Revolution and changing demographics

BTL Staff
By | 2018-01-15T15:51:54-04:00 May 31st, 2012|Opinions|

Compiled by Howard Israel

S/he Said

“Each of the movements before the gay movement was seeking citizenship in the liberal state. Women and racial minorities did not necessarily ask the dominant society to love them or approve of them. They sought to be secure against violence, to be tolerated as they exercised their human liberty, and to have equal access to political and economic life. Each movement got traction in these crucial areas. But both of them fell short of achieving all the elements of a full human life for most of the people they represented: they got little or no economic assistance or cultural validation, and, when the inevitable backlash came, they stalled or lost ground. It would take a newer new movement to make the next moves: it would take the gay revolution. The gay revolution achieved more because it faced different challenges. The path to liberal equality almost always involves mimicking as much as possible the behaviors and beliefs of the straight white men in power. The racial civil rights and feminist movements both made substantial detours into defending difference – black separatism and difference feminism. They failed to establish that their divergent cultures were as worthy as the dominant one and all they did was to split their movements. At the end of the day, both these modern movements got most of their traction from maximizing their similarity to dominant political and social hierarchies.”
-Linda Hirshman, lawyer and political writer, in an excerpt from her book titled “Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution,” printed in short excerpt titled “Victory, unprecedented,” http://www.salon.com, May 27.
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“In this current era, as the political and theocratic right attempts to reverse progressive human and civil rights initiatives won over the past decades, and to prevent such measures from taking root where they have not grown previously, I am extremely encouraged by the leaders from the highest levels and from the grassroots showing courage in the face of resistance and backlash. During her speech at the United Nations, Secretary Hillary Clinton committed herself to and spoke for people of good will everywhere when she said: ‘To LGBT men and women worldwide: Wherever you live and whatever your circumstances… please know that you are not alone.’ As the truism advises, ‘Think globally, and act locally,’ my hope is that we can join together to create the world as be a place where everyone will celebrate their Pride safely and with integrity in ways that express their truest joys while showing their full humanity, freedom, and liberty. During this Pride season and throughout the year, let us join to make this a reality.”
-Warren J. Blumenfeld, Associate Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Iowa State University, in his column titled “LGBTQ Pride: Reflect, Rejoice, & Respond Globally,” May 27.
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“Support for same sex marriage has been growing and in the last few years support has grown at an accelerated rate with no sign of slowing down. A review of public polling shows that up to 2009 support for gay marriage increased at a rate of 1% a year. Starting in 2010 the change in the level of support accelerated to 5% a year. The most recent public polling shows supporters of gay marriage outnumber opponents by a margin of roughly 10% (for instance: in February/March: support 49%, oppose 40%). The increase in support is taking place among all partisan groups. While more Democrats support gay marriage than Republicans, support levels among Republicans are increasing over time. The same is true of age: younger people support same sex marriage more often than older people, but the trends show that all age groups are rethinking their position. Polling conducted among Republicans show that majorities of Republicans and Republican leaning voters support extending basic legal protections to gays and lesbians.”
-Jan van Lohuizen, former President George W. Bush’s pollster for his anti-gay 2004 re-election campaign, in a memo advising Republicans to catch up to public opinion about the gays and marriage equality, in an article title “Bush ’04 pollster: Change in attitudes on gay marriage across the board, http://www.politico.com, May 11.
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“Black voters, for reasons heavily related to religious views, have in the past been more conservative about same-sex marriage than national averages. New polls indicate that Obama’s gay-marriage support may do more to help the cause than hurt his popularity. A new ABC/Washington Post poll found a new high of 59 percent of African-Americans say gay marriage should be legal. That’s up from an average of 41 percent in polls leading up to Obama’s recent announcement that his position had “evolved” into support for the right of gays and lesbians to legally marry. That surge among black voters helped push support among Americans overall to 53 percent, a dramatic increase from six years ago when only 36 percent supported same-sex marriage. Only 39 percent of Americans overall maintain that gay marriage should be illegal.
-Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune editorial board member, in his column titled “Obama’s effect on gay ‘rites’ – Polls show black voters’ opinions of same-sex marriage are changing,” http://www.chicagotribune.com, May 27.
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About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.