Archive for February, 2009

Above the Hate: Riled Up

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Through the Gay & Lesbian Leadership SmartBrief, I read Follow the money: The network behind anti-gay funding. I decided to pick out a name and look further. I chose Maggie Gallagher, President of the National Organization for Marriage, who directed $1 million to California to promote Prop. 8. She’s a syndicated columnist for, which bills itself as “the Leading Conservative and Political Opinion Website.” The content and reader comments are appealing and appalling. I knew this stuff was out there. I’d just never seen it before.

I knew better than reading her column titled Above the Hate, but I did it any way. I got all riled up. So riled up that I signed up on to post a comment to the ‘marry a goat,” “because the bible tells me so,” and other conservative comments. I also wrote an email to Maggie. It’s below.

You want ‘marriage’ to be between a man and a woman? Start advocating for the government to get out of the marriage business. Work to transfer the institution of ‘marriage’ to religious institutions where it belongs. Churches and other private institutions are allowed to discriminate. The government is not. The government can and will provide all the legal rights and responsibilities to all couples who want to make the commitment.
You and your movement is mistaken if you think domestic partnerships “provide exactly the same legal rights and benefits as marriage.” Try filing a Federal tax return with a same sex partner.
When you talk about minorities exercising their civil rights, it makes these votes and their actions even more appalling. That sidelined and disenfranchised groups would be the strongest backers of government discrimination is a little incomprehensible and very hurtful, especially in the face of a government and people who have worked hard to insure that they are and remain protected classes. We did not put the civil rights gained in the 60’s to a vote. A vote would have institutionalized discrimination, and the Supreme Court would have struck down the vote. The civil rights changes happened because of national leadership and activist courts. (I’m making the assumption that you support “blacks getting the vote”. If you don’t, which I guess is a possibility given your other views, I’m not making a very strong argument.) I see your hate and discrimination.

I have my eye on you. You are the enemy. Your support for government-sanctioned marriage is a battle cry. You do not support the US Constitution and the Supreme Court will make you and your kind look as silly and appalling as Anita Bryant, Adolph Hitler and all the racists who amplified their attacks during the civil rights movement in the 60s. (Again, unless you support separate black and white drinking fountains, et al.)
You are presumably straight. Your movement is parallel to men saying that women can’t vote, another form of discrimination that seems laughable today. Now that you as a white woman have your rights, you don’t want to extend them to anyone else.

In this column, you talk about extraordinary attacks against Prop 8 supporters. GLBTI people have been subject to attacks like these FOREVER. It’s an ongoing problem that is underreported for fear of reprisals, community experience with local law enforcement, and a hateful society. That these attacks are happening to the oppressors do not make them right. I bring it up to point out that what you consider extraordinary are common, every day events for GLBTI folks. They are common because there is social, cultural and government sanctioned discrimination that gives dimwits permission’ to beat up a fag or rape a lesbian. The marriage issue is the most vocal face of that discrimination right now. Payback? GLBTI folks have been on the receiving end of payback since the beginning. We’ve been playing nice and following the rules. That has not worked.
Your actions on marriage means that young gay and lesbian teen will continue to be teased, beaten and killed. That LGBTI adults will continue to be at the receiving end of discrimination.
Once this is resolved, the next LGBTI battle is going to be for polygamy, a right we’ll fight for, this time with the Mormon Church at our side. The government needs to get out of people’s bedrooms.

Not sure writing the letter was a good idea. I think my passion might cloud my main point: to get them to put their money and effort toward getting the government out the marriage business, my favorite compromise on this ultimately insignificant issue.