I’m going to be up front and say this: If you’re against gay marriage, you’re a bigot. Whatever your problem is, be it religious, political or being just plain stupid, you’d better fix it or deal with it. But that’s just me.
Recently, Republicans announced a plan to force the issue of gay marriage into next year’s presidential debates. While this deviates strongly from their previous tactics, it is a brilliant offensive measure. The GOP knows as well as the Democrats do that the issue inspires fear, and that where there’s fear, there’s votes.
The political climate was set up beautifully for this brewing cultural storm with the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that sodomy laws are unconstitutional. Liberals hailed it as an important victory and as a turning point in the fight for gay rights.
Conservatives cried out in shock and dismay, claiming that “traditional family values” were in danger of being undone as the “gay agenda” would inevitably destroy this nation’s moral infrastructure.
I loathe those three words. They are the right wing trump’s card the battle cry of those who yearn for the days of white power and Christian dominance.
Conservatives are big on buzzwords that when repeated enough take on a certain context – 9/11 for instance. We have been encouraged to breathe a little quicker and have our hearts beat a little faster at the mere mention of Sept.11.
If you disagree, let me ask you this: How many of you automatically think something when you see a brown-skinned person at the airport? How many of you thought Iraq was a threat, much less an imminent one? How many of you thought Sadaam Hussein played a role in Sept.11?
My point is this: we are a nation easily distracted and controlled by the ones we should fear. And now the Christian right is hell-bent on establishing the “homosexual agenda” as public enemy number one. Jerry Falwell even went so far as to blame the horrific events of Sept. 11 on, among other groups, homosexuals. They play the cultural card, exclaiming disgust at the idea of happily wedded gay grooms and lesbian brides.
They look on the idea of homosexual couples raising children in absolute horror. Obviously, two men and two women aren’t able to get each other pregnant, so, be it adoption, artificial insemination or otherwise, these couples go through a considerable amount of extra effort to let a child into their lives. To me, this effort shows a true desire to raise a child in a loving household and to watch them grow into a moral and upright adult. But then, that’s just me.
The irony lies in the fact that conservative pundits who rant and rave endlessly over America’s moral decline are often guilty themselves of their own accusations. It would be easy to name Rush Limbaugh (drug addict), Newt Gingrich(adulterer and liar), Clarence Thomas(sexual harassment) and Jimmy Swaggart (adulterer), among many others.
But here we are, listening to an army of liars lash out against a loving community. What exactly do they see as “traditional family values.” The near 50 percent divorce rate of straight couples or rampant spousal abuse and adulterous affairs? The broken homes of drug, alcohol or child abuse? Nobody claims that gay marriages come without domestic issues, but the heterosexual population does not have any moral higher ground to judge a gay couple’s love from.
If there is to be any social change, it needs to start with us. Take a stand and show your humanity, compassion, love and tolerance. Show those around you how to accept everybody as Americans for their individuality and diversity, instead of rejecting them for these very traits. It’s your choice how to do that and to be quite honest, I don’t see how in the end it is much of one.
Noah Potvin can be reached at Redfloit5@hotmail.com.