By Sean Kosofsky
The roller coaster ride of 2005 is over and when we look back we can mostly say “good riddance.”
The year began with insane right wing industry leaders demanding a special session of Congress to force Terry Schiavo to endure years of discomfort, pain and senseless martyrdom. They judge-shopped and slandered the judicial branch when they didn’t get their way. It was embarrassing to see our national leaders move with lightening speed to “save” one woman in a persistent vegetative state, while Congress lay in a similar state – immobilized when it came to legislation that would have helped all Americans.
The Roman Catholic Church remains the only mainstream Christian religion whose leaders are actually moving backwards on GLBT rights. As the $2 billion price tag for sex abuse scandals mounted, the Vatican quickly turned on their own family, attacking gay priests instead of pedophiles whom they chose to coddle and protect. As the church leadership cut services to the poor and closed important facilities around the nation, they still found millions of dollars to ban gay marriage…again.
Michigan’s Attorney General Mike Cox tied the gay community to the back of his pickup and dragged us through the mud, potholes, and a lot of bad neighborhoods by working to eliminate health insurance for gay couples. Cox was busted and publicly humiliated later when it was discovered that he cheated on his wife – God knows how many times and in what places. He hasn’t apologized to anyone despite bringing disgrace to the office of the Attorney General. Shame on him.
Ford Motor Company has been in a tailspin of bad news that just got compounded this year. Sliding profits, exploding tires and sinking economic conditions made Ford vulnerable to attack. The American Family Association smelled blood and moved in for the kill. First Ford rolled over, to the disappointment of many, but they finally found their spine and took a chunk out of the AFA’s neck, driving the bullies back to their den where they calculated their next attack on American companies they don’t like.
Our Governor has stuck with the gay community despite confusing missteps on domestic partner benefits. As she gears up for re-election, she will be attacked for breaking bread with the gay community. Her opponent comes from a family that has spent their wealth trying to destroy us, yet there are still some in our community who hold a grudge and have lost all perspective on political strategy. The name “DeVos” should sound as shrill coming off people’s lips as names like “Gary Glenn,” “Tom Monaghan” or “Anita Bryant.” If Michigan voters aren’t careful, DeVos could be spending taxpayer funds to further a right wing agenda.
Marriage is still the hottest topic in our movement, whether we asked for it or not. Around the world, the United States is being passed up like a kid on a tricycle at a NASCAR race. Canada, Spain, South Africa, Brazil, England and other places are moving faster than the country that allegedly leads the world in liberties and freedoms.
The President continues to destroy civil liberties in order to “protect them,” which makes no sense at all. Bush’s entire inner circle is either being indicted or investigated. He spies on Americans, sends our young people off to die for oil, and he cuts funding to poor people, predominantly people of color, months after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their homes and their spirits. We have three more years of him, and I don’t think our Bill of Rights can survive him.
Dearborn Heights could be the next battleground for our civil rights thanks to the American “Family” Association. Instead of working to eliminate poverty or find day care for children, the AFA would rather make it easier for GLBT folks to be fired. Glad the spirit of the holidays guides their actions.
As the right wing ramps up their fiery panic-ridden tempo of allegations that everyone is anti-Christian, the American people are catching on. This charade cannot last much longer. Stay tuned for 2006, where we can count on more absurdities from the AFA, Focus on the Family and the Bush White House.