That said, on the subject of gay rights, I've added a new gadget on the sidebar to show several gay news and commentary blogs that I follow so as to keep my finger on the pulse of what's going on in the gay community. I certainly don't always agree with everything said; but, I like to read multiple points of view before forming my own opinion.
I'm not trying to suggest that republican should be the party of choice for gay folk - there is certainly rampant homophobia among those of conservative leanings. But, at least, we know where we stand with conservatives - instead of hearing nice words with no action behind them. The unfortunate truth is, while the democrats may be throwing the gays under the bus, it's often the republicans driving the bus.
This is a bit dated; but, John Aravosis on AmericaBlog has an interesting oped in which he says
"When conservatives are standing up for gays, and Democrats treat us like we are an embarrassment, there's a problem."Now, I think asserting gay activism to be a matter of life and death is a bit over the top - but I do think he makes a good point in that gay rights, or lack thereof, generally has a more profound personal effect on it's supporters than other political issues.
"No one wants Sarah Palin to be President. But we're talking about our civil rights. I think a lot of straight Democrats don't get that. They see out and proud gay people, a lot of us have good jobs, nice clothes, get to travel the world (and a lot of us don't, but they don't ever meet them), so they think our civil rights battle is some kind of champagne party to us, as if we're doing it for fun because we really have everything we could ever want. Well, anyone who thinks that didn't grow up gay. They didn't grow up thinking they were a pervert. That they were sick. That they'd never find love, never get married, never have children or a family of their own - because God made them wrong. They didn't grow up thinking they'd have to kill themselves once they hit the age of 30 because they'd be single, and people would 'figure out' that they were gay, and then they'd lose all their friends and family and their job and career. And they knew they couldn't live with that."
"That last point is important. Pick any political issue, any political constituency, and ask yourself how many of those issues, how many of those people, considered killing themselves over their issue. Not a lot, I'm guessing. Now you're starting to understand why gay civil rights advocates, why gay people, care so fervently about their "issue." It's not just an issue for us. It's our lives."
"We're talking about our lives. And when the Republicans increasingly say the right things, like repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell now, and even supporting marriage, and all the Democrats show is political homophobia, gays get the message."
I also think that, with a few exceptions, straight folk generally do not have much understanding of what gay rights is all about - which makes it easy for opponents of gay rights to spread so much FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) without having any substance to back up their claims. I mean, seriously, do people actually believe all of that drivel about homosexuality that gets spouted over podiums and pulpits? Sadly, the answer is 'yes'.
I don't know what the answers are; but, I will say that Harvey Milk's 'coming out' speech has haunted me ever since I saw the movie Milk
We will not win our rights by staying quietly in our closets... We are coming out to fight the lies, the myths, the distortions. We are coming out to tell the truths about gays, for I am tired of the conspiracy of silence, so I'm going to talk about it. And I want you to talk about it. You must come out. Come out to your parents, your relativesSo why am I so afraid to step out of my closet?
- Harvey Milk in a 1978 speech