Thursday, November 13, 2008

First Come the Gays

Our heads are on the chopping block.

As conservatives struggle for a point of view and a rallying cry for their disheartened soldiers of "faith," hate and isolationism, an easy target has emerged for this group's ire: the gays.

Sure, there's still abortion to worry about and Christmas is right around the corner, so some troops will have to be sent to guard nativity scenes at government buildings, all in an effort to keep Christ in the celebration of a pagan holiday. But social conservatives are an industrious bunch, and where John McCain would fail as a multi-tasker, the "silent majority" is ready to work tirelessly to thwart any sort of social progress.

My friends, I'm scared. Here in my ivory tower overlooking seventh avenue I can see the pitch forks and torches coming towards Chelsea. Crowds on both sides of the debate need to be appeased.

But I'm not sure if protesting in front of the Mormon Church is going to change this. On the one hand, it's horrible that a tax-exempt entity is blatantly funding a partisan agenda that is taking away citizens' rights. But in the end, Proposition 8 was put forth before the people of California to vote on and the people made their choice. How would the Dems feel if a bunch of Republicans started protesting in front of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta when Obama was elected?

If the Mormom Church poured money into Prop 8 so too did the left to preserve marriage for all citizens. Funding is not the problem. The problem is that gays are still the "others" and our access to rights, to all the benefits of citizenship, is still a matter of debate. Again, 50 years we were invisible and the "other" group was African Americans. With growth comes pain and right now we're feeling those pangs of evolution - and while I support vocal condemnation of a social scheme that questions the rights of particular groups, I do not think the church is the place to launch an offensive.

The gays should do what we do best: kill the haters with charm. I'm thinking billboards, acts of civility and community building. Instead of protesting, let's spruce up our city schools, let's create the communities we want to live in and lead by example. That doesn't mean we're going soft, it means we're rising above the fray to effect the change we all want to see.

The truth of the matter is that we're not wanted right now, so we have to lay claim to our place in society. What that steak in the ground looks like is entirely up to us.


David said...

I stopped by the protest last night. I'm not usually one for protests, but I was actually impressed with the turnout and the attitude of the crowd. There was a very positive vibe.

That being said, you have good points here, as always.

James said...

This is a tough one....

First - marriage is a term that is not only reserved for the churches. It is also a term for a legal union as it is for a religious scrament.

Second - The government or the majority, for that matter, should not be telling religious organizations who they need to marry - they just need to be told that they are not a lobbying organization or a govenment influencer unless they want to start paying taxes. Do your own thing but keep it inside the walls of your church.

Third - Churches don't cast votes. People do. The fact that this hasn't passed in so many states is because we, as a gay community, are not conveying the importance of this issue to the middle of the road, average Joe.

As you said, GCL, setting an example and doing good works is helpful but we also need to speak loudly and often to get ourselves heard. There are many people in my office who are perfectly nice people but will oppose gay marriage until we come out and tell them how important it is to their friend that's sitting in the next office.

Anonymous said...

Funding is not the problem? that is exactly the problem, chico. We gave and gave and were outgiven. and outclassed in content. we gave a lot and more and our messages were a pr disaster by contrast. that is why we lost. bad pr and bad spending on ineffective ads. blame the black vote but first inquire within