Sing If You’re Glad to Be Gay

In the “nobody said progress was linear” department, I note that, in short order:
* Joe Biden Says He’s Comfortable with Gay Marriage, a remark which sent all the tea leaf watchers to ponder whether it was a “gaffe”
* US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Supports Gay Marriage
* Despite the pleas of good Christian folks such as this guy, the voters of North Carolina voted for constitutional Amendment 1, which not only reemphasizes an already codified law, which will also complicate the lives of unmarried heterosexual couples

* President Barack Obama said:
I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer:
I’ve always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.

But over the course of several years I’ve talked to friends and family about this. I’ve thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, I’ve gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.

What I’ve come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens.
Even at my own dinner table, when I look at Sasha and Malia, who have friends whose parents are same-sex couples, I know it wouldn’t dawn on them that their friends’ parents should be treated differently.

So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.

Even before the President’s latest pronouncement Arthur had noted the President’s accomplishments on the GLBT front. Meanwhile, “Speaker John Boehner decided to use our tax dollars to intervene and stand up for DOMA to deny LGBT Americans the rights they deserve.” And only last week, Mitt Romney… let religious right activists bully his campaign over its hiring of an openly gay foreign policy staffer, Richard Grenell. After the campaign froze him out of press briefings to quell the controversy, Grenell finally quit…, with no effort by the presumptive nominee to persuade him to stay. If Grenell was qualified to hold the sensitive post of foreign policy spokesman, why did Romney cave instantly to demands from radio hosts and other ignorant bigots to let him go? I find that far more telling than the bullying incident from Romney’s youth.

I’m not a single-issue voter, but on this issue, the courage and the cowardice are clear.

I’ve read suggestions that Charlotte, North Carolina should be stripped of the Democratic National Convention this summer, in response to the state’s vote; whether it should or shouldn’t, it’s not going to happen. Planning national conventions take months of preparation for security and other considerations.
***
*Gay Pride events, mostly in June

*God v. Gay?, where I link to an important video piece

*Mark Evanier wrote: “My friend Shelly Goldstein…on this blog, writes a monthly column for a Gay Rights website arguing for more tolerance and also some of those ‘equality’ things like marriage. When I mentioned her gig to someone once, he furrowed his brow and said, ‘She’s not gay, is she?’ No, she’s not and it’s sad that there are some people out there who can’t seem to grasp the concept of taking a stand on behalf of others, as opposed to your own immediate self-interest.”

Glad To Be Gay- Tom Robinson Band, a most significant song from 30+ years ago that’s been rolling around my head. I first heard a live, solo version on the Secret Policeman’s Ball album c. 1979.

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17 thoughts on “Sing If You’re Glad to Be Gay

  1. Roger, if you weren’t already the best friend I’ve never met, this post would ensure that. I honestly don’t know ANY other heterosexual bloggers who have ever mentioned Tom Robinson—I don’t think most of them have ever heard of him.

    As you know, I am no longer a Christian, but I come from solidly Christian stock, so when such people defame me, I take it rather personally. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to have a Christian such as you to point to as an example of what could be. I’m tired of fighting this fight, now some three decades for me personally. The support of people like you matters far more than you can know. Thank you.

  2. Always good to see a President make a stand for equal rights to everybody. Obama has always alluded to this being how he feels but never said it directly.

  3. This is indeed social evolution, despite the stubborn backwardness of some States. In another generation this issue will have been resolved except for a few holdout enclaves who will doubtlessly support their positions by religious pronouncement. I have NEVER heard anyone support this discrimination by any rational argument, it is always “tradition” or “God sez” or “Yuck!”

  4. Hello Roger!
    I’ve heard the news about President Obama’s position on gay’s marriage and I must say I don’t mind if they are allowed to get married.
    As for me i’m a woman and i’ve been living with my man for almost 20 years but we are not married! Marriage kills love! So…
    Thanks for sharing. And thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment;o)

    ***
    Have a nice weekend****

  5. So, it seems pretty decided: this round, this election, will be about supporting gay rights.

    If you think that gay people should have the same rights as everyone else, you’re supposed to vote Democrat. If you think gay people are scary and icky, you’re supposed to vote for the gay-bashing Republicans.

    It’s good we won’t have to worry about things like the crippling increase in our national debt or further bank failures or the Eurozone currency contagion.

    It will be about homosexual rights. A nice, easy topic where you’re either for equal rights or you’re scared that somehow two people getting a tax deduction for living together will destroy all of mankind.

    • Chris – your comment is so enigmatic… I have no doubt that the election will be about something else, probably the economy. Even before Obama’s declaration, one wasn’t going with the GOP on this issue. But as I said, it’s not the only one.

  6. Roger, once again, we are on the same page.

    No one seems to think depriving one group of equal rights is all that important. And it’s the MOST important thing. I’ve been an ally since I found out what “gay” was, explained rationally and succinctly my my mom in answer to my question, at age 5. Never looked back.

    Glad to have a president who admits he’s still evolving and doesn’t have the right and ONLY answer every single time. This humility is a wonderful characteristic. I’ll check back on those links tomorrow, but there is too much hatred in our world.

    The Koch Bros., et al., are making Marriage Equality a big deal because they know it will keep us, the “unwashed” (more like unemployed) masses from focusing on the big picture. And marriage in this country is a CIVIL UNION. The paper is signed, it’s filed in the courthouse, and you jump through a thousand hoops to divorce.

    People need to stop fretting over things they know nothing about because they choose to stay ignorant. That’s all bigotry is, really, ignorance plus a mouth. And you should hear my sister. Oy, what a big mouth.

    Ha ha. Loved this, as always, Amy
    http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/05/10/declaration-of-an-ally-of-the-queer-community/

  7. Do you think it’s pure coincidence that Romney’s little bashing incident came out right when Obama declared he supports gay marriage?

    This SUCKS. I want to get rid of everyone in Congress and the fed, but what? If I vote for Romney am I endorsing gay bashing?

    Do you really believe that the election will be about important things like what we’ll do if the banks fail again? Because they didn’t fix anything. Nothing. The problem is still there.

    • You’ll never get rid of everyone in Congress because, in the main, people LIKE their member of Congress. And the new ones we got in 2010 were, in the main, TERRIBLE, Know Nothings that will dismantle important data sources such as Census. So new ain’t always better.

  8. And?

    In one side of my life, I’m immersed in Democrats. In the other, in Republicans.

    It’s the Republican side that is going to be hell: “Marriage is between one man and one woman, it’s what God says…” Blah blah blah.

    (Because, you know, the universe will utterly implode if two people of the same sex get a tax deduction for living together. The world will end, YIKES!

    It happened in Canada. Canada no longer exists. It’s a fact!)

    Just it drives me crazy.

    • And, as I noted, I don’t care as much about Romney’s bullying 4 decades ago as I do about his actions in the last 4 weeks.
      You know, sarcasm (or whatever that riff is re Canada) gets lost in print.
      And so, I’m missing your point.

  9. Ugh, but we have SERIOUS problems with our currency and banking.

    Is this the time for the Shadok “If there is no solution, then there is no problem!!!”?

    I hate living among the Shadoks.

    • Interesting observation on on ABC News, that left-liberal bastion. It noted that, as the UK went into austerity because it wanted to fix the problem, it ended up with double dip recession, and a high unemployment rate. In the US, we had a stimulus (not enough in my opinion and the opinion of many), with the auto industry coming back and unemployment coming down, albeit slowly. But instead of going after duds in Defense such as planes that have pilots blacking out in the cockpit, we’re going after data sources that help us know how we’re doing.
      we’re ALL frustrated.

  10. You know exactly what I mean. Canada was not wiped off the face of the Earth because they legalized gay marriage.

    Nothing… happened. I don’t have the statistics offhand, but it turned out something like 0.1% of Canadian marriages were same-sex.

    It not only didn’t hurt Canada at all to have it legalized, it didn’t even register as a blip on the radar as far as “marriage” goes.

    So the fears that gay marriage will utterly destroy all of mankind are totally baseless.

    But I think – although I’m not sure (genuinely) – that when Republicans SAY they’re all about fixing the currency and deficit, that’s not what people actually care about.

    Because I hear a LOT more “Eck! Two guys kissing!” than I do “You know, we actually have serious debt problems that need to be resolved before we have to turn to something like monetization…”

  11. @ Roger:

    The austerity in the UK is particularly stupid. They cut jobs rather than simply cutting pay and government fat.

    If you cut jobs, you will make it worse, far worse than giving everybody a 10% pay cut (or whatever.)

    It’s like the military, you’re right. They’re advocating axing military jobs rather than cut out useless, broken programs that have never worked like the European ballistics shield.

    We screwed around to long on this debt thing. We could have made adjustments in 2000-2002. Now no matter what we do it’ll be a disaster. (Okay, honestly the whole 70s IMF treaties were crap for an idea, but I’m very much for re-negotiating them.)

  12. It seems that when a Rights issue does not personally impact on someone they are all too willing to “back burner” it in favor of “more important” priorities. There also seems to be an impression that only a limited number of priorities can be addressed at a time. In my opinion, the Culture War is being fought on multiple fronts, and all of these battles are important if we want to avoid being dragged back into the 19th Century.

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