Wednesday, July 26, 2006


If Not Now, When?

John at AmericaBlog has an interesting post up about a $250,000 campaign by prominent gay rights groups, which involves airing full page ads for marriage equality in fifty national newspapers. John's not happy:

Now, I'm all for helping change the culture, and doing things to win over the hearts and minds of Americans on various gay issues. And ad campaigns are an important part of that goal. And an ad campaign showing loving gay couples who have been together, in one case, for 53 years, is great PR. But, again, I'm still not sure why this campaign is running right now when America is rightly focused on the fall elections, and that election is increasingly about George Bush's incompetence in Iraq and at home and the Republicans having lost their minds. Why would we want to help shift the debate from all of that to gay marriage?

Then when, John? When do we talk about it?

I'm not going to deny that this campaign runs the risk of reopening Pandora's Box, making gay marriage into some issue that it shouldn't be. But we need to make a statement. We waited for the Human Rights Campaign to do something about campaigning for marriage equality. They didn't. We waited for the Democratic National Committee to fight for marriage equality. Howard Dean went on Pat Robertson's show and lied about their agenda supporting hetero-only marriage. We waited for our straight friends to do something about marriage equality. They went out and voted to enshrine discrimination in the state constitution, not stopping to read about the bans on civil unions.

Today, Washington, like New York earlier this month, handed down a ruling upholding the state's ban on gay marriage. And like New York, they used language about how marriage between a man and a woman was in the best interests of children. This is what inaction has bought us. We've waited for people to stand up and fight our battles since Massachusetts made marriage legal, and as a result, the religious right noise machine has seized control of the dialogue and made it look like we are unfit parents.

And even if we do let this go, there is no way the religious right will not. The Federal Marriage Amendment failed in 2004. The Federal Marriage Amendment failed this year. And yet, they will keep bringing it back. They will keep tossing out the same talking points. They will keep trying to paint us as unfit for marriage. They will keep trying to push us to the back of the bus. Unless we-- not interest groups, not politicians, not straight people-- do something about it.

Yes, we can risk letting them kick us to the curb again. Or maybe, just maybe, this time, we can actually stand up for ourselves and not wait for some great white mainstream knight to come to our defense. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?