A race between anger and fear

By |2004-04-11T09:00:00-04:00April 11th, 2004|Uncategorized|

As of 1:00 a.m. Nov. 3 no winner for President has been decided. Michigan is one of only a handful of states left to be colored blue or red, though Kerry is showing a small lead.
We’re seeing an awful lot of red across the country.
Though not all the numbers are in, ten out of eleven constitutional amendments nationwide banning marriage look like they’ve passed. Only Oregon seems to be still in play. Michigan’s anti-gay and far reaching Proposal 2 has passed. The most current numbers at press time show nearly 60 percent of Michiganders voting in favor of taking away health care from long-term committed couples, banning civil unions and domestic partnerships.
Is this really the country we want to live in? Is this really where this nation’s hearts and minds are?
On Detroit Public Television a Democratic pollster described this election as one of anger versus fear.
These are two emotions the LGBT community knows all too well. We are used to getting angry, and we are used to being feared.
We’ve been feared for decades – the specter of the homosexual and our so-called agenda still looms in the minds of those who do not know or understand us. We have come so far – but sadly, not far enough to erase the myths that have plagued us.
It’s difficult to change hearts and minds in this country when the President is calling for a constitutional amendment against us. It is difficult to make progress when in the face of soaring deficits, a quagmire in Iraq, a healthcare crisis, and a weak economy the U.S. House and Senate both zero in on the “threat of gay marriage.”
With a second George Bush Presidency coupled with the sweep of anti-gay state constitutional amendments, there is little doubt that the gains the LGBT community has worked so hard to achieve will be set back for decades.
But as Cheryl Jacques, the President of the Human Rights Campaign said at Saturday’s dinner, no matter what the outcome, it’s not a matter of if, but when. This battle for equal rights will be ours.
Our hearts remain hopeful for a Kerry victory in this election. We are not giving up.
But it is also important to remember that this is not the end of anything.
We must remember that this is still our country. We can joke about moving to Canada, but what we must do is continue to work toward the ideals that this country stands for.
Fear isn’t one of those ideals.
In Michigan we had an incredible group of people working against discrimination in our state. The Coalition for a Fair Michigan forged strong partnerships with not only LGBT organizations and leaders, but also religious leaders and labor unions. This was an uphill battle all the way. Michigan was never given a chance in national polls – we were written off early, but we didn’t give up. Now it looks like Michigan’s numbers, although not in our favor, are some of the best in the country.
We can do great things. We will do great things. We are discouraged but not defeated.
We have truth and justice on our side. They have fear. History rarely judges decisions based on fear kindly, and this election will be no exception.

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 27th anniversary.