Steckel, and Goldin on this.

Back in the 1930s Houston wanted to overturn Plessy. As we know, this took more than 20 years. My point is that if we let the SCOTUS decide this issue they will hand us a Plessy-like decision that will take 20 years to overturn. The main problem now is that the vast majority of states now have something on the books regarding gay marriage (and they have done so twice-- once in the late 1990s in response to Hawaii, and then post 2004 in response to MA). There is now a clear and undeniable voting and legislative record in the majority of states outlawing gay marriage. We have gone from having nothing on the books to having something very negative. No matter which way we cut it, this has been a giant step backwards.

I would much rather be in legal limbo than be in the situation we are in now. And this could have been avoided by pushing for civil unions post 2004. What we have done by demanding "full marriage" (I would rather have the full rights of marriage and not the word marriage than the word marriage and nothing else, which is what we have now) is ensure that we will not have the rights for at least a generation.

My biggest problem is that the marriage arguments were emotional, not legal. The white gay elite was more concerned about being able to "call themselves married" (so that their *love* relationships will be equal) than with the rights thereof (which are the most important). People have decided that the love is not equal (which is their opinion) but *do* believe that the rights should be equal (and, again, this is what is important). If we would have been pragmatic, we could actually have many (almost all?) the rights of marriage now. This could have forced a federal compromise (this was likely because conservatives were scared). Then we could make a push for marriage.

A bird in the hand beats nothing, including being pooped on by one, which is what we have now.

Mark

If Evan Wolfson, the acknowledged founder of the gay marriage movement, achieves his objectives, there will be no distinction between marriages based on the sex of the partners. Marriage will simply be defined as a union between two human beings.

Then as the homophobia of the current generations gradually passes away, and future generations are no longer ashamed of their own same sex-desires, more and more people will fall in love with a same-sex partner, especially during the romantic teenage years. Since marriage will now be open to them, they will choose to marry their first love, i.e. perhaps their "bromantic" best friend in high school, especially since there will be nothing standing in the way: No fear of pregnancy to interrupt college plans, no need to immediately go to work to support a family of kids.

After all, if one can have one's preference, and marriage is open to same-sex partners, and assuming that the psychological repression of same-sex desires disappears, as I hope it will, then people will look at their choices and find that an opposite-sex marriage is a chore that puts restrictions on your life, while a same-sex marriage leaves each partner free to pursue their dreams.

Sounds delightful, doesn't it? Except that, if no one feels pressured by societal expectations to take on the "ball and chain" of opposite-sex marriage, people will pass it by. Including so-called "straight" people (in fact, there won't be any "straight" or "gay" people anymore). People will pass opposite-sex marriage by until maybe later in life when they are ready to have kids. Then they will either find a sperm donor or surrogate mother. Or perhaps they will have divorced their same-sex spouses by then and will marry an opposite-sex partner this time. Meanwhile they have lost half their assets and are paying alimony to their same-sex ex.

If you think this is just a crazy fantasy, think again. Straight people are telling us this is what they will do, when they argue that homosexuality is wrong because "if everybody did it, the human race would go extinct." Why do they think everybody would do it? Because they know in their hearts that most people would prefer the freedom, and would be just as satisfied sexually with a same-sex partner. It is only repression of same-sex desires and the search for societal approval that keeps "straight" people in line even today. Change the framework conditions and see what happens.

Nathan James

@Mark: What a beautiful vision of the future! I agree wholeheartedly with you that many of the psychological issues faced by gays and lesbians today arise out of artificial stigmatization created by society at large. Having struggled with life in a judgmental, homophobic society, as almost all of us in the LGBT community do, I would so love to live in that idyllic world you imagine.

It would be a wonderful place in which to live. I daresay the divorce rate would be far lower than it is among straight couples today. I also think gays and lesbians living in a world where they are free to marry their true loves as reflected by their true sexuality, would never again be forced by the dictates of a bigoted society to marry for acceptance, rather than love.

Mark

Yes, it does sound idyllic, doesn't it? Think of how many more tops there would be around. I don't like your chances of getting born into that brave new world though, since the birth rate will be drastically reduced.

One big difference between being gay and being a part of an ethnic group is that ethnic groups reproduce their own members. We gays rely on non-gays to bring us into the world. Doing anything to make heterosexual marriage and childbearing less likely is not doing ourselves any favors.

rc

It's strange to me that a major part of the life is anti-relationship yet we become overwhemingly transgressive radicals to secure the ultimate symbol of relationship. Typically we do not have long-term connections but we feel a supposedly "rest of your life" institution is what our lives are missing. I think those who want to be married should have that right but I am more concerned with us having invested over time relationships...maybe MORE OF US should nurture/sustain the kind of mentalities which represent what marriage is about before we join souls. Public perception is the trump card in this fight and if I as a gay man see that we are unable to sustain relationships, then how are we going to win a fight that depends on those who are not homo-sexual joining our sides for marriage - the ultimate connection?

Jim

Kevjack, I could be tempted to discuss Reconstruction and Jim Crow with you, but let me focus on my main point.

If no one had ever started a fight for gay marriage and everyone had just starting pressing for civil unions, with the utmost prudence, in just those states that might have been open to allowing them, I don’t think we would be in a better place than where we are now.

No doubt fewer state anti–gay marriage laws would have been passed in such a scenario, but the states that passed those laws would not have granted gay people civil unions in any case.

A good portion of the American population is psychologically addicted to bigotry. Many Americans have been taught to base their self-esteem on feeling superior to some designated others. For a whole host of historical reasons, this addiction is more widespread in some areas of the country than others.

Because of this addiction, just as with Civil Rights, gay rights will only be established in many places by federal law. We are a long ways from that, and no matter what anyone had done or not done in 1997 or 2004, we would still be a long ways from that.

Meanwhile, the gay marriage fight has caused a whole new group of people to move in our direction. It has caused many in a whole generation of young people to wonder why gay people should be discriminated against at all. These people will be our allies, and their children, in turn, will likely be stronger allies.

I’m not sure what you mean by the white gay elite, but if you mean the white leaders of the mainstream gay organizations, they, as I pointed out before, were very much in agreement with you: They thought the fight for gay marriage was premature and imprudent and would lead to the very types of anti-gay laws that have been passed. But do you really think there is any state that would have passed anti–gay discrimination laws if only it hadn’t been for the gay marriage fight? I doubt it.

This is going to be a long struggle. If the Supreme Court passes another Plessy, that will be very depressing. But we all saw how quickly the Supreme Court reversed itself on the sodomy issue. If the hearts and minds of a critical number of Americans were to conclude that discrimination against gay people were an evil, and if we were ever to elect a president who appoints court justices who believe in justice first and foremost, then the court will not hesitate to reverse itself anymore than it did with the sodomy laws where it only took the change of one mind.

I have no hope that President Obama will ever appoint thinkers to the Supreme Court like Thurgood Marshall or. So, as I said, all of this will take a long time. But I think it will actually take less time if we openly demand full respect, because backlash or no, this demand will reap the hearts and minds that we will require for genuine change.

Jim

In the last paragraph, after "Thurgood Marshall," I meant to say "or William Brennan."

kevjack

Jim,

I suppose we will have to agree to disagree on some points. When you say that "the states that passed those laws would not have granted gay people civil unions in any case" you miss my point. These state laws invalidated many municipal and county ordinaces that granted many rights to same sex couples. In other words, there are people that had rights under domestic partnerships that *lost* those rights in many draconian measures that some states adopted. For example, Ohio's constitution now forbids cities or counties from offering any benefits that are similar to marriage, overturning many city ordiances. How can that not be considered a step backwards when people lose rights they previously enjoyed?

Also, what happens if the feds decide that this is not a federal issue, that marriage is best left to the states? The SCOTUS could very well rule that marriage is in no way a *federal* right, and that as such it is something for states to decide (like the drinking age, for example). There are cogent legal arguments on both sides. That is what folks like Obama say, and he is our supposed "friend." What will happen then? It will be very hard for a future SCOTUS to rule that something is a federal right when the legal record says it is not. As I said, people that were in a legal never-land have now been put behind a blockade. Mississippi, for example, had nothing on the books, and now that they do it will be much harder to change MS unless the feds rule our way. To me, given the structure of the courts right now, that is a big risk. Also, remember that the court can take significant steps backwards, as it has with integration, affirmative action, and other Civil Rights victories that were not codified in federal law.

I also think that you underestimate the fear among conservatives in the 2004 time period after MA. Many, many prominent conservatives were calling for civil unions "with all the rights of marriage" for gay partnership because they felt that the bottom would fall out if gays could get "married." In hindsight, it was foolish not to jump at this considering what the situation looks like now. To my mind, federal marriage is a dead issue, and will be dead forat least four more years.

You may wonder why I feel this way. It is because the rights are more important than the word, period. And one thing that continues to bother me to no end is that black gays and lesbians are *more* likely to be raising children, *more* likely to need the health benefits of their partners, and *less* likely to live in states with other forms of protection. Let's be honest, for affluent gays these rights are not nearly as meaningful as they are for poorer families and for families raising children. And we know that African American SGL families are more likely to belong to both of those groups.

I agree with your long term goals, but as a famous economist said "in the long run we're all dead"

kayman

I'm 24, and satisfied with President Obama's response to the question. I'm open to accepting a civil union with all the benefits of marriage without the word. However, at the moment I'm more concerned with the economy, jobs, and healthcare, which affects me and most Americans. I want to see the healthcare system reformed first then tackle obtaining a federal hate crimes law for GLBTQs, ENDA, THEN civil unions.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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