Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New York Times article about DOMA

It's been awhile since I've blogged, because I spent the last 5 weeks attending, then recovering from, a 4-week class on Drupal, which is a whole 'nother conversation.

But I had to point out the New York Times article, A Bad Call on Gay Rights. The text of the article is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/opinion

I do sometimes get tired of hearing myself drone on and on about gay civil rights, but the subject just won't go away. And of course we won't go away either, so all the people who are trying to stuff us back into that nasty closet are just sh*t out of luck!

I wonder if the people who hate us (yes, that's what it feels like) and even the people who don't care one way or the other, ever stop to contemplate the price they are paying for treating gay people like we don't matter.

Let me mention, first, that you just might have a gay relative, a nephew or niece, a brother or sister, or even a parent, who has been keeping a humongous secret from you all this time because they think they will lose your respect and/or love if they tell you the truth about themselves. Even if you have never expressed a negative opinion of gay people. You might even have a gay child, and to appreciate the consequences of disregarding that possibility, you should read Prayers for Bobby, a heartbreaking book by a mother whose son killed himself because he couldn't obey her demand to change.

But the everyday costs of believing that gay civil rights have nothing to do with you, though less dramatic, are also steep.

Think about this. If you believe marriage should be denied to same-sex couples, you must also believe that life should be harder for people in same-sex relationships, because that is a direct consequence of the ban on gay marriage. You are also implying that there is something wrong with gay relationships, and therefore there is something wrong with gay people. It means you think we're not as good as you, not as worthy of a peaceful and productive life, not as worthy of love.

What good do you expect to reap from creating a marginalized class of people who always feel that their lives are in danger and their relationships are in jeopardy?

Gay people spend a tremendous amount of energy coping with the difficulties of being gay in America. And being gay in America is orders of magnitude easier today than it was even ten years ago. And all of that is wasted energy, and worse than wasted, because people on the fringes don't contribute all they have to offer, either because their circumstances make that difficult or impossible, or because of their resentment of being regarded as "less than" by the society they live in.

There are countless examples of the price society pays for discrimination. And all discrimination sends the same message: you're not equal, you're not worthy, you're not us.

Is that really what you mean to say?

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