23 October 2008

A (not so) Brief Political Thought

I was reading Perez Hilton yesterday (I know, don't give me that look!), and I came across the above picture, essentially equating Proposition 8 with the discrimination suffered by African Americans through more than half of the 20th Century.

Now, anyone who has spent more than half a second on this blog knows that I'm gay. But this comparison always makes me a little uncomfortable. I am fully aware that I'm able to live my sheltered, comfortable little gay life because of the tireless work put in by other people like Harvey Milk (look ma, a movie tie in!) who did more for me than I can even imagine, but I still think I'm qualified to call shenanigans.

When people say things like this, I think there's an inherent assumption that racism isn't a problem anymore. And, if there's anything this election has taught us, racism is still very much a reality. It may not be so out in the open, but it's been underground, waiting to come to the surface.

And maybe I'm out of line, but I don't think the discrimination faced by the gay community is even remotely comparable. All people deserve to be treated equally, but it's a mistake to assume we're coming to the table with the same background or history. We're not.

And another thing: EXCUSE ME, but when did Barack Obama become the savior of gay America? From an interview with the Chicago Daily Tribune:

"I'm a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman."


But we're all supposed to be overjoyed that he supports civil unions?

Well, you know what? FUCK YOU AND FUCK YOUR CIVIL UNIONS! Don't give me a band-aid for a broken wrist and pretend that you're doing me a favor, mkay?

I'll admit that he's more gay friendly than McCain, but that doesn't make Obama perfect. I'm all for supporting a candidate, but this deification has to stop.

So he is against the Constitutional ban on gay marriage. So what? John McCain is too. The only one supporting it is Sarah Palin, and that probably isn't even in the top 30 ridiculous things she believes. All things considered, it's probably somewhere near the middle, right underneath that men rode dinosaurs to church 5,000 years ago.

Of course gay marriage should be legalized. I think this is one of the stupidest debates raging in modern politics. Can anyone give me a reason NOT to legalize it that doesn't invole the words 'God', 'sanctity', or 'Bible'? Because I don't think so. Separation of church and state isn't a suggestion.

But I'm still voting for Obama. Why?

Because 'gay civil rights' isn't the most important issue this election. Not even close. It's not even in the top 10. Whether or not I can get married isn't gonna make a bit of difference if the ice caps have melted or I can't get a job or we've started World War III with the Middle East.

So, no. I don't think the state of affairs for gay Americans now is at all comparable to the state of African Americans in the 1950s and 60s. Nor do I feel comfortable co opting Martin Luther King Jr. as a proponent of my right to get married. His own daughter doesn't even think he would support it.

Whether or not he would support it doesn't make him any less important or great a human being. I'm just uncomfortable with this modern tendency to put words into his mouth. How do I know what he would believe? He isn't here.

Call me a traitor or whatever, but this is what I think.


Dame James Henry said...

I totally agree with everything you say here. There's no way in hell that Proposition 8 can equal everything that African Americans went through between the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. It's just ignorant to equate it so loosely. Not being able to get married is not the same as many of the embarrassments African Americans were forced to live with just (and were considered normal at the time!) 60-something years ago.

I ignorantly assumed that Obama was for gay marriages until I actually researched it a couple of weeks ago and I found out he was pulling the Christian Card and only supported civil unions. Is this wrong? Yes, but I'm still voting for him. Gay marriage will come eventually, as most social issues eventually do.

Gay marriage is one of those issues that politicians (mostly Republicans) throw around to scare the uber-Christians into ignoring the MAJOR problems going on in our country. Back in high school, during the Kerry-Bush election, my government teacher had us all write a short paper about our views on gay marriage. When I told my dad about the assignment, he told me that I should write that there are bigger issues to be worrying about than that. As an angsty teen who's only concern at the time was gay rights, I of course ignored him, but now I think he was dead on.

"Can anyone give me a reason NOT to legalize it that doesn't involve the words 'God', 'sanctity', or 'Bible'?"

Apparently, by allowing gay marriages, that will somehow pave the way for people getting married to animals or first cousins getting married. Because that's exactly what happened in the Netherlands and all those tiny countries in Europe when they legalized it years ago.

If you're a traitor for writing this rant, than I'll be a traitor right next to you (By the way, I'm glad your blogging again...you always have something interesting to say).

RJ said...

Yeah, I know I'm not exactly a political expert, but I'm a little tired of this comparison and all of this self-imagined martyrdom that seems to be going on.

RJ said...

Thanks for joining my traitor-dom, ;)

Mariana said...

And there's also the fact that unually a gay person can keep his/her homsexuality to him/herself, if they so choose, thus avoiding persecution, whereas a black person can't disguize the colour of his/her skin. Gays don't have to put up with homophobes imediately spotting them as gays as they're walking along the street, whereas black people have to put up with harrassment wherever they go.