The other night I was watching The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and they had Dan Choi on. He’s the Army officer who was discharged after coming out on The Rachel Maddow Show who’s been an activist fighting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ever since. Now that the controversial policy has been done away with, he’s chosen to take on a new cause, the one everybody seems to be flocking to as the next thing to bitch about, same-sex marriage.
Some people just aren’t happy unless they have something to be miserable about.
On the subject, I am somewhat neutral. Sure, I wish I had the right to marry my hypothetical life partner (who is purely hypothetical, as there is no man in my life and at my age it is unlikely that there will ever be one), but I think it is rather immature to yell and kick and scream about it until we get our way. It might have worked on weak parents when we were kids, but it’s still not only childish and immature, it’s counterproductive. It’s about as useless as listing your middle name on Facebook as “Secondclasscitizen,” one of those social media fads I refuse to participate in, because – to be blunt – they’re childish and stupid.
And, as with all things wrong with America, it gets blamed on the President.
Nobody seems to want to talk about the good things Barack Obama has brought about in the arena of gay rights, such as the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” or their decision not to defend DOMA in court challenges. But let’s take a minute here for a little civics lesson. Obama is the President; he’s not a king or a dictator (despite anything his Republican opponents say). He can’t wave some magic wand or issue some royal decree and make these injustices go away. He can’t even initiate the legislation to do so, as that power rests solely with Congress, and we’re a little short on friends there these days.
It’s not that I’m just not into the issue. It’s just that I believe our elected officials have much bigger fish to fry, like getting the economy back on track and getting Americans back to work. But they haven’t been doing that, either, as Republicans are more interested in pushing their hateful agenda by repealing health care reform and scrapping Medicare and Social Security. They’re more interested in bringing down Barack Obama than they are fixing what’s wrong with this country. They ran on a platform of creating jobs and turning the economy around, then pulled the big bait and switch by promptly and unabashedly trying to force their own social agenda. And not one job has been created by them, nor are any likely to be.
In light of all this, the same-sex marriage problem dwindles to insignificance. We need to let our legislators concentrate – make them concentrate – on the bigger issues we face. We need to put this struggle on the back burner. I don’t like it any more than the rest of my fellow gays and lesbians, but I’m just being realistic here.
Now is not the time to let a petty issue (in light of all the other issues that need to be dealt with). The barbarians are on our doorstep, and this divisive issue is exactly what they need to drive a wedge between us so that they can usurp power and force an even more unthinkable agenda upon us.
And if anyone thinks we’ll get a better deal with Republicans in power, they are as deluded as Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann.
Like the childish antics of Act UP back in the 1980s, which probably did more harm than good in raising awareness of HIV and AIDS, we aren’t accomplishing anything by throwing temper tantrums. And we certainly aren’t doing ourselves any favors by dissing the Democrats, for while they haven’t necessarily been our best friends, we have worse enemies, and it’s more in our interest to support out allies in their battle to keep the Republicans from taking over again. We would be better served turning our attention to the traitors in our own ranks. (Yeah, Log Cabin Republicans, I’m talking about you.) We need solidarity right now, not histrionics.
Maybe the Democrats haven’t done everything we want them to do to secure us equal rights and protections. If we’re going to win this fight at all, it needs to be through educating the masses that we aren’t monsters, and by pointing out that the slippery slope is merely a construct of Republicans’ warped imaginings. Only rationality and reason will win here.
We want the equality we’re entitled to, but really, what have we done to prove ourselves worthy of it? This battle won’t be won through emotion, but rather, through intellect. We need to show the American people that we aren’t the monsters Michele Bachmann would have them believe we are. The more we raise our voices – and our fists – the more fuel we give to the fire they’ve started. We need to stand strong and unified, this is true, but triumph will not be won by tirades. Society is coming around and the tide is turning. But we cannot, and should not, try to force nature in this regard. We need to prove ourselves worthy by proving that we are no more or less human than anyone else. This issue needs to be addressed through reason, not heated debate. We need to dial back the rhetoric and let cooler heads prevail.
Our day will come. Not today. Probably not tomorrow. But it will come.Share