Ireceived a provocative e-mail from a prominent gay journalist this week. It had two words: "It's over."
We had been exchanging thoughts about what a remarkable week it has been in the battle for gay rights: The Boy Scouts moved toward ending their gay ban; word came that the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A stopped donating to antigay causes; and the Mormon-founded Marriott Corp. joined the gay side in the legal fight against the Defense of Marriage Act. And that was just Monday.
By Tuesday, President Obama announced his sweeping immigration reform plan that includes protections for some same-sex binational couples. By Wednesday, 49ers player Chris Culliver's offensive remark about not welcoming gays on the team - and the immediate backlash followed by his apology - reminded us of how unacceptable homophobia has become, even in the macho world of professional sports. By any measure it does, indeed, feel as if we have passed the tipping point in the crusade for gay rights and that there are only individual battles still to be fought.
Some of those battles are significant, of course. Most notable is California's Proposition 8 case and the Defense of Marriage Act case about to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. But even if California gays lose their marriage battle before the high court, the new Democratic supermajority in Sacramento has made it clear that they'll put the issue back before the state's voters, who now favor same-sex marriage in statewide polls.
Similar polls at the national level show a clear majority favoring not only rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, but also same-sex marriage. Even a survey of young evangelicals, done in 2011 by the Public Religion Research Institute, shows 44 percent of them supporting same-sex marriage, compared with only 12 percent of evangelicals over 65.
Opponents of full equality for gays and lesbians are still vocal, of course. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., immediately threw cold water on the president's gay protections on immigration. But even McCain may just be mouthing the expected words, considering he had an openly gay chief of staff for many years.
Other conservatives are more realistic. Newt Gingrich (something of an expert on marriage himself), recently told Republicans opposed to same-sex marriage to surrender, saying, "Gay relationships will be legal, period." Add to that the LGBT election victories in November, and the future political wins on the horizon. The biggest prize may be New York City, which seems poised to become the largest American city with an openly lesbian mayor, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is the Democratic front-runner.
All of this comes after an election in which Obama's support of marriage equality proved a total nonissue - just eight years after it was the wedge issue that helped re-elect George W. Bush.
Similarly, there was very little criticism after Obama used his inaugural address to compare the civil rights movement to the gay rights struggle that was launched at the Stonewall Inn in 1969. Is it any wonder that in this climate, celebrities like Anderson Cooper could no longer giggle his way through Kathy Griffin's gay jokes without acknowledging his sexuality? Even Jodie Foster finally did her best to - in the words of the satirical Onion newspaper - "inspire teens to come out using vague, rambling riddles." Being closeted seems more passe with every awards show.
Even the sports world has bet on the gay side. The San Francisco 49ers already won the gay Super Bowl by becoming the first NFL team to record an anti-bullying "It Gets Better" video. The Niners follow the San Francisco Giants, which was the first major-league team of any sport to join the campaign. The fight is far from over, of course. Next up, besides Prop. 8 and DOMA, is an attempt to finally pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban antigay hiring practices. In 29 states, someone can still be fired for being gay.
And the mistreatment of gays and lesbians in some foreign countries is pervasive, but it is finally in the spotlight, thanks to social media and the wired world.
So here in America, we do seem to have reached critical mass on gay rights - rights that were articulated by none other than the devout Mormon and hotel executive Bill Marriott.
Marriott told Business Insider's website that while he still thinks marriage should be between a man and a woman, he added, "We have to take care of our people, regardless of their sexual orientation or anything else. We have all the American values: the values of hard work, the values of integrity, the values of fairness and respect."
And that's really all that many gay people wanted in the first place.
Someday there will be a national holiday celebrating the man who made this possible, Jack McFarland.
There's an article in NY Magazine about this. It's the new strategy. Give up on trying to persuade the opposition. They are set in their beliefs. Instead, demoralize them by making them think they have already lost the war. It's partially true, but not entirely.
[quote]49ers player Chris Culliver's offensive remark about not welcoming gays on the team - and the immediate backlash followed by his apology - reminded us of how unacceptable homophobia has become,
There was no real apology from Culliver.
"The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel," Culliver said.
So the SFGate thinks that's an apology????
Or that 2 of the 49ers in that It Gets Better video now are trying to deny they were even in it.
Yes, we're winning, but it's not over yet.
Pretty much over. Ironically in California many gays are becoming Republicans. Wasn't this predicted before? Not enough to change CA voting patterns yet but it's coming.
[quote]I received a provocative e-mail from a prominent gay journalist this week. It had two words: "It's over."
Quelle Coincidence! Me too.
Chick-Fil-A must still pay for their ugliness with that day of hate. I won't rest until they're destroyed.
The result is inevitable.
The timing is unpredictable.
It's not over. We need to push forward on the rights of women who were denied equality by the defeat of the equal rights amendment.
There will always be battles to be fought.
Not at all accurate.
Once basic legal equality is gained in every state, next comes the fight against day to day bigotry. Even though the law may say you are equal, there is little the law can do to protect you from the personal everyday backlash.
In Canada, after basic legal equality was passed, the most right wing and vocally anti-gay National Government was elected - 1 year after full equality was granted by the courts in 2006. Elected AGAIN with a strong majority in 2011. This Conservative government tried to overturn gay equality in 2006 but barely failed to win a vote. In spite, they have back doored thru several anti-gay policies in the last 7 years, including canceling Pride funding, legal defense funds and they just open up a new International Ministry of Religion to help promote Christianity around the world.
There is still much resentment against gays in Canada today, so the backlash is still alive and well.
The USA should expect something similar. If the Supreme Court gives you full legal equality, there is going to be a voter backlash for a decade or so, so hunker down for the fallout of any pro-gay Supreme Court decision, because the anti-gay forces will be ANGRY!
[quote]New York City, which seems poised to become the largest American city with an openly lesbian mayor, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
Just because someone is gay doesn't mean they'll be a good mayor. Besides, NY already had a gay mayor (Koch).
I agree with R10 - Chick-Fil-A must be obliterated. They will become a disdained relic not unlike Orval Faubus.
Too many career$$$ are wrapped up in the anti-gay rhetoric for it to end. it is big business with churches, gop politicians, etc, etc.
Maybe in Chelsea.
Well said r13. This pollyanna bullshit about the gay rights war ending is absolutely ridiculous.
Until religions lose their tax status for being anti-gay, bigotry will remain and remain profitable. This is the only solution to end anti-gay bigotry.
As a previous poster said, there are still anti-gay/marriage bigoted spokespeople in Canada which some right wing outlets still trot out on occasion. But they seems to be a fading/dying breed. Even the National Post (our version of Washington Times) trotted out a gay marriage ten year anniversary article where they seemed shocked that even the once-frothing red meat fundies seemed to accept marriage, most feeling that it didn't affect them and the sky didn't fall in. One of their more conservative columnists also seemed fascinated that made of the anti/Tea Party types seemed to actually NEED this as an issue since they really have nothing else to offer their base.
Idiotic post. It is still legal to fire or not hire someone because of their orientation in some states and localities. A huge percentage of homeless minors are gay. People are still beat up and made fun of because of being gay.
To assume gay marriage was the only obstacle gays face, is mind boggling. That said, once the federal government at least "legitimatizes" gay couples, it leads a trajectory towards gay acceptance by straight society which leads to less homophobia/heterosexism.
R20, you're missing the point. I love when idiots go on tirades over a point that nobody is making.
Nobody said Same-Sex marriage is the end-all, be-all.
The point is that the public is on our side now... majorities support equal rights. The numbers are moving fast in our direction, and accelerating. It's only a matter of time now. It's no longer "if", but "when", and the "when" is sooner, rather than later.
But you know, get lost in your little myopic rage, and completely ignore the bigger picture. Whatever gets you off.
The anti-gay forces in Canada got a lot of confidence ever since their guy (Harper) got elected in Ottawa. That made things worse. The only thing worse that an anti-gay bigot is and anti-gay bigot whose candidate just won an election.
Imagine how confident and anti-gay the Tea Party would be right now, if Mitt Romney got elected.
You can look forward to decades of people telling you that because you've gained certain legal rights, homophobia doesn't exist anymore.
Is Canada really a good example? If the NDP, Liberals, Greens and Bloc Quebecois would stop fighting and joined together to stop the Conservatives and formed a coalition government, wouldn't that solve the problem? Let the NPD field a candidate in a riding where it is strongest, and the Liberals would agree not to run a candidate there, denying the Conservatives the seat. And same for ridings where Liberals could win by not dividing the progressive vote. I don't know enough about Canadian national politics to answer my own question.
Yes, R25. Perhaps that's something we all can work on together.
Dream on people. The fight is just beginning.
While Chick-fil-A may have stopped contributing to anti-gay causes, the founders and company heads, S. Truett Cathy and Dan T. Cathy, who still receive millions in profits from their shares of the company still support anti-gay groups with their personal fortunes.
[quote]While Chick-fil-A may have stopped contributing to anti-gay causes
...they actually haven't.
[quote] the most right wing and vocally anti-gay National Government was elected
They have a great reputation defending gay rights abroad, particularly within the Commonwealth. They cancelled TORONTO'S Pride funding, saying they made enough money not to need a government subsidy (and Pride Toronto admitted it had no effect). They still fund most other Prides throughout Canada. The vote on equality was a free vote (with a substantial number of their members voting for equality) on the question 'Should we reopen the debate?"
They were elected because the Liberals imploded with the sponsorship scandal and the disastrous leadership of Dion and Ignatieff. It was not 'backlash' against gays by any means.
Leave African Americans alone R27
R31 has obviously not familiarized himself with the new Conservative PR strategy, called the 2 faced approach: Say Gays shouldn't be killed at the UN and then donate 5M of taxpayer money to the Evangelical religious nuts in Canada, who promote murdering gay in Africa. Guess who wins that one?
"The anti-gay forces in Canada" aka The American Bible Belt Xtians fomenting hate up north and around the world
It's never going to be over as long as gay men want to be the World's Official Victim (TM) (starving babies need not apply). That's the real war--who get's to be an asshole without being held accountable.
r33 has trouble grasping the news. The amount is 500k, not 5 million. It is being used to build wells and a sanitation system (yes, in Uganda). When the news broke, the government ordered a review of the funding and found that none of it is used for preaching or proselyting. I`m not too happy about funding any religious group, but you have to quite paranoid to see this as some stealth anti-gay agenda buy the conservatives.
"many gays are becoming Republicans. "
They've been doing that since the 1950s:
The same government which promotes antigay violence R36. They lied about their success against HIV (the baseline was ONE HOSPITAL with faulty data). They lie about everything. The president of Uganda is the biggest mass murderer in the world since Mao died, and you stupid fuckface are trying to defend the position of giving him money? The only reason Canada and the US are funding this evil fuckface is he bribes their legislators and kisses up to their violent evangelical haters.
[quote]The president of Uganda is the biggest mass murderer in the world since Mao died, and you stupid fuckface are trying to defend the position of giving him money?
No one is giving Uganda money. They are building wells for sanitation. They are not giving the Ugandan government a single cent. If literacy were fatal you'd be safe.
That's not true R40. You have no comprehension of the facts.
First of all R40 you're lying. Canada has many more than one tiny program spending money in Uganda. Two, it is going either to the government or to assist the government there.
The same Canada that boycotted South Africa during apartheid nevertheless feels that it is of no concern when Uganda conducts mass murder of gays.
Wow. The DL website is totally fucked up today!
That's what you get for inserting censorious anti-"eff-emm-in-ate" code, you tool!
This evangelical group you spoke of gives no money to the Ugandan government. Now if you are speaking of foreign aid, Canada's conservative government is no guiltier than the Democrats in the USA.... help me with the facts though. Just how many people have been killed by the Ugandan Government? The worst mass murderers since Mao? That sounds like a lot.