Sunday, June 18, 2006

Human cost of prejudice

We progressives in favor of marriage for all gnash our teeth when Republicans ride the fear and prejudice surrounding homosexuality into elected office. They ride it, and they try to whip it up every election cycle. And they don’t give a damn about the targets of this hatred (at least not the extent that they’ll change their behavior or public posture). A very moving piece of testimony from a former Baptist preacher:

Given the fact that Alabama just voted overwhelmingly to reject the right of gays to marry, I found myself feeling like a stranger in a strange land. This state has been my home all of my 41 years. My parents, thank the Lord, are still here. I graduated with a degree in Mathematics from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. There have been days when I've felt the brush of God's grace through the warm, southern winds. And the sun rose like a thousand diamonds in the sparkle of the trees as I go on my long, crazy drives, praying to God. But now, I feel isolated, numb, as though I've been rejected by the very people I love. Never mind the fact that I've been partnered for 12 years.

How Mary Cheney can hear something like this and continue to support the Republicans who push it I just don’t know. How Dick Cheney can support his daughter’s open lesbian relationship and yet still be willing to inflict this kind of rejection and stigmatization on others who have the same aspirations she does I don’t know. I am heartened that among my generation, there’s a lot more acceptance of homosexuality. I’ll be so proud of my country when we take the simple step of recognizing that gay people are real and that their love and commitment deserves the same recognition as everyone else’s.


Blogger Anthony said...

Look at it this way Zach.

At least in the United States the issue is whether homosexuals are allowed to marry.

In Singapore the issue is whether homosexuals are allowed to form a society advancing the homosexual agenda - or even be allowed to practice private consensual homosexual sex.

The US has come a long way in terms of homosexual rights. By and large it still remains the front line of this particular issue.

I'm not excusing this behaviour mind you. I'm just trying to inject a little perspective here - things may be bad, but they could be a lot lot worse.

5:26 AM, June 18, 2006  
Blogger Zachary Drake said...

Thanks for your perspective, Anthony. That's true. Things are much better here than in many other places. We should be grateful for the progress we've made.

But there are powerful forces within the United States that want it to be like those "other places". And they are politically ascendent at the moment. The Lawrence vs. Texas case that struck down anti-sodomy laws is a very recent development. I don't think that the puritans will be successful in putting the sexual genie back in the bottle for society at large, but they may be successful in certain areas and for certain people.

And among nations that the United States should be considering its social peers (Europe, Canada, etc), I think the United States is behind on many homosexuality-related issues. I think Great Britain and Isreal both allow gay people to openly serve in the military, for example. And some European nations have marriage for gays or civil unions that have much of the same legal standing.

But yes, perspective. 15 years ago gay marriage wasn't even on my radar screen, and I was at least as "progressive" then as I am now (though I'm certainly more plugged in to what's going on politically now than I was then).

8:10 AM, June 18, 2006  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Internal Monologue home