The Good As You blog, is one of my favorite reads, and Jeremy is a wonderful blogger. I agree in general with his post that is summarized in this line (emphasis mine):

If gay rights opponents have the nerve to turn our shared governing documents into weaponry and to so crudely deny a rich and vibrant population sect of deserved fairness, then they at least need to have enough fortitude to own their truths. “Let us vote” is a complete and utter red herring. It’s cowardly cover.

However, his post comes across as almost an attack on the right to vote on things:

The truth is that in every single state where this has ever come into contention, the very same organizers who cry “let us vote” immediately turn into “let us vote FOR INEQUALITY” voices just as soon as the opportunity is granted. Every time. So the idea that this, a public majority vote on a minority group’s civil rights, is all about public will and the exercise of freedom is kind of like saying that “American Idol” voting habits are all about teaching America how to use a cell phone.

I doubt that was his intent, and I think there are other arguments that add to his point better.

  • The right to vote is just one element of a democratic system. In addition there is the legislature, the executive, and judicial branches, and all of these combined create a government of democracy that benefits al of the people when each are allowed to do their part.
  • One reason that every time Marriage Equality is put up to a vote of the people it loses is because the anti-gay groups use lies and misinformation to generate an atmosphere of fear, and a fearful electorate votes, not on the facts, but out of fear. The solution is not to take away voting, but rather to call out the media and others who do not question and call out these tactics. A Democracy rises or falls based on the ability of the Truth to be raised above the hyperbole. The mainstream media fails us every time in this regard.
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Trans persons who remain silent, or worse yet vote with the bigots enable the mob mentality to bulldoze over our rights. If the whole collective of queer communities became more visible, and more vocal in every day ways, it would become harder for average people to be swayed by the fear provoking lies and misinformation.

I utterly agree with the premise that the general public should not have the right to vote on the rights of a minority group. The role of our governmental structure should be to protect the rights of the minority while the majority rules. But the ability of people to vote isn’t the problem really. It is the infusion of fear mongering, lies and misinformation that goes unchecked and unchallenged, but everyone except a few in the queer media.

The last thing I want to add is this.

If those who claim to want to protect marriage really only cared about that, then they would happily support the right of same-sex couples to form legal domestic partnerships and civil unions. Neither of these impinge upon “Traditional Marriage.” Yet, in state after state, this isn’t the case. These same folks oppose any legal recognition of same-sex relationships. Their intent is not the protection of Traditional Marriage, it is 100% bigotry against gays and lesbians. Protecting Traditional Marriage may not be bigotry, but crippling the ability of couples to form legal, state recognized relationships is bigotry, plain and simple.

via ‘Let us vote’: The Teflon of an intent-shirking movement – Good As You:: Gay and Lesbian Activism With a Sense of Humor.

2 Comments

  1. Jim Hlavac says:

    Their goal is not “bigotry” — it is genocidal. For if you argue for all gays to “cure” ourselves, then you are arguing for a cultural genocide, and since we know we’re born this way, it’s a moral and psychic genocide, and for too many, probably a physical genocide, even if by our own hands under the pressure. No, they’re not bigots, their genocidal maniacs. There’s a difference.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can’t really agree here, especially in terms of the issue of Marriage Equality specifically. In general, even the most rabid anti-gay marriage people were fine with letting gay people alone, and gay culture alone when we were/ it was closeted and more hidden. We saw major steps forward in terms of basic protections at the state level over most of the country over the past few decades.

      I might also argue with the idea that we are a “group” especially when it comes to marriage equality, as it relates to the meaning of genocide. No, we are individuals who seek to be treated the same way as all other individuals and we seek an end to the discrimination where we are treated differently because of our sexual orientation.

      I think that new efforts, like the “don’t say Gay” bill in Tennessee are not so much real genocide, as last ditch efforts to try to stop the inevitable- which is full equal rights for all, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans persons.

      Bigotry and being a bigot is: (from wikipedia)

      A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one exhibiting intolerance, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs. The predominant usage in modern English refers to persons hostile to those of differing race, ethnicity, nationality, inter-regional prejudice, gender and sexual orientation, homelessness, various medical disorders particularly behavioral disorders and addictive disorders and religion or spirituality. Forms of bigotry may have a related ideology or world views.

      There is reason to look at the current bill in Uganda, and see it as connected to genocide, possibly. But that isn’t connected in any way to this post or the issue of Marriage Equality and the voting of Americans on the rights of others.

      However, thanks for adding your views here. Differing ideas are always welcome and add to a meaningful dialogue.

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