Saturday, December 12, 2009


Rome may not have been built in a day, nor the Grand Canyon carved in a year, so why are so many of us down on marriage equality all the sudden?

It is true, that every vote that falls toward discrimination and exclusion of gays feels like a punch in the gut and serves as a clear reminder of where we sit in the cultural pecking order. I myself have crafted at least one pessimistic and overly dramatic post after New York failed to approve their marriage legislation. And who could blame us for being so pessimistic? Finding the negative in this situation is as easy as turning on the news. Especially when I read about our allies in marriage equality distancing themselves further from us with every ballot defeat. Fair weather Friends aren't really our friends anyway.

Even Maggie Gallagher has been crowing lately that marriage for gays is not inevitable....but hold on Mags....Just because you succeeded in pushing homophobia and intolerance in a few states, that does NOT mean the death nell for marriage equality. All it means is that the road is longer than we thought and the way ahead is not a straight line. We are the march of the tides...not the sudden rush of a flood.

Jay and I have had the misfortune of encountering push back on the topic of gay marriage first hand. The reasons for lack of support range from a disinterest in the institution of marriage itself, to the feeling that there are much more pressing issues to attend an ENDA. So, I have been giving it some it fair to push ahead with marriage equality when so many people are having a hard time meeting everyday needs? Who's got marriage equality on their mind when they are struggling to find a new job and rebuild their decimated retirement fund, or pay off their maxed credit cards?

Unemployment is up, so is the cost of nearly everything we need to live on. Add to this the pressures of the holiday season and you have a prescription for a meltdown, emotionally and financially. In addition, we have had a hard time getting legislation passed that provides BASIC workplace protections for GLBT people...shouldn't we start there first? Is asking for support for marriage equality a bit like Marie Antoinette telling the citizens of France to eat cake?

In short...NO, I don't believe so.

An inclusive ENDA and a stable economy are both important goals but I don't think they are a good reason to put a push for marriage equality on the shelf. I think these goals occupy a kind of equall importance to us as a community. I don't think we should put any equality movement on the self. Once that flame is lit, once that freedom is tasted, you can never go back. The door once opened can be opened again...even if we have to jimmy it with our overextended VISA gold cards.

So why do we have to chose one?.....I know I am capable of holding more than one thought in my head at a time. How about you?...Just don't ask me to walk and chew gum at the same time...its could get ugly.

In California, we were afforded such an extraordinary opportunity...and we took it. I never thought I would see that day in my lifetime...maybe my children's, but certainly not mine. Should we not have fought for that? Were we to turn it down because the economy was bad? Were we to say, "No thank you, I'll pass up on a dream chance to get married because more than half my state doesn't support it or because they have other priorities"?.....Hell no!

I do not believe fighting for marriage equality is asking for special treatment in the face of others suffering. On the contrary, if this country was ever to grant GLBTQ people the full and equal status enjoyed by everyone else, they may just find that the country becomes a healthier place overall. Instead we waste tons of energy and money trying to keep people OUT rather than taking the simpler, common sense actions of inclusivity.

I don't think anyone should back off of fighting for marriage equality who cares about it. Nor should we blame recent setbacks on anything other than the fear tactics used by NOM, and the religious groups who backed them, using lies and fear tactics to activate latent homophobia, raising the specter of fear in otherwise decent people. I also believe that its time to stop believing that, "It can't happen to us". It can and it did. lets just learn that lesson and not repeat it.

While we may not be where we WANT to be in terms of gay rights legislation we are still ahead of where we were at the beginning of the year. DADT didn't have a ghost of a chance of repeal under Bush and here we are discussing the possibility of its repeal. ENDA didn't pass this year but perhaps we can do the "defense bill fandango" again next year and sneak that one in as well. We will go back to California and Maine and other states again and again until one day equality is reached there as well. As was reported by good as you

...."this is a year that we began with two marriage equality states, and are ending with (at least) five. "

Posted on Pams House Blend yesterday is a quote important to her that I felt perfectly sums up this entire conversation.

"[T]he job of the gay community is not to deal with extremists who would castigate us or put us on an island and drop an H-bomb on us. The fact of the matter is that there is a small percentage of people in America who understand the true nature of the homosexual community. There is another small percentage who will never understand us. Our job is not to get those people who dislike us to love us. Nor was our aim in the civil rights movement to get prejudiced white people to love us. Our aim was to try to create the kind of America, legislatively, morally, and psychologically, such that even though some whites continued to hate us, they could not openly manifest that hate. That's our job today: to control the extent to which people can publicly manifest antigay sentiment."
--Bayard Rustin; From Montgomery to Stonewall (1986)

As bad as things have looked in previous months, this kind of puts in in perspective and belies Maggie Gallagher's claims. No matter how long the road ahead may look, we are so much further down it now than we were a couple of years agov. I'll take that over the NOTHING we had before. So let Maggie Gallagher be the Hare to our tortoise...slow and steady wins the race.


  1. I can't understand why several countries -especially those you wouldn't expect such as Africa and spain, would allow it. Why can't Australia, the entire united states just accept the idea that, we are all created equal under the earth's blue sky but not treated as equal by denying this. For me its an active form of discrimination, so why then can the government have non-discrimination legislation and actively discriminate. SADNESS
    With love and light
    Gryphon Jackson

  2. I've been reading some articles on wikipedia the other day, and what struck me was how public opinions change when "this gay issue" comes up in some legislative conversations — pro-gay support always drops! always! A simple example is New Jersey that I've been following since the hearings on same-sex marriage: a last summer — mostly pro, previous summer — mostly pro, it goes back, and mostly pro; but you look at November — and mostly anti; and if you look at those months when they instituted civil unions (late 2006 — beginning 2007) — once again, mostly anti. What's going on? Why when no one's talking about it, people are mostly pro? and as soon as serious talk in legislative department starts, people become anti? Because these fucking liars crawl out of their lairs and start poisoning people with their deceptive maneuvers. That's all they need: to change some minds, get the leverage.

    As for controlling of public manifestation of anti-gay sentiment: they will always have their religious pretext to fight any slightest attempt to control this, because their Bible allows them to hate us and to kill us, any attempt to shut 'em up about this would be considered "anti-religious" which they will never let happen. Go ahead and try to prove otherwise, you'll only do it for their benefit. Sorry, Mr. Rustin, but that's what's gonna happen in America, you're wrong here, and this tactic will only harm us. And no one will care about double standards. NO FUCKING ONE. Except for us, gays.

  3. I know now what I want to focus on more. Thanks for this blog Bryan. I do have some higher connections government wise so now I think it is time for me to see how loyal those that I talk to and have been friends with for some many years, in the government, will be to me.
    Thanks for the blog again.
    Take care and stay safe!
    I'm off to make a few calls.

  4. Thanks so much for this post. I have always been conflicted about supporting marriage equality when there are so many problems in the world and there are so many people without access to things like clean water and shelter.
    I'm not sure whether I agree with your point that we can hold "more than one thought in my head at a time." As a statement it is not true and also as a metaphor I believe that it is also untrue. Even assuming that we can care about more then one cause, each person only has so many resources that they choose to give.
    Maybe we could split everyone's generosity between two causes. Each cause would probably still have enough resources to operate and be effective. Even if everyone split their resources between three or four causes, each cause would still probably have enough resources to be effective.
    The problem comes when there are so many causes that people try and support, that no single cause has enough strength or funding to enact change.
    One problem with this argument is that if you take it to absurdity and back then you get that everyone should just choose one world problem and devote all their time and energy to that problem until it is fixed. Then the problem becomes how to choose which group of people in the world is the most worthy and has the worst quality of life. This then becomes a problem of quantifying happiness which is of course not possible. The human ethical system has no unit of happiness.
    Sorry if this is rambling, I am just looking for some other perspectives because no matter what side I take, I out argue myself.

    Thanks again for a great thought provoking post!

  5. Also to Gryphon Jackson, I'm sure it was just a simple oversight but Africa is a continent, South Africa is a country.

  6. @carolyn...Thanks for your support and comment even though I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one. Case in point...barney frank...he didn't throw ANY support behind marriage equality because he felt is was a failing cause. How much further could it have gone with his support? Also, he DID support ENDA and look where that got him.

    I can see that in terms of money and time to lobby and demonstrate you would be correct. but just in terms of moral support...why can not the people who may not care so much about marriage at least show some positive support to those that do...that doesnt mean they have to get out on the street but they can at least acknowledge that the struggle for marriage equality is an important piece of a much larger struggle.

  7. Oh my good cheeses! I nearly let a post slip by without a comment.

    I would like to say that as you mentioned Maggie Gallagher I looked up up again and was reminded who she was.

    I can't believe she got married. Who would marry that rancid baggage seriously? She is so cold hearted.

    I would rather force my penis into the scratchy, barnacle encrusted vagina of an ancient leather backed turtle than shag her acidic axe wound.

  8. I've just read about Maggie Gallagher's husband's name (the one she was supposed to take when she married him, according to wishes of majority) — it's Srivastav. I'm Russian, and I swear to you that this surname sounds like "shit in your pants 100 times" :) No wonder she didn't take it :) But, you know, I wish she did (both take that surname AND shit in her pants 100 times, preferably on public). Sorry for the image if it seems too disgusting, but it is hilarious, isn't it?

  9. @Goblin

    Everytime i see that woman i trowh up a little in my mouth

  10. I cant copy and paste quotes here, and I wanted to say that Maggie Gallagher lost this year, because you guys went from 2 to 5 states with gay marriage!! Even though there were painful defeats for you people this year, you won the battle this year and it's good Bryan, that you look at the facts, that help you feel better when the pain comes, because the facts tell you, youre doing pretty good and makes you feel better. Also, I like the quote posted (Bayard Rustin-1986), because its the gay fights for rights that will create more freedom in the end for everyone, push the power of religon back step by step and force the country to look at its own constitution and its own conscience and spirit. I cant word it properly at the moment, but thats what you guys are giving the country, and its a nasty job for sure, and many many people fight it. But it's you that keep the American spirit as it is intended to be and bring people back to that. If at any point you feel bad or worthless due to all that is happening, remember this. I dont mean this to sound heroic, but do want to point out, instead of made to feel bad for wanting rights, youre actually doing your country and the people great service. Pioneers have the hardest jobs, but often are the most giving people that exist, and that is something to be real proud of. Summer x

  11. And to add, basically, gays @ lesbians @ transgendered shouldnt need to work so hard, there are laws that are (should be) integral part of a democracies constitution, which should grant the protection each and everyone deserves, and other citizins dont have to work for, for them its a given, often taken for granted (eg straight people). I find an element of real unfairness the gay movement even has to exist to have to work for their rights and if there are any problems between different movements, I want to remind you guys, its not your fault you have to work so hard, because not one group of people should work so hard for their rights in the first place. America demands the gay movement to be there, but it shouldnt even have to be there. I hope Im making sense lol I mean if I look at Sweden, Norway, even my own country, we never had to work that hard to get our rights, because its a governments job to not to ask that from its own citizens to that level. Its granted by the governemnt, that is normal. I mean sure we had a gay movement, but it was so much less necessary for them to be there then eg in the USA, because politics took it in their hands and took their responsibilty. Gosh, I hope Im making sense, need to SLEEP lol. Summer x

  12. @Summer
    You ARE making sense, at least to me.
    The very fact that gay movements should exist is a disgrace for any country, because it shows the ignorance of both local society and local government. And in this case ignorance is not bliss, it shows the lack of will, flexibility, adaptability, progress; it shows inability to recognize discrimination underneath a thick layer of religious lies and prejudices that have nothing to do with simple reality and have everything to do with a petty & childish desire to beat the shit out of those who are different.