Christian Wentling’s queer article (“Civil Rights and Wrongs,” 11/18/08) details the “unfair” protest strategies of gay rights organizers, including their “feckless raging” and “mindless vitriol” and goes on to victimize the proponents of the “Yes on 8” campaign, most notably the LSD (Mormon) Church.
While I agree that church leaders and groups are being inimically targeted, they are not being targeted unfairly. Wentling coolly reminds us not to forget “federalism” and “democracy,” noting that in this case they “lived up to their respective purposes admirably.”
The fact is, here both federalism and democracy failed: Californians amended the constitution to rescind the rights of a minority. Opponents of Prop 8 are mobilizing the power of the dollar and have every right to boycott a “separate but equal” compromise.
There has been slow but steady progress since Stonewall, but we can’t keep telling gays to “wait their turn,” as if someday society will reform itself. Gay couples are living and dying without basic rights like visitation. Darn right they want to “coerce society into reform.”
I attended my first gay-rights rally downtown on Saturday. They were mad. Then I realized I was mad. For the most part gays grow up being told to hate themselves—maybe there is a latent anger that is released at times hypocritically, but to accuse Saturday’s protesters of “racism” and “anti-democratic” behavior is contemptible, even in a “hyper-enlightened” student newspaper.
In fact, Andy Thayer of the Gay Liberation Network said at the rally, “We will not allow the two communities [black and LGBTQ] to be pitted against each-other—we will not fall prey and be chumps to any divide and conquer strategies by our opponents. We will only rise together for equality.”
So no, I don’t think there is an “unimpeachable moral high ground,” and just for the record I’m all in favor of a civil union compromise, but every dollar donated to the “Yes on 8” campaign (including millions from other states; how’s that for federalism?) represents another degree on the stove—and things are about to boil over.
Class of 2009