Thursday, November 04, 2004

 

The future of gay rights - brighter or only slightly less dark?

More from AMERICABlog:
Did Gays Cost Kerry The Election?

Certainly, the one in five of gays who VOTED for Bush didn't help. (What were they thinking?)

But gay marriage bans passed in 11 states, and the harshest one passed in Ohio and helped drive evangelical voters to the polls. And that is one major factor why Bush won that crucial state.

So did gays cost Kerry the election? No. Gays and lesbians did not push the issue forward and did not press Kerry to be more forthright. It gained national prominence because of court rulings and the natural desire of U.S. citizens to claim their basic civil rights. The Bush campaign played on hate and bigotry -- constantly making gay slurs about Kerry and Edwards, passing out fliers in some states that lied and said Kerry would allow gay marriage and ban the Bible, going back on his word and pushing a Constitutional Amendment that for the first time would take away basic civil rights of Americans rather than bringing new people to the table and the list goes on. Gays didn't lose Kerry the election. But hatred and bigotry against gay Americans certainly helped Bush win.

Blaming gay Americans who believe they deserve the same basic civil rights as everyone else for losing the election is like blaming slaves for the Civil War. Gays aren't too uppity. Bigots are too backwards. And they are the past. Every look at young Americans demonstrates that they don't blanche over mixed race relationships (like their parents still do), don't think being gay is a big deal one way or the other (it's just the way people are). And BOTH Presidential candidates said they supported civil unions for gays. (Not that Bush will lift a finger to make that happen.)

The future is clearly on our side, no matter how many Supreme Court justices Bush may appoint. It's just, for now, that the present feels like a step into the bleak and narrow past.
However, we still don't really have full civil rights and equality for African-Americans (not that there hasn't been tremendous improvement in that regard over the last 50 years). I suppose you have to have hope, have to have something to hang your hat on, and this isn't entirely unreasonable. But there are young people in Jesusland, too, and you have to imagine that many of them may grow up to be as bigoted as their parents.

These fights never end. Counting on anything other than hard work and a very very long struggle will set you up for disappointment. The light, if there is any, at the end of the tunnel is faint and distant today; don't expect that to change in the next 20 years.

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