Tag Archive: gay marriage


When I was a member of the Young Democrats at Marshall University, I remember attending a function at which some of the more prominent members of the state party were present.  I remember quite clearly a man saying that, all else being equal, what could cost us the election were three simple things, “Gods, Guns, and Gays.”  Aside from being horrendously offensive and irritating, his comments were part of a wider conversation going on at the time, both among my fellow Young Democrats and among the party as a whole.   Well, it was more of a one-sided conversation, and it went something like this:

Party Leaders:  Now, you gay people and women, we know that you have legitimate problems and issues, but we need you to clam up on those during the election so that (insert applicable name here) can be elected.  Once they are, then you can bring your grievances out (though not too loud), and we’ll see what we can do about them, at least until next election season.

Said Groups:  Okay.

Well, I’m sick and tired of that shit.  Even now, after we have one of the most progressive Presidents EVER in office, we still face the same kinds of problems.  Sure, Obama has been helpful about getting DADT repealed, but I think it also helpful to point out that it was the Log Cabin Republicans who actually brought the issue to the courts.  Not to mention the fact that simply repealing DADT doesn’t help the members who have already been discharged (there’s a great HuffPo article on that, by the way).

What really pisses me off, however, is the fact that in many other ways he continues to be lukewarm about other issues of importance to LGBT people, such as gay marriage.  In fact,  upon hearing that New York had legalized same sex marriage, he said that was supposed to be how it was done, at the state level.  Umm…since when have civil liberties been a state issue?  Since when do states have the right to decide which of their citizens they are going to treat as second class?

All of this just goes to show that we are still stuck with a President who refuses to take a firm stand in support of the very GLBT people who helped get him elected, in the hope that his administration would help to usher in and celebrate a new age of equality.  Instead, we still have to struggle for every inch of political ground, often times without the explicit support of the Democratic President that we helped to get elected.  But hey, isn’t that better than having the Republicans in charge, when we know that most of them are so viruently anti-gay as to be dangerous?  Perhaps so, but that’s precisely my point.  I’m sick and tired of having to settle for a President and a party that remain so wishy-washy about the rights of GLBT people, even when we do a lot of the grunt work to help get them elected.  In my humble opinion (which I am not shy about sharing), we should become more vocal and demand that the people who represent us take a firmer stand on our rights.  Otherwise, they need to get voted out.

Otherwise, we’ll just have to live with our status as second class citizens and I, for one, am not going to do that.

Well, it’s certainly a good time for gay rights activists (of which I am one). In addition to the passage of the bill permitting same-sex marriage in New York, there is now a bill making its way through the United States Congress that will pave the way for both the repeal of DOMA and for the granting of numerous rights to same-sex couples at the federal level. Both of these, in addition to the recent polls suggesting a majority of Americans support various rights for GLBT citizens, gives us a lot of reasons to celebrate.

However, the battle is far from over.

In states all over the Union there are constitutional amendments and laws that bar same-sex couples from enjoying the same rights (and responsibilities, I might add) of straight couples. There are still a lot of people out there, including some very prominent politicians (*cough*Michelle Bachman*cough cough*) who remain wed to the idea of defending “traditional marriage,” whatever that means. If the defeat in California showed us anything, it is that we do not have the luxury of sitting back and enjoying the our victories. We have to keep taking the battle forward, making sure that we are granted the same rights as everyone else.

And one of the fiercest battles we will fight will be against conservatives, who say that they are being persecuted for their beliefs when they say they want to defend marriage. It is a travesty when the democratic principles of freedom of speech and freedom of religion are used in the support of beliefs that run counter to those very principles. I am not suggesting that we should take any sort of action to curtail the freedom of religious expression, but there does come a point where that crosses into hate speech, and that cannot be tolerated. Your right to practice your religion (no matter how bigoted or oppressive that religion may be) ends where it interferes with my rights to be with the person I love and want to build my life with. If you don’t want your church to grant same-sex marriages that’s fine, no one is going to force you, but don’t try to stop those churches that do, and most definitely don’t think that you will be able to stem the tide.

The gay rights wave is coming in, and there’s nothing going to stop it.