On November 4, 2008, Americans voted for change. Personally, I voted for Obama. Those of you who know me know I came out for Obama way before it was the popular thing to do. I liked his politics and I liked his promises to fix healthcare and fight for human rights. But I don’t think Obama was elected because of people voting for anything as much as voting against the party that got us into this mess in the first place.
You might think it doesn’t matter why he was elected, only that he was elected, but I think it does matter. It matters because it helps us understand how many of the same people who voted against the reigning party also voted against human rights – against gay rights in four states, to be precise. If we better understand this, we might better understand how we seem to be always taking one step forward and another step back.
This morning I read an email from Donald Wildmon, founder and chairman of the American Family Association. Donald seemed very depressed at what he called the “overwhelmingly bad news” of Obama’s election, yet he was not so depressed that he couldn’t gloat about his victory against gay rights. He closed his letter, in fact, by preaching that, “… despite some discouraging news on the national front, 30 states have adopted a state constitutional amendment preserving traditional marriage since the legalization of same-sex ‘marriage’ in Massachusetts.”
Wow. Thirty states! Don’t you wish these people would put half as much energy into saving the economy that they currently put into making sure that you and I don’t have as many human rights as they do? It’s as if they think that human rights come in bottles, and there are only so many to go around.
Make no mistake, Pat Robertson and Donald Wildmon and James Dobson -- there is a gay agenda. We are not after your family, but we are most certainly after the same rights your family enjoys. And if it’s true as you say that those rights come in a little bottle, and there are only so many bottles to go around, then watch out, because we want our share….
Of course, human rights don’t come in bottles, there’s plenty of freedom for everyone.
Don’t feel too bad, Mr. Wildmon. The gay community has made the same mistake you have just made, which is the error of thinking a single victory will put the issue to rest once and for all.
Our President has been elected, and in many respects this may help quench our longtime yearning to end racism in America. In a single day, we have won one longtime struggle, and also refocused our attention of the new civil rights frontier, which is the frontier of gay rights.
Put that in your bottle…
-- Troy Carlyle