December 6, 2008.
Most people try to be fair and to not hurt the feelings of others. Then there are bigots who are clear about their views and bigots who are secretly bigots. It might be better for us to know our enemies, both types.
First, though, let’s put gay marriage in perspective, not only in the movement to gain equal/civil rights for homosexual Americans, and then how non-homosexuals, in the past and present, view us. That is easy to answer. Just ask yourself, How many people would have voted to give and keep marriage to homosexuals in 1950, or 1960 even?
The fact is that no one would have. Why has that changed? Start with the fact that (not ignoring a short try in Chicago in the ’20s with Henry Gerber et al.) in 1950 a group of people met — in secret — in Los Angeles and formed an organization to educate homosexuals about themselves.
Then from that, the original Mattachine Foundation, came the idea to create a magazine to educate everyone, homosexual and non-homosexual about homosexuality. And the organization behind ONE magazine started the first public effort to serve the needs of the community/movement — education, social service, legal, psychological, religious, etc., through the creation of a subdivision, called ONE Institute for Homophile Studies.
The organization also compiled ONE Library, which later came to be known as the Blanche M. Baker Memorial Library, now housed as a special collection at California State University Northridge.
Then came the “new” Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis, both based in San Francisco, with chapters in several cities and their publications, Mattachine Review, and The Ladder. And then each year there grew up organizations and publications in major cities all over the nation, and groups started specializing: some covered legal issues, some religious, some political, some social service, etc.
And finally the media started giving our work publicity, and today the situation is reversed — now it is we who are marching in the streets against the bigots, where in the former times we were in the closet and the bigots were in control. Now it is they who are considered bad, not us.
So now that we have major gay and lesbian newspapers in major cities, with lots of ads from major businesses, and we get on TV shows and have major political offices, and notice of the President of the United States, and no sodomy laws, with major corporations giving us domestic partner benefits and most Americans saying they believe in us having equal rights, including the “rights” of marriage, we can face the major issue that has been before us from the start.
Our enemy is religion — all religions. All the different faiths and different churches in Christianity agree we are bad. Their books say so. They ignore most of what else their books say, but on this they are sure: If homosexuals are acceptable, then the world is destroyed. And the one thing they have been able to keep control of so far is marriage. They have lost on most of their misreading of the books — since the books of the bible also approve of slavery, women being quiet, the divine right of kings. And the books even tell us that we are wearing the wrong clothing, eating the wrong foods, etc.
Now who among these “religious” groups are the most against homosexual marriage? Black Americans. They, who have suffered from the misuse of the Bible. Why is it that they also are the minority of citizens who, despite all the preaching of their (heterosexual) preachers have over 70% of their “families” led by unmarried women? They who seem not to need marriage are the ones trying to keep homosexuals from having the right to marriage? Is it jealousy? Or what?
But even though they obviously are not following the teachings of Jesus, they rush to quote not Jesus, who never mentioned homosexuals, but a book to “explain” their behavior and beliefs. One wonders if they are trying to convince themselves or the homosexuals.
To complain, as those fine Mormons do — who until very recently rejected black men as priests and with whom some blacks seem to have formed an anti-gay alliance — that homosexuals are “using” the civil rights movement of others to gain their rights is hard to understand. A little bit of history should remind us all of similar issues at the time blacks and women were seeking the right to vote — denied them in the Constitution, each group asking that they be first. Never mind the issue of polygamy in the Mormon history, past and present.
No matter how unpleasant this sounds, it is factual and we must sooner or later deal with this issue, as America must finally deal with racism, and many people are hopeful that during an Obama administration this will happen. It is certainly not an issue pleasant to think about, especially for black homosexual Americans, who suffer doubly, or black female homosexuals who suffer even more — even though women are not a minority.
America must take a stand on racism, homophobia, equal rights for all, even as we face financial problems and attacks from terrorists — mostly radical Islamists. This is all the more reason for intelligent Americans to see the need for separation of church and state, which is not what the Islamists seek, nor some radical Christians.
Homosexuals just are the first to see the danger from religion, and it must sooner or later be understood by Black Americans that while they desperately seek to be more Christian than white Americans, they will not do it on moral issues where they are wrong. And a small point that may solve the problem and not to their satisfaction: very soon black Americans and white Americans will be a minority, and they will have less political power. It may be such minorities need to work together — not against each other, as Hispanics and Asians become the majority in America, as they are in most of the world.