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Playing it safe at the DNC :(


Rick Munroe
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Posted by Margaret Cho on her blog, August 3:

 

I am totally still infuriated about the lack of gay and lesbian issues discussed at the Democratic National Convention. I am still waiting for someone to address it and it is over and all the donkeys have been packed up and ridden over the pass.

 

You know the entire social conservative movement will be out in full force all over the Republican National Convention, going on and on about the unraveling of the moral fiber of this nation due to the rampant acceptance of homosexuality. Why is this so incredibly scary to these people? How is this worse than our country waging war on the whims of a president and not for any real reason; the military committing atrocities in our name; the constant breach of privacy in the never ending pseudo-war on terror; the elevating and lowering of threat levels to keep us in a state of panic so we have no time to actually judge what is going on? How can anyone say that gays and lesbians getting married is worse than this? What is so bad about it? THEY ARE STARTING FAMILIES!!!!!!! So that is their cause for concern?

 

On top of this, the liberal stance is a backward version of taking the 'high road' by ignoring the demoralizing and homophobic view of the Christian right, when in truth, it is not the high road but what is incorrectly perceived as the safe route. Playing it safe isn't productive for anyone, because safety requires invisibility for gay and lesbian Americans, and the inhumanity engendered by making people disappear is anything but safe; rather, it puts us all in danger.

 

When we are banned from the places where we should be welcomed, where we should not only be allowed but encouraged to speak, where do we go then? It frustrates me because this silences the potential leader that is waiting in the wings. We need a Martin Luther Queen. Now, at this very moment. This is the most important thing we could ask for. Someone who could say, "Free at last," would be nice, but right now I would settle, for "here at last."

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Margaret has been honored by GLAAD, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, PFLAG and the National Organization for Women for "making a significant difference in promoting equal rights for all, regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender identity."

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I'm sure the Democrats are doing their level best to de-emphasize GLBT issues right now. They're trying to win an election at the same time that the Republicans are successfully exploiting the gay marriage issue as a huge wedge. The Democrats can read the results of the anti-gay marriage vote in Missouri: the state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage passed by 70%, in an election with unusually high turnout. To pass with 70%, there had to be a lot of Democrats who voted in favor of the amendment. That's just a sad fact of life. So it's understandable that the candidates are trying to put the issue on the back burner for now. We can't afford to alienate potential voters. The race is very, very tight, and every single vote counts, even those of voters who oppose gay marriage.

 

In other posts I've said that social and political change in the U.S. is very slow and very difficult because of the sheer mass of the body politic. We've made amazing progress on GLBT issues over a relatively short historical period of time. But you can't rush people into changing their minds about an issue they feel strongly about, especially one that's informed by their religious beliefs and centuries of indocrination. It's frustrating as hell to have to say be patient (because I am not a patient person) but in due time we'll achieve what we're seeking because it's logical and it's fair. In just a few decades we've gone from being the "love that dare not speak its name" to a significant player in the political game and a cause that's constantly on people's lips and in the news. We've succeeded in convincing an extremely conservative Supreme Court that we have a constitutional right of privacy in our bedrooms and a claim to equal rights under the 14th amendment. And we've convinced the Massachusetts Supreme Court (and now a judge in the state of Washington) that equal rights and equal protections apply to us, too! But there's a time and a place for everything, and right now doesn't look like the time to risk four more years of Bush for an issue on which we'll ultimately prevail if we can be reasonably patient. As for what happens at the convention, I don't need to be fawned over there. I want results, and if keeping a low profile for a while means we'll get the results we want, I'm willing to do that.

 

I know this isn't going to sit well with everyone, but in politics tactics are as important (even more so) than proclamations and platforms. There's a way to play the game, and a way to get to where you want to go. And right now, the way seems to be to lay low and let the dust settle for a bit before taking the next steps.

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>Margaret has been honored by GLAAD, the Lambda Legal Defense

>and Education Fund, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force,

>PFLAG and the National Organization for Women for "making a

>significant difference in promoting equal rights for all,

>regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender identity."

 

I notice you didn't answer Lucky's question or his point. It's possible to be honored by those groups without being gay. I'm sure Gavin Newsome and Jason West have received and will receive awards from gay groups, but they're not gay.

 

Is it true what Lucky said? Was Margaret Cho closeted in order to protect her career? If so, I'd say she is a rather inappropriate person to give out lectures on the wrongness of hiding gay issues.

 

By the way, other than Howard Dean, are there any political figures you admire who aren't female entertainers? If so, how come you never quote any of them?

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>Is it true what Lucky said? Was Margaret Cho closeted in

>order to protect her career?

 

I am not an expert on Margaret Cho. This is the first time I have ever heard anyone accuse her of being closeted, but it is not the first time that Lucky has been mistaken, so my bet is that he is wrong. As far as I know, she is a heterosexual fag-hag who has dedicated herself to fighting for our rights, as well as performing stand-up. In her show "I Am The One That I Want," she says that she used to wonder if she was straight or gay but then she realized, "I'm just slutty...(pause) Where's my parade??" :+ So...I don't know, I don't care, but I don't think she has ever been in the closet.

 

>By the way, other than Howard Dean, are there any political

>figures you admire who aren't female entertainers? If so, how

>come you never quote any of them?

 

Margaret Cho is a comedian, not a political figure. I usually quote from "I Love Lucy," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," Ellen Degeneres or other female comedians. I also quote Streisand but only when you bring her up first, which is often. Why is it a problem for me to quote females? Do you have a problem with women, Doug?

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I agree with Tri's assessment of the current political climate for Gays and Lesbians.

 

However, I think that Margret Cho is mistaken. Both Barney Frank, our gay congressman, and Cheryl Jacques, the head of the HRC adressed the DNC in Boston. Granted they were not a prime hours, but they both freeley expressed their messages. I don't think that you will see any openly gay speakers at the RNC.

 

If Kerry is elected President, there will be a special election in Massachusetts to fill his Senate seat. Virtually all of the sitting congressmen have expressed interest in running, including Barney Frank. It will be fun watching Barney run for the Senate. Imagine an openly gay U.S. Senator.

 

The Democrats at the DNC were trying to appeal to the middle and the undecideds. Maybe they are assuming that they have the gay vote without having to pander. I, for one, am OK with that in today's current political climate. Its how the Republicans say that they support envionmental issues, while they wink at the lobbyists for the oil and timber and coal industries. Those guys know who to vote for without having to be pandered to. Gays should figure out the same thing. Most Democrats opposed the Constitutional Amendment, and most Republicans (except those from New England) supported the amendment to ban gay marriage. It should be clear to us by now who are friends are and who are not. --- And that's not to say that we should remain silent and take whatever crumbs they give us (kind of like Clinton), but we need to be focused on removing this administration before we can accomplish anything more for gays and lesbians.

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Yes, I have been wrong before, as Rick is quick to note. When I lived in SF, it was widely assumed that Cho was lesbian and she did nothing to counter that image until she got a tv show. Then she said what she did about just having been wondering if she was. Now it looks like she has no home but the gay/lesbian/transgender(post and pre-op)transexual community.

I have never persnnally had sex with that woman!

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>When

>I lived in SF, it was widely assumed that Cho was lesbian and

>she did nothing to counter that image until she got a tv show.

 

Why should she have had to? And as for her TV show, she has already dissected and explored that entire experience in her show I Am The One That I Want, explaining in self-deprecating style how she allowed the network to basically water her down, make her lose weight ("to play the part of myself!"), make her act at first more and then less Asian, and pretty much create a persona for her that was something she wasn't.

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Trilingual's analysis is trenchant. I completely agree.

 

I am a political independent. Grew up GOP. It is one of the sorrows of my life to see that great party hijacked by one strain of conservatism to do the work of a probably heretical Christian sect. I know I am not alone in my anguish at seeing the Republicans depart from their proud capitalist, strong defense, privately libertarian tradition.

 

But I think that looking to the Democratic party for a home has its dangers. Rick's quote from Margaret Cho stays with me: "When we are banned from the places where we should be welcomed, where we should not only be allowed but encouraged to speak, where do we go then? "

 

The Democrats have a way of welcoming folks with particular agendas in, and then when their votes are pretty secure, sending them to the quiet corners while they get on with the real business of politics, which is perpetuating themselves in power. Hence their crisis and panic this year. It's not just Bush and Iraq that're driving them round the bend. For the first time since Eisenhower (and then only briefly) they hold none of the levers of national power. Power is a narcotic, and they have been on it for a long time. They desperately want back in, and seemingly will say or do anything to win this fall. Hence the redwhiteandblue charade of the convention in Boston.

 

They are running as kindergentler Republicans because that is what half or more of the country clearly wants. What Kerry can do as President in that political environment is a question no one seems to want to ask or answer. It is depressing to contemplate. So everyone is focused on Nov. 2, as if the sun will not dawn the day after the Inauguration to reveal the same conservative country with a (probably) Republican Congress, and a president who has hidden his real convictions to get elected. A recipe for 4 years of national frustration, if you ask me. But I digress.

 

We are dependable votes to them, but they don't want to get too near the fire. It can -- it will -- burn them. Trilingual's words are wise.

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I am as liberal as anyone can get. I wear my leftist views like a badge of honor. After all, nothing could be worse than being labeled "The C word."

 

However, as a former top aide to a prominent US politician, I understand totally why the Dems. opted to go easy on the GLTB issue. We all know their stance on this issue. We also know that given the chance, they will champion our causes. However, the time to do so is after the election, not during. Controversial issues which could adversely affect swing-vote/undecided, moderates should not be put in the forefront.

 

What is important is that we get liberal Dems. in office, once there, they can make a difference.

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> We also know

>that given the chance, they will champion our causes.

 

You mean like Bill Clinton signing the Defense of Marriage Act into Law with the support of most Senate Democrats?

 

You mean like Hillary Clinton saying that she believes marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman only as a matter of law?

 

You mean like John Kerry saying that he supports an amendment to the Mass. State Constitution overturning the decision of the Mass. Judicial Council and making marriage between a man and a woman as a matter of constitutional dictate?

 

With "champions" like those, who needs enemies?

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You only support my position. Clinton took that stance during his re-election bid. He was forced to come out one way or the other on the issue. Being the brilliant politician that he is, he went for the winning answer at a pivital time.

 

No President before or after has fought so hard for Gay rights.

 

I would also like to remind you how he tried to remove the ban for gays in the military. There was such a backlash that the Dems lost control of the US Congress for the first time in many years. Even Dems. came out against him on this issue.

 

Again, he had to make a compromise with the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.

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Who SHOULD we play with if not these disappointments?

 

Doug,

 

All instances that have made me angry as well. But are your criticisms of democratic gay rights records meant to be an endorsement of those of the republican party? I'm curious to know where you think gains can or need to be made? You rail against what you call 'activist judges' and the democrats' record on gay rights but I've never seen you advance the notion that these gains could come from any other venue. (though I’m sure I could have missed just such a post somewhere along the line)

 

Indeed perhaps I'm making a false assumption that you think more gains need to be made at all. Do you think that in 2004 we have much of what we need and can now vote without any regard to a party’s stance on these issues or do you think the republicans, or some other group that can effect change, will someday champion them? Do you think government by petition which has been so spectacularly successful in ruining state government in Colorado is the way to go? How else Doug, can I hope to eventually win the right to adopt children or to propose marriage to TJ, or to have him by my side if I’m in the ICU at Denver General? Though I agree that the democrats offer LITTLE hope of this happening anytime soon, I also feel that the republicans offer NO hope.

 

 

"Deserve Victory"

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RE: Who SHOULD we play with if not these disappointments?

 

How else Doug, can

>I hope to eventually win the right to adopt children or to

>propose marriage to TJ, or to have him by my side if I’m in

>the ICU at Denver General? Though I agree that the democrats

>offer LITTLE hope of this happening anytime soon, I also feel

>that the republicans offer NO hope.

 

These are all good questions and issues worth addressing. I'll respond with the following, keeping in mind that although not every individual point is directly responsive to the questions you ask, taken together, on the aggregate, they do:

 

(1) I agree that Democratic political officials, in general and with lots of exceptions, are marginally better when it comes to ACTIONS (as opposed to rhetoric) with regard to gay issues. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being a belief in complete equality and 1 being a belief that gay people deserve only the closet and AIDS, I'd say that Democrats are, generally, a 5 and Republicans are a 3.5.

 

(2) I do not think that we have an acceptable or tolerable situation legally until there is full and complete equality between straight and gay people and straight and gay couples under the law, including full marriage rights, parental rights, adoption rights, etc.

 

(3) True social change does not occur because a particular group attaches itself to one political party to the exclusion of another party and then hopes that the political leaders of that party gives them the change that they want. True social change occurs only attitudinally, not legislatively or judicially, and the only what that will happen, I believe, is by gay people being openly gay everywhere, and not confining themselves to any ghetto, whether it be a geographic ghetto, a political ghetto ("all gays must be Democrats") or any other ghetto. It will happen only by gay people being what they are - wildly diverse individuals who exist in every part of the society and, other than sexual attraction, are not limited or restricted in any way, nor confined to any stereotype, nor bound together, by virute of their sexual orientation.

 

(4) Black people have learned this lesson slowly and painfully but are now finally ingesting it: there is nothing DUMBER than allowing yourself as a group to become the personal property - owned lock, stock and barrel - of one political party, because then that party should and INEVITABLY WILL take you for granted and feel they don't need to do anything for you, since they know you are attached only to them and can't and won't go anywhere else. That's why the Democrats never mentioned the word "gay" once at their Convention - they think: "what are the homos going to do? Vote for Bush?"

 

The pressure put on every gay person to be a Democrat, and the attacks and attempted ostrascizing of any gay person who doesn't swallow the mandated political orthodoxy is remarkably stupid and self-defeating. If gay people are in BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES, and support both, and the gay vote is in play in every election, and the delegates at BOTH CONVENTIONS sitting next to you can be gay, then both parties will vie for that vote and will know that "gays" are not some abstract evil "other" but are part of every political and societal sector. But if gay people are inextricably enslaved to one party, neither party has an incentive to do anything, and won't. That's how you get DOMA and other assorted bipartisian evil.

 

It's incredibly easy - and incredibly pointless - to run into the arms of people who already like you. It's far more difficult - and far more valuable - to go to a place that is hostile and demand that you have the right to be there and refuse to accept the notion that because you are gay, you are only allowed in certain places.

 

Openly gay people in Mississippi or Kansas or Harlem or South Dakota accomplish far more for gay equality than an openly gay person living in Chelsea or WeHo or South Beach. Identically, some liberal homo in the Democratic Party accomplishes far less by being openly gay there than does an openly gay Republican.

 

Every study shows that, BY FAR, the most significant influence in people becoming more accepting of gay people and becoming more resistant to the demonizaiton of gay people is the simple existence of openly gay people near and around them. We should therefore encourage and support and cheer the presence of openly gay people in gay-hostile places (including the Republican party), rather than lament and attack and demonize it.

 

(5) Every gay person is not just gay, but many other things as well, and thus has many interests besides ones that are encompassed by the term "gay issues." So, I'd like to ask you this. There are other issues besides gay issues presumably of great importance to gay people.

 

So let's say that there are 2 political parties - Party A and Party B - and on a scale of 1 through 10 - 1 being total disagreement with your beliefs and 10 being total agreement with your beliefs - here is their position with regard to several issues:

 

Party A Party B

 

Foreign Policy 7 4

Tax Policy 8 2

Job Creation 7 3

Abortion 9 2

Gun Control 9 4

Health Insurance 7 5

Gay Issues 3 6

Homeland Security 8 3

Education 7 4

 

Which party do you support?

 

(6) Just by the way - many of the things that you say you want with TJ - such as hospital visitation rights or even some parental rights - are available now by contract.

 

(7) You say that you have little hope that the Democrats will deliver, but no hope that Republicans will. What hope do you have that the Democrats will deliver - deliver what? Not a single prominent Democrat favors gay marriage. None ever utter a peep about gay parental rights. What do you think that they will deliver?

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RE: Who SHOULD we play with if not these disappointments?

 

>Openly gay people in Mississippi or Kansas or Harlem or South

>Dakota accomplish far more for gay equality than an openly gay

>person living in Chelsea or WeHo or South Beach.

 

That's an oversimplification. They accomplish things in different ways and on different levels. In rural or non-gay-friendly areas, a gay person makes a political statement just by the mere fact of being out. In ghettos, we use the strength of our numbers -- having parades/marches/protests/parties, etc. That visibility as a group is just as important. But the ghettos don't even exist anymore, so your point is moot. Ghettos tend to exist in cities and real estate is at such a premium in most major cities today that ghettos can no longer afford to exist. I live in Chelsea and I can tell you for a fact that straight people outnumber us here now, and they have almost completely taken over South Beach, too. The integration you dream of, Doug, is already taking place. :)

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RE: Who SHOULD we play with if not these disappointments?

 

>That's an oversimplification. They accomplish things in

>different ways and on different levels. In rural or

>non-gay-friendly areas, a gay person makes a political

>statement just by the mere fact of being out. In ghettos, we

>use the strength of our numbers -- having

>parades/marches/protests/parties, etc. That visibility as a

>group is just as important.

 

I'm not surprised that you can read a lengthy post about many issues and decide that the only one you're interested in is the one which you interpret to be about you personally.

 

You apparently read what I was saying to mean that "gay people who live in Chelsea (i.e., Rick Munroe) don't do anything for gay equality; only openly gay people in Mississippi do." That's not what I was saying. My point is that being openly gay, BY ITSELF, in Chelsea and WeHo and South Beach accopmlishes very little and requires very little courage, especially when compared to those who are bravely openly gay in places which are quite hostile to gay people. Can you really deny that?

 

In rural or

>non-gay-friendly areas, a gay person makes a political

>statement just by the mere fact of being out. In ghettos, we

>use the strength of our numbers -- having

>parades/marches/protests/parties, etc. That visibility as a

>group is just as important.

 

I'm sorry to tell you this, but circuit parties and frivolous, flamboyant gay pride parades down 5th Avenue or Gay Meetups for Howard Dean don't exactly do much for the cause of gay equality, as much fun as you may have with participating in them. If anything, I'd say the opposite is true. By constrast, having a standard gay person in small and rural towns live as an openly gay person - or having a person be openly gay in social, political or occupational circles where the people don't expect to find gay people and are uncomfortable around them -- is the singularly most valuable thing that can be done towards the cause of gay equality.

 

But the ghettos don't even exist

>anymore, so your point is moot. Ghettos tend to exist in

>cities and real estate is at such a premium in most major

>cities today that ghettos can no longer afford to exist. I

>live in Chelsea and I can tell you for a fact that straight

>people outnumber us here now, and they have almost completely

>taken over South Beach, too.

 

Just because little liberal gay-loving straight couples move into a gay ghetto - and tell all their friends how WONDERFUL the nice gay couple is next door, and how they took care of their plants while the straight couple went away - doesn't mean it's not a gay ghetto anymore.

 

Many gay people feel comfortable being openly gay only in designated gay-friendly places -- whether geographic, political, occupational, etc. I suppose it's a good thing that such places exist, since some people are willing to be openly gay only where it's easy and comfortable, and that's better than nothing. But the people who are truly courageous and truly achieve significant steps for gay equality are the ones who are openly gay in places where doing so isn't easy or common. The fact that this doesn't include you or Margaret Cho doesn't make it any less true.

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RE: Who SHOULD we play with if not these disappointments?

 

Doug:

 

You make a number of valid points, but I still have trouble with the idea that gays will find much acceptance in a party that has become so virulently hostile to them and many of their interests, as is the case with the current Republican Party.

 

I can respect and actually agree with some classic conservative principles, especially those dealing with personal liberties and freedom from government intrusion into one's personal life. Sadly, the current Republican party is both extremist and reactionary, not truly conservative.

 

Do I think the Democratic Party is the embodiment of perfection? No, far from it. What I will say is that at least the Democratic Party isn't overtly hostile to gays, as the Republican Party seems to be.. Clearly, I would love them to be more affirmative in their support of gay rights, but for me, it is "half a loaf is better than none".

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RE: Who SHOULD we play with if not these disappointments?

 

>I'm not surprised that you can read a lengthy post about many

>issues and decide that the only one you're interested in is

>the one which you interpret to be about you personally.

 

Let's see, what did I do? I skimmed your lengthy post and decided to respond to the point that I took issue with, rather than taking the time to write a much longer post, detailing how much I enjoyed the other points of your lengthy post and how well-written it all was. I'm sorry, Doug; I didn't realize your ego needed stroking. Next time, I will certainly remember to quote every line of your post, and comment throughout with either "Good point!" "I Agree!" or "Well-put!". And I hope you'll remember to post a photo of a cheerleader after my post, just like you do for other people who write such posts. I can also, if you'd like, ask Chuck to send you a few hugs. :*

 

>You apparently read what I was saying to mean that "gay people

>who live in Chelsea (i.e., Rick Munroe) don't do anything for

>gay equality; only openly gay people in Mississippi do."

 

That's not what I read and that wasn't the point of my post. And what's wrong with using myself and my life to back up my points? I'm not totally anonymous like you so it's quite easy and useful for me to make a point using my personal experience as an example.

 

>Just because little liberal gay-loving straight couples move

>into a gay ghetto - and tell all their friends how WONDERFUL

>the nice gay couple is next door, and how they took care of

>their plants while the straight couple went away - doesn't

>mean it's not a gay ghetto anymore.

 

The last time Derek and I visited South Beach, we were called "maricon" ("faggot") by straight passersby quite a few times. Maybe in your fantasy world, the people moving into formerly gay areas are "little liberal gay-loving straight couples" but the reality is that they are just straight people who move into neighborhoods that the gays fixed up and turned into a nice place to live. But it's fascinating how you can sit (wherever you are) and know so much about these areas without living in or (I assume) visiting them. Do you really believe that everyone who lives in or moves to Chelsea is liberal and "gay-loving"? To quote you from another post: "The level of ignorance required to say this is breathtaking."

 

>Many gay people feel comfortable being openly gay only in

>designated gay-friendly places -- whether geographic,

>political, occupational, etc. I suppose it's a good thing

>that such places exist, since some people are willing to be

>openly gay only where it's easy and comfortable, and that's

>better than nothing.

 

That's an incorrect assumption. As far as me personally (oops, I know you dislike when I use myself as an example), I chose to live in Chelsea when it wasn't predominantly gay; actually, when we were apartment hunting 10 years ago, Derek and I checked out buildings on the Lower East Side, Hell's Kitchen, Murray Hill and other areas (and before moving here, we lived in the East Village, on the UES, in Jersey City and with Derek's parents in the suburbs -- and we were very much "out" in every one of those locations) but we chose where we live now because the rent was good and it had lots of light. When we go to visit my parents in Florida, we display affection in public and have gotten verbally accosted. We are not "in the closet" when we are in un-gay-friendly places, so it's again an incorrect assumption on your part that "some people are willing to be openly gay only where it's easy and comfortable."

 

>But the people who are truly courageous

>and truly achieve significant steps for gay equality are the

>ones who are openly gay in places where doing so isn't easy or

>common. The fact that this doesn't include you or Margaret

>Cho doesn't make it any less true.

 

And what about you, Doug? Do you live in a place where being gay is courageous and accomplishes much towards the cause of gay equality? Or are you all talk?

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Thanks for such a thought provoking, well thought out response

 

>(1) I agree that Democratic political officials, in general

>and with lots of exceptions, are marginally better when

>it comes to ACTIONS (as opposed to rhetoric) with regard to

>gay issues. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being a belief in complete

>equality and 1 being a belief that gay people deserve only the

>closet and AIDS, I'd say that Democrats are, generally, a 5

>and Republicans are a 3.5.

 

That's really a bit closer to each other than I would think, but that's really just a minor quibble and in general I think we mostly agree on this point. What is true, I think, is that the fringes of each party are much more apart than this, and the fringe of the republican party is I think a HUGE danger to homosexual rights. Marylin Musgrave from here in Colorado is a good example, building a reputation and celebrity status SOLELY on her campaign to deny homosexuals the right to marriage, and even worse as the amendment was worded, the right to enjoy any benefits traditionally associated with marriage. I do understand that one person is not a reason to abandon an entire party. I also understand that you're not going to be voting for G W Bush in the upcoming election either. I really hope that people like you can take the Republican Party back into the mold of small government, no deficits, and social conservatism etc. If that were to happen I would have NO problem at all voting for a republican presidential candidate with the idea of having a tiny federal government and probably still vote for mostly democratic local officials and addenda since, in Denver at least, the causes I most hope to advance like expanded light rail, continued funding of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District taxes, strong public health and hospitals, are usually more democratic causes. Also, the only candidate in the last mayoral election who ran on a platform of reducing bureaucracy and red tape related to development in and around downtown (another near and dear cause for me) was a democrat (surprisingly I thought.)

 

>It's incredibly easy - and incredibly pointless - to run into

>the arms of people who already like you. It's far more

>difficult - and far more valuable - to go to a place that is

>hostile and demand that you have the right to be there and

>refuse to accept the notion that because you are gay, you are

>only allowed in certain places.

 

There is nothing whatsoever with living in a place where you are comfortable. Everyone needs a place to be where they feel safe when they sleep at night. Gay people aren't the only ones who live in places where they feel safe, everyone does that. Going into places and demanding to have the right to be there can be done just as much when you live in a safe place, so I can't fault people for living in say "Capitol Hill" in Denver. As for every other argument in this vein I agree with you. I think that everyone gay should be out at work, on the street, in the grocery store, with their families, with all of their friends, at school etc. A homosexual who is in the closet is just as valuable to our rights as is a dead homosexual.

 

>Openly gay people in Mississippi or Kansas or Harlem or South

>Dakota accomplish far more for gay equality than an openly gay

>person living in Chelsea or WeHo or South Beach. Identically,

>some liberal homo in the Democratic Party accomplishes far

>less by being openly gay there than does an openly gay

>Republican.

 

I would agree as long as that voter made it VERY clear that he was say NOT voting for people like Marylin Musgrave for her stand on the gay marriage amendment or against G W Bush for his support of this nonsense (among whatever other reasons you or another republican would have for not voting for Bush). I do think that if you're out in the Republican Party you should make it VERY clear which candidates you would vote for and which you wouldn't while working to make yourself visible within the party.

 

>Every study shows that, BY FAR, the most significant influence

>in people becoming more accepting of gay people and becoming

>more resistant to the demonizaiton of gay people is the simple

>existence of openly gay people near and around them. We

>should therefore encourage and support and cheer the presence

>of openly gay people in gay-hostile places (including the

>Republican party), rather than lament and attack and demonize

>it.

 

Great idea, unless there is a legitimate fear that a certain party could put you on the road to abrogation of your rights. If everyone voted republican this election and all houses of congress (state and national) and the presidency found themselves in republican control the marriage amendment would likely pass. What good would all of these out republicans accomplish then? Wait for a generation while showing everyone how gay republicans can be for attitudes to change and repeal the amendment? I'm actually confident that probably homosexuals would divide themselves similarly to the rest of the country (somewhere around 50/50) if the Republican Party would just stop being so ANTI gay.

 

>(5) Every gay person is not just gay, but many other things as

>well, and thus has many interests besides ones that are

>encompassed by the term "gay issues." So, I'd like to ask you

>this. There are other issues besides gay issues presumably of

>great importance to gay people.

 

Absolutely, I listed some of mine above.. I'm sure we may disagree on the importance of them to a city/country as well.

 

 

>So let's say that there are 2 political parties - Party A and

>Party B - and on a scale of 1 through 10 - 1 being total

>disagreement with your beliefs and 10 being total agreement

>with your beliefs - here is their position with regard to

>several issues:

>

> Party A Party B

>

>Foreign Policy 7 4

>Tax Policy 8 2

>Job Creation 7 3

>Abortion 9 2

>Gun Control 9 4

>Health Insurance 7 5

>Gay Issues 3 6

>Homeland Security 8 3

>Education 7 4

>

>Which party do you support?

 

I can see where you fall on all of these and I see why you would prefer to vote republican in most elections. I'm not sure where you put 5 points of ideology between democrats and republicans for homeland security? That's probably best for another discussion anyway though. Honestly, if the republican party really ran itself in the way I learned it traditionally was, I could agree with you on all columns except abortion and gun control. The legitimate fear that many homosexuals have, though, is that voting republican is akin to 'giving up' rights that we already have, including the ones you list below. I really don't think that this fear is unjustified, witnessed by the remarks of Pat Buchannan in the ‘92 republican convention, Trent Lott's remarks about Sen. Thurmond (about African Americans but along the same philosophy) and Rep. Musgrave and President Bush's actions during the last year or so (among others.)

 

>(6) Just by the way - many of the things that you say you want

>with TJ - such as hospital visitation rights or even some

>parental rights - are available now by contract.

 

Yup they are as long as “the legal incidents thereof" of marriage, which these could easily be interpreted as, aren’t outlawed by a republican backed constitutional amendment. (I’m sure you may want to point out that this amendment was defeated in the Senate, I’m sure you must agree, however that if there were 100 republican senators, 435 republican representatives and unanimous republican control in every state this amendment would be the supreme law of the land NOW.)

 

>(7) You say that you have little hope that the Democrats will

>deliver, but no hope that Republicans will. What hope do you

>have that the Democrats will deliver - deliver what?

 

This is what I hope, and I know this will offend you to your core based on other post of yours. What I hope is that democrats are able to appoint judges who read the constitution and find that I'm equal to everyone else in every legal way. In your words I hope for 'activist judges' though I don't think of them that way. When a judge recognizes that a right is MINE (notice I don't say that they GIVE me a new right, like marriage) they, in my opinion, are reversing 2 centuries of 'activist judges' who wrongly denied my rights. I believe that being the first judge to be correct does not make a judge an activist. I believe that having a democratic president in the White House when the next couple of Supreme Court justices retire is the best hope of that happening. I also believe that if G W Bush appoints 2 or 3 judges to the court our hope of going forward at all may be extinguished for the next generation, no matter how many out gay republicans there may happen to be.

 

"Deserve Victory" ... Terry Goodkind

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RE: Who SHOULD we play with if not these disappointments?

 

So let's say you are living in 1933 Germany and that there are 2 political parties - the National Socialist Party and the Social Democrats - and on a scale of 1 through 10 - 1 being total disagreement with your beliefs and 10 being total agreement with your beliefs - here is their position with regard to several issues:

 

.......................... NSP SDP

 

Foreign Policy.........7.....5

Tax Policy .............8.....3

Job Creation...........9.....5

Fatherland Security..8.....3

Exterminating Jews..1....10

 

Which party do you support?

 

By the way, you're Jewish.

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