I received an email today from BarackObama.com written by Congressman John Lewis. It was about how there is still racial discrimination in this country and how I need to do more to combat that. It then asked for me to pledge more help in the fight.
I am a gay man who is one of the 18,000 gay couples married in California two years ago. As I am sure you are aware, there was a major victory for the rights of gay and lesbian people to marry that was handed down two days ago. I want to know where the message from the White House is that addresses the discrimination that still exists for gays and lesbians. Where is the call to continue the struggle for our rights? Where is the email from BarackObama.com written by Congressman Barney Frank talking about Stonewall and its impact on the gay and lesbian equality movement? Where is the personal note from you, Mr. President, congratulating our community and reminding us to keep our resolve as we move forward in this struggle? The only news about a statement I have heard out of the White House is a reaffirmation that you are still against same-sex marriage. That is wrong.
While I am very much a supporter of racial equality and the end of racial discrimination, this week is about and should be about discrimination toward gays and lesbians. I find it in very poor taste to ignore the great victory and joy I am feeling at finally having my rights protected while asking me to further commit to the struggles of another targeted group.
It is time to get off the fence on this issue, Mr. President. It is time for the about face that so many of your fellow politicians have had on this issue. I don't want a president that only pays lip service to my rights. I want a president that puts the full power of his office into actively fighting for my rights. One day our children will look back on this time in much the same way people look back on the days of segregation. How will they remember you on this issue?
Thank you for your time.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I do not dispute the fact that individuals in this country have the right to their own political and religious point of view. I have no problem with the thought of someone donating money to a political cause that I do not agree with. That is the very meaning of democracy, and taking into consideration the fact that I believe the recognition of civil rights should never be open to political debate, I would not seek to rob anyone of their ability to express themselves in this way. However, it is undeniable that the very act of such expression opens the door for reaction and dissent. What else are the boycotts and demonstrations but dissent in the face of those who have betrayed our trust and stripped of us our rights as Gay Americans?
I find it reprehensible to think that individuals such as Bill Condon would seek to turn the spotlight off of our oppressors by blaming the victims. His very words and actions give the impression that our rage in the face of this injustice is some sort of overreaction. His pathetic excuse, "some people, including Rich, saw Prop. 8 not as a civil rights issue but a religious one. That is their right. And it is not, in and of itself, proof of bigotry," is nothing more than the empty mouthing of a self-loathing sycophant seeking to ingratiate himself with his masters. Perhaps he anticipates further lucrative deals as a pat on the head for his staunch loyalty.
I find the same argument to hold true for Bruce Cohen, who defends our subjugators by drawing a distinction between the owner of a company and an individual employee within that company. Of course, given that anything other than his complete obedience would result in the failure of his film before it has a chance to exploit the checkbooks of his fellow Gay Americans, this assertion is understandable. What he seems to overlook is that regardless of where the money comes from - the owner or the individual employee - ultimately it is being used to discriminate and strip the rights of Americans. By absolving individuals of their actions because they are somehow not big enough to matter, sends the message that as long as one is not the owner of a company, it is perfectly acceptable to fund hate and discrimination. In light of his statements, I find I can do no less than refuse to see his movie, Milk. It makes no difference to me if he was a "leader of the No on 8 campaign in Hollywood." His involvement now seems more to have been motivated by a desire to give his film added publicity rather than to further any cause of Gay Americans!
As for the Sundance Film Festival, if they choose to go ahead with screening their films at a business that uses its profits to grind Americans under the heel of despotism and bigotry, it makes no difference whether or not they have been supportive of us in the past. In the here and now they must not be allowed to be a conduit for further use of Gay dollars to attack and ravage Gay Americans! While Hollywood glitterati may be willing to compromise their values when it comes to advancing their own careers, individuals who truly believe in taking a stand against repression and tyranny should not support this endeavor. However, should Sundance choose to move their festival to a place that has not been tainted by complicity to discrimination, they would be deserving of our continued support.
These Uncle Toms and the people around them should be a reminder to all Gay Americans that, when it comes to our freedom, no one is going to do it for us. The very ease with which we are pushed aside in favor of other priorities proves this. We have come too far to compromise and apologize our way back into the closet. Do not be fooled by the argument that this is a matter of religious belief. Religion has no place in the discussion of our rights! People's religious ideas are no excuse for stripping us of what is justly ours as humans and Americans. Furthermore, do not fall victim to the idea that money can in any way be used to call into question equality! There is never an excuse for tyranny.
I leave you with these words of Florynce R. Kennedy: There can be no really pervasive system of oppression . . . without the consent of the oppressed.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I was despondent that Wednesday morning, and all I could focus on was the news reports that African American women were somehow the deciding factor in 8's passage. I felt hurt and sadness and rage. I wanted to yell "Shame on you!" to the first black I saw. I found myself looking around me at the people driving their cars and wondering if they had been one of the 52% that voted to take away my marriage. I wanted to go out and start an initiative that would somehow set them back as far and make them feel as bad as I did right then. No matter where I turned or what I did, thoughts of this betrayal by my fellow Americans would not leave my mind.