Careening towards the new year
A couple of things are happening.
First from Massachusetts, a victory for our side.
The Massachusetts Supreme Court said that it cannot force lawmakers to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. The court rebuked the legislature for not voting, but regardless, Massachusetts is still the only state that allows gay marriage and that won't change for a while.
However, the only joy I can take from this decision is that it will drive James Dobson and company out of their minds with anger.
I really don't like this new tendency to base the success or failure of our movement on whether or not we get marriage equality. The success of the gay rights movement will not be decided on whether or not we can walk down the aisle, but whether or not many of us feel that we deserve to walk down the aisle.
Meanwhile, former President Ford passed away yesterday and it got me thinking about Oliver Sipple, the man who prevented Ford from being assassinated in 1975.
What happened to him was a negative in the history of gay America. Sipple was a closeted gay man and because of his diligence, he found himself to be a "poster child" for gay rights, even though he didn't want to be. Sipple was outed by those who claimed to be on his side and slowly his life was ruined because of it.
This is not to blame anyone for what happened. If anything, it should serve as a reminder to those of us who are leaders in this struggle for equality to never forget the individuals they are trying to help.
Behind the movement are individual people with different lives and different circumstances. Some may be able to come out quickly, but others will take time; that is an unfortunate fact of life.
If it becomes okay to sacrifice the life of one person for the greater good (i.e. visibility), then we have lost our souls.
Remember that the next time a new controversy about a "closeted" movie, television, or singing star takes place.