All Politics is Loco: Progress is queer

By |2006-03-16T09:00:00-05:00March 16th, 2006|Opinions|

It is time the GLBT community unites behind a progressive agenda. No more piecemeal support for this issue or that issue. We need a manifesto for a queer progressive vision for Michigan, the United States and the world.
Allow me to lay out some issues we should unite around that do not appear GLBT on their face.
GLBT people need to unapologetically support the rights of all women. That means a right to terminate a pregnancy, a right to equal pay for equal work, and a right to be educated and a right to lead. If we agree that women’s liberation is inseparable from GLBT liberation then we need to acknowledge that the right to privacy and the right to freedom of expression are paramount. Our lives, our sexuality, our love, our many forms of speech, creativity and expression are who we are and must not be abridged. This means that we must not support censorship or any restriction on an open forum of ideas, as unpopular as some may be.
GLBT people need to condemn any merging of church and state. Not just because it is in our self-interest, but also because it is bad public policy, period. The freedom to worship and freedom from worship are equally important. We should encourage pro-GLBT people of faith to lift their voices louder than ever before because they are valuable messengers and leaders in our communities.
Our community should reject all forms of militarism and violence. We should oppose the death penalty because it gives the government the right to kill people, especially those who are poor and powerless. Violence begets violence and we are the victims of societal violence. We must be the compassion that our communities need to move past murder and revenge. We should reject the military industrial complex, because it profits off of death. War should be a final and last option always and nuclear arms should never be used. These very basic values should be a part of any progressive broad-based political agenda.
GLBT people should oppose sweatshops and support the right of workers to collectively bargain for a contract and a better working environment. And speaking of the environment, we should oppose pollution, global warming and deforestation. We should do what we can about overpopulation while protecting animals and plant life that cannot defend itself. This is what it means to defend the underdog. This is what it means to be a responsible citizen of the planet, not just one country.
We should oppose racism, racial profiling, redlining, eugenics, and any form of genocide in the world. We should do this while demanding that stateless peoples like aboriginal Americans, the Kurds, the Northern Irish, the Palestinians and others have a place to call their homeland. We should demand that the United States absolve all third world debt so they can afford the fight against HIV and AIDS. We should demand that the world find a cure for AIDS, cancer and poverty – at the same time.
These are just some of the basic issues we must be educated on and then work to solve. We must all be registered to vote and support free public education for all youth. We must dismantle the systems that have worked to produce such an unfair world. But, we must talk to all our friends, relatives, neighbors and co-workers and tell them that we are doing this because we are people with values. We hear so much about values, but we have never advanced a national progressive agenda that shows our compassion, our love, our clear goals for a just and fair world.
Every family with health care, every child fed, and every senior citizen treated with dignity. That is the America that fulfills its promise. That is the place I want to create. Call me what you wish, but anything less is a disappointment.
As we enter this election cycle, let’s be smarter, more sophisticated. If we unite minorities, organized labor, women, the disadvantaged, the disabled and the voiceless, we will win more than elections. We will win peace. We will win a world where each day we fight for people we may never meet. Will you join this fight?

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.