Gays take the heat for the GOP

By |2005-11-17T09:00:00-05:00November 17th, 2005|Uncategorized|

Thank goodness the Iraq war is over. And New Orleans is completely rebuilt. And there are no more hurricane survivors living in makeshift communities. And racial inequality no longer exists. And no family is going to have to go without food or heat this holiday season. And cancer and AIDS have been cured. And a renewable, environmentally friendly energy source has been found. And no worker who has given his life to a corporation has to worry about his pension being yanked. And the federal deficit has been eliminated. And (insert a real, pressing problem being faced in this country right now).
Why else would the Senate be spending its time writing discrimination against gays and lesbians into the Constitution?
And yet, they are. With many serious and frightening problems facing each and every American, a Senate subcommittee has voted to move the so-called “Marriage Protection Amendment” forward. The amendment is likely headed to the full Senate, to give them something to do next year other than twiddle their thumbs or draw ponies and butterflies on their taxpayer-funded desk blotters.
It may seem hard to imagine that our country’s priorities are so messed up that our elected officials spend their time with legislative gay bashing. But believe it.
This should hardly surprise us. Things are not going well for the Republicans right now, so once again it’s time to use the homosexual bogeyman to distract everyone.
Except the homosexual seems a lot less scary as time goes by. The tide is shifting. This past election we saw many positive gains, including the election of openly gay people to public office, (including five out of six gay candidates in Ohio), and the backfiring of an anti-gay smear campaign in Virginia. And when an anti-gay smear campaign doesn’t go over in Virginia, something seismic is definitely happening. We also saw voters in Maine uphold a gay rights ordinance, something that had been voted down more than once in that state.
Of course, there is a lot more work to do. Thankfully over 2,000 LGBT and allied individuals spent the weekend putting their collective progressive minds together in Oakland, California at the 2005 Creating Change conference put on by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. On the agenda? Taking back the moral high ground from right-wing conservatives.
“It’s time for our community to go on the offensive and to seize the moral high ground,” said NGLTF Executive Director Matt Foreman. “It’s long past time for elected officials who take our money and get our votes to stop cowering and take a stand for us.”
This leaves it largely up to Democrats, who have not exactly been profiles in courage when it comes to LGBT issues. While right-wing Republicans have had no trouble blasting the gays, Democrats and moderate Republicans have had considerable trouble opposing the rhetoric. They don’t hate gay people, but they’re afraid it will hurt their poll numbers if they dare state the truth: there’s nothing wrong with being gay, gay people are not a threat, and it’s time to move on to the real issues facing this nation.
It’s frightening to think how bad things may have to get before this will happen.

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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.