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May 23, 2006

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Malcontent

Who says liberals don't believe in trickle-down?

NGLTF takes its cues from HRC, which in turn asks "how high?" when the DNC says "jump."

Fucking pathetic. If I had ever actually donated money to these losers, I'd ask for it back.

QC

I've always believed that the "gay rights" movement pushed too hard and too fast on the marriage issue. Forcing the issue through the court system in MA is what has generated the backlash tsunami of federal and state anti-gay marriage amendments. I'm not saying the court made the wrong decision, just that we haven't served our cause well by using that route. I think that is a big reason the major gay rights groups are trying to avoid the issue. Once bitten, twice shy.

There's something to be said for calculated moderation; work on a state by state basis to get Vermont style domestic partnerships. Legislation, not judicial pronouncement. No, a DP is not the same as marriage, but it's the beginning of a solution, and society can more easily digest it.

Steady and consistent lobbying of our legislatures focused on GAY RIGHTS ISSUES - not abortion, not global warming, not immigration - is the key.

Bigg

Okay, I realize that I'm new at all this, and I might not have given this subject all the thought and consideration it deserves.
With that said, and hoping that this won't be an invitation to be attacked, why does gay marriage have to be a forefront issue at all? I personally think that we should all still be working on the "right to exist and pursue happiness" angle, myself.
But that's just me.

QC

You aren't going to get any argument from me, Bigg.

Robbie

I'm not of a mind that gay marriage is the end all and be all of the gay rights movement. There are many different issues at the state, local, and federal levels that might be worthier to pursue.

However, the HRC, the NGLTF, and others opened that Pandora's Box. Now, they want to run off while everyone else endures the consequences of their bone-headed political strategy.

They raise no minor amount of money on the marriage issue. They've made gay marriage their bread and butter. Gay marriage is what pays for those gala dinners. Now, when the issue central to their very existence (because they made it so) is on the national stage, they're running scared, deciding to do the DNC's bidding instead.

Furthermore, these groups claim to be gay rights organizations, yet they spend all this time, money, effort, and rhetoric on all these other lefty causes that have nothing to do with gay rights.

They're bamboozling the community. They should be held to account, both for their dishonesty and the naked purpose of being a mere extension of the DNC.

Gay people can do far, far better than these organizations. These emperors have no clothes.

louis

....and with press junket performances like that, that Klondiker will continue to be one of the most hated figures within the community. This bitch is like the gay Condoleezza Rice! She even sounds like her. Kudos to Letterman for taking that little useless lesbo to task.

Aatom

If the government was telling you that you and your partner of several decades had no shared legal rights, or took your children away from you, or told you that you are not legally allowed to even cohabitate, all things that really happen in the real world all the time to gay couples across the country, then marriage might mean a little more to you.

To their credit, the New York Blade recently ran this piece, questioning the Dems on their support, or lack thereof, of the gay marriage issue: http://nyblade.com/2006/5-22/news/localnews/matters.cfm

This quote impressed me: "The Task Force’s Foreman said the diversion approach of the talking points underscores a fundamental problem with Democratics. "The right wing puts marriage on the table, and our allies talk about everything but marriage," he said. "So much of the Democratic message has been focus grouped to death that it is lacking a sense of genuineness and authenticity."

QC

Point well taken Aatom. I wasn't trying to say the right to marry isn't important, though it isn't on my personal agenda at the moment. I'm just saying that we could be smarter about how we go about claiming it.

anapestic

The right wing puts marriage on the table because it's an issue that they win on. I have never understood how it isn't self-evident to anyone that gays deserve equal marriage rights, but a substantial majority of the country doesn't agree with me.

There are two things going on with the GLBT groups' actions. First, GLBT activists are largely very liberal, so they feel a natural affinity with other left-wing causes. Second, getting marriage equality is clearly something that works better over the long run than right now. There is simply no strategy that gets you there in the next few years.

If you agitate enough of the population, then you might end up with a constitutional amendment. At the moment, it seems likely to me that a majority of the populations of 2/3 of the states oppose marriage for gays. If you wait ten years, that's no longer true. In ten years, a majority of the country could very easily support gay marriage. But if you end up with an amendment defining marriage as being only for heterosexuals, then you need to get 2/3 of the states agreeing before you can repeal it. And being able to do that is probably thirty or more years away.

It is, of course, difficult and loathsome to do nothing, but it is probably the best strategy for the moment if you want to get to equal marriage rights during our lifetimes.

Craig Ranapia

Anapestic:

Well, I'm bewildered by the Orwellian logic that any civil rights can be won by, well, doing nothing - don't have a debate, don't push back, sit the back of the bus and hope everyone else magically changes their minds before the only car you're riding is a hearse. But I guess that's exactly the outcomes when you've got a political elite where principles come a distant third behind pollsters and focus groups.

Another Gamer

I have a theory on the whole Supreme Court thing (cue moonbat music). My theory is that the Supreme Court is . . . convenient for losing causes.

When you have people who are too spineless to stand up as a group for a particular cause (not just civil rights) that they know is a losing horse by dint of popular sentiment or actual tacit agreement (or, of course, by actual word of law), you let the courts decide, and when you lose, you can berate activist judges, criticize "legislating from the bench" and you've lost no face, risked nothing. It's a convenient scapegoat for when things don't actually go your way. It can be a rally point as well for the defeated. And you can get "do-overs" down the road if something still manages to get through that people later realize shouldn't have (I'm thinking like Plessy v. Ferguson and then Brown v. Board of Education as the obvious example).

The strongest, most enduring civil rights on a federal level have not been incremental steps, but have had to be brought to a head in the court system.

And that's one reason why, in appointed judiciaries, I don't agree that Democrats are doing nothing. It's a quiet, political game I think is equally spineless, at its core, despite how much civil rights may have benefited from it.

That said, I don't recommend relying on this as a long term strategy. Presidents will "rebalance" the court over time, for one, as President Bush is able to do during his term.

Also, although Supreme Court decisions have been the flashpoint of actual social change, things still have to be secured legislatively one way or another (hence the amendments made to state constitutions and the one proposed for the US constitution). And that will take some backbone, for either disputant.

And, as with Plessy, sometimes we can just get things wrong.

Michael

Actually Ana may have a point. Look at Massachusetts for example. The furor was that it was going to destroy the family, 2yrs later the gen pop could care less and noticed no difference. Alot of much ado about nothing kind of thing. Point being that maybe if the issue is allowed to rest and normalize it may resolve itself. That way the need and use for MC will be done.

Craig Ranapia

Michael:

Well, there's a case down here in New Zealand worth thinking about. Back in 1986, a backbench Government MP by the name of Fran Wilde introduced a private member's bill to legalise private, consensual, adult gay male sex. It was imaginatively titled the Homosexual Law Reform Bill.

I didn't spend my adult life as a sex criminal waiting for things to "normalise", because one woman was willing to stand on a moral pinciple - the civil rights of gay men. So pardon me if I get a little impatient with those who sacrifice other people's lives and families on the altar of their utilitarian calculus.

Jamie

principles come a distant third behind pollsters and focus groups.

Craig nailed it. I am so tired of polls, focus groups, and party labels. Rarely do we see people stand up FOR something. Usually, it's AGAINST something, and there's no motion forward.

I get a little impatient with those who sacrifice other people's lives and families on the altar of their utilitarian calculus.

hmmm. I'm going to have to quote that somewhere . . .

beautifulatrocities

pardon me if I get a little impatient with those who sacrifice other people's lives and families on the altar of their utilitarian calculus

Then I guess you better get your ass out there & start convincing the 70% of Americans who oppose gay marriage, because that's your only hope. Oh, & the "back of the bus" line is very offensive to blacks, because it cheapens the actual, real suffering of blacks under Jim Crow.

Just as trannies have tried to glom onto the gay rights movement, gays have tried to glom onto the black civil rights movement, as a cheap way to gain traction. No one's making you sit at the back of the bus, get over yourself

The HRC is just another group of DNC shills, like NOW (which has nothing to do with women's rights).

anapestic

Look, I agree with most of you about marriage rights, but most people don't agree with us, at the moment. If you look at the polling data, you'll see that as ages decrease, support for gay marriage rights increases. The trend is fairly obvious, and there's no reason to think that the trend will not continue.

Clearly there are people who are hurt by not having equal marriage rights, but if you compare the level of injury to the level of injury that blacks suffered for most of the last century, it doesn't stack up, or even come close. And while any injustice is too much, the fact that it doesn't stack up matters to public perception.

If the choice is between doing nothing and getting your rights in ten years and pushing hard and never getting your rights, then I'm resigned to taking the coward's way out and waiting for attitudes to change. The rhetoric about sacrificing lives, etc. is good rhetoric, but aside from the fact that no one has died because he was denied marriage rights, there isn't any way to get those rights right now.

Aatom

"If the choice is between doing nothing and getting your rights in ten years and pushing hard and never getting your rights, then I'm resigned to taking the coward's way out and waiting for attitudes to change."

that's only the choice if you do choose to throw your hands in the air and let the current crop of so-called gay rights advocates do all the talking, anapestic. With attitudes towards marriage shifting, quickly, as the tolerant generation just below us takes over where their parents left off, it is not only smart, but essential that we are the ones controlling the message about gay marriage and not allowing the reactionary anti-marriage religious zealots to poison the minds of those who already favor gay marriage. Here's Maggie Gallagher gloating at NRO last year:

"The most striking (and underreported) results are those of the 2004 UCLA freshman poll released earlier this year, which surveys 290,000 college freshman. Between 2003 and 2004 the proportion of college freshman who support gay marriage dropped almost three percentage points, from 59.4 percent to 56.7 percent. This is the first recorded drop in support for same-sex marriage among college freshman since the question was first asked in 1997."

I am simply dumbfounded that the most obvious gay rights issue of the modern age is being swept under the rug by so many gay people, or even more shockingly, derided as unnecessary! It makes me angry, because history will NOT be kind to those who denied us the right to get married, be they right-wing fearmongers or gay chicken littles who couldn't recognize a truly historical moment when it slapped them in the goddamn face.

Tommy

The sky is falling. The sky is falling.

Craig Ranapia

beautifulatrocities & anapestic:

Don't go there, girlfriend - you have nothing to teach this milk chocolate bi-racial cocksucker about racism. (One, I have to note, whose parents would have been criminals in large parts of the US if folks hadn't challenged the bans on inter-racial marriage.) When you've tried being a minority in a minority in a minority for a while, the victimhood league table seems rather fatuous. I will stand up for my civil rights as a citizen, a taxpayer and a plain old human being, without exception or apology.

As I've said in other contexts, we're not the Queer Borg. I can understand why other people have their own priorities that come out of their circumstances, values and life experiences. And that's fine.

I do actually know the difference between real world politics and microwave popcorn. The former doesn't suit those whose every appetite requires instant graitification. But nobody's put up a convincing argument what precisely 'quick, do nothing' is going to achieve - politically, strategically, or even ethically? It strikes me as a rather odd strategy for groups that claim to be advocates for the civil rights of gays and lesbians . Or is this some Animal Farm deal, where the civil rights of gays and lesbians are precious, but some are more precious than others?

Tommy

Well as to goals, we might have agreement among ouselves as to rightness of an option for a marraige or marraige like arrangements between consenting adults. Although you will find that some are - "marraige only."

As to tactics, that's where we go off track. There is much work to do, in the fields of the lord, as they say. So, I don't see anyone arguing that we do nothing. Just what we concentrate on and get others to concentrate on. What colaitions to build. How that great conservative coalition for gay rights will arise, etc.

Patrick

This whole thread (and the comments that follow) aren't nearly as interesting as the headline itself. "The Movement of Misfit Toys" makes me think of Charlie-in-the-Box taking a dump.

Aatom

Craig, you just became my new favorite commenter.

Gunn

'Queer Borg'?

Hot!

North Dallas Thirty

First off, I think it's hilarious that they are thinking we don't do enough for leftist causes. This sort of thinking falls well under "two wrongs must make a right".

Second off, to Craig's point, one of the more interesting things I've noted is that, if one looks at where Jim Crow laws were applied, you notice that they were by no means universal -- and indeed, by the time the 1950s and 1960s rolled around, many of them had been or were in the process of being repealed where they existed. Education was well on the road to integration prior to court-mandated desegregation, as well as other things.

In short, MLK's success was due to two things -- his personal example AND his being in the right place as Americans became more receptive to listening. What he did was most definitely important -- but what made it possible was that he had a willing audience.

Right now, we don't have that luxury. What we DO have is an audience of people who tend to want to like gays, but not many of the things that gays have associated with themselves. Back to MLK, he was smart enough to realize that if he let the violent moonbats into his movement, he'd gain numbers, but he'd turn off the public -- as we have done.


Towards the direction of gay rights, one of the big problems of the gay community is that we've confused media appearances and public spectacles with actually making a difference. More hearts and minds have been changed by the simple example of gays living their lives and going through the everyday impedimenta than have been by one of Matt Foreman's microphone shriek-fests, yet the gay community elevates the latter and denigrates the former.

Simply put, the gay view of "activism" is that you aren't really doing your part unless you're making a fool of yourself on TV or kissing politico butt. What we're saying -- or at least I'm saying -- is that, in that context, we should "do nothing" -- and instead, focus on living our lives and, by doing so, bring people around to the realization that we really aren't all that different.

Apollo

An understated reality about making alliances is that those allies might have enemies, enemies who might not otherwise oppose your policies, or who wouldn't oppose them as energetically. Aside from a question of priorities, this strikes me as a serious error of strategy; it is more likely to harden opposition than to gain any support.

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