Rise and shine

By |2005-06-30T09:00:00-04:00June 30th, 2005|Uncategorized|

BTL readers who follow this editorial space from week to week have noticed that over this past year, we have frequently discussed the idea of “waking up.”
Complacency is easy. Having a “don’t rock the boat” philosophy is fine when you’re coasting in calm waters, but things have been getting rough and more and more folks are starting to get seasick.
A huge wake up call for the LGBT community was, obviously, the 2004 election. The election of an anti-gay president and the passage of anti-gay marriage amendments across the country, including in Michigan, were sobering for many of us. After the votes were finally tallied many LGBT people and progressive allies wished it was just a very bad dream.
But it’s not a dream. There’s no way to sleep through it. And thankfully many folks bounced back from their election day melancholy asking, “What can I do to make a difference?”
For others it took a little longer, but as we’ve watched domestic partner benefits for LGBT families be threatened, as we’ve seen the president push for a federal amendment to discriminate against same-sex families, more and more people are shaking off their complacency and opening their eyes.
We saw this at Michigan Pride on June 25. Despite blazing hot temperatures, Lansing saw more LGBT folks and allies at the statewide Pride festival and rally than ever before.
We’re seeing it on the national level, too. Despite the decline of the national media’s interest in news, support for the Iraq war is at an all time low. Over one million Americans signed a petition to save funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. More and more people are paying attention to who Bush is nominating for judgeships, specifically the Supreme Court. Congress got the attention of many in America when it sought to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case. It turns out that most Americans don’t like the idea of the government intruding into their personal and private lives. Many Americans are beginning to say, “Hey, we’re all about God and country and supporting our troops, but something is seriously wrong here.”
After all, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time, whether you’re the president of the world’s richest country lying about going to war or the head of a Michigan group claiming that Proposal 2 is “just about marriage.”
On June 29 many of Michigan’s finest from the LGBT and allied community will be honored at the 17th Annual Pride Banquet. It’s an opportunity to recognize individuals who have made a positive difference for LGBT people in Michigan, as well as celebrating the community as a whole. BTL would like to congratulate all of those who were nominated and all of those receiving awards for their continued commitment to equality.
Change doesn’t just happen and you can’t sleep walk through a revolution. May the folks receiving awards at the Pride Banquet serve as alarm clocks for those who are still groggy at the dawn of change.

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.