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 Topic: Defeat in Maine

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Joined: 27 Sep 2006
Posts: 79
Interests: gay history

Posted: 4 Nov 2009, 5:54 pm    Post subject: Defeat in Maine Reply with quote

Last night Maine rejected same-sex marriage. This loss was personal for all of us in the fight for equality. My partner and I long for the day that we can marry and, perhaps even more, for a day when young gay men and lesbians can grow up assured of their equality under the law.

One of the ironies of the situation is that had we won it would have had no real effect on our enemies. They would have gone on with their own lives as though nothing had happened. Their marriages would not have been affected. Their families would not have been impacted in any way. Though, of course, these people love to twist the facts around so that as always they become victims, so they probably would have lamented that the world was going to hell in a handbasket.

But had we won, the consequences for us would have been enormous and would have extended far beyond the right to marry the person we love: it would also have given us the assurance that our government recognized the legal dignity of our relationships and of ourselves as equal citizens in a democracy. Having lost, we have to reconcile ourselves to the fact that we are second-class citizens.

However, we need to remember that even as we are second-class citizens, we are also privileged. We are privileged to be in the midst of an important struggle and many of us are also privileged in the sense that we can afford to spend our time and resources in the fight.

The thousands of us who were able to contribute money to the cause are clearly privileged. But what outrages me is that not only do we have to pony up money to fight for rights that others take for granted, but because our enemies like the Roman Catholic Church and the Mormon-front National Organization for Marriage are using tax-exempt monies to fight us, we were in effect not only funding the No on 1 campaign in Maine but also subsidizing the Yes on 1 campaign.

We who are fortunate enough to be able to help fund this cause constitute an unusual class in this country: second-class citizens yet functionally elite. In so many ways, we are lucky even if we have to pay "fag taxes" to enjoy a fraction of the security a marriage license would bestow on our families.

Unfortunately, most gay men and lesbians in this country are not privileged in this sense. They are simply second-class citizens. And so many of their straight neighbors are happy to see them remain so.

I was very hopeful about Maine because I think the campaign operation was well done, but the history there with the anti-discrimination law (twice vetoed before it was finally passed) should have warned us that Maine is not a liberal state.

The experience in Maine should remind us of the casual cruelty our religious enemies are so willing to bestow on us, the lies they are happy to tell, and the relish they take in denying our humanity.

And after our tears, we need to dust off our pants and get on with the struggle.
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Joined: 15 Sep 2005
Posts: 419
Interests: reading, writing, poetry, transgender issues, gospel, veteran's issues,jazz,education,religion,literature,Native-American and African culture,lighthouses,trails,castles,tractor trailers, playwriting, biograhies, electronics, bass guitar
Physical Location: new york

Posted: 7 Nov 2009, 4:10 pm    Post subject: Not Second Class Reply with quote

I read about it and that's really sad. We should not settle to be second class citizens. I refuse to view myself that way. People's rights should't be put up for a vote. What's needed is to take the fight to the courts.

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