Thursday, March 05, 2009

Proposition 8 plea to my lgbt brothers and sisters - show a little forethought and restraint

Today, California courts will be hearing a challenge to Proposition 8 - the law the banned gay marriage in California.

Since that monstrosity passed in November, the lgbt communty has tossed and struggled with why it passed, what it means for our community, and how do we go on.

So today will be interesting.

But I have a plea to my lgbt brothers and sisters.

If the courts give us what we want, please show some forethought. The other side will be galvanized in huge number, like they were when the sodomy laws were stricken. While there may be a need to celebrate, we should remember that a victory is not the end of the entire thing, but another avenue that could take us down a bad road if we don't have the presence of mind to control the argument.

But what if the courts don't give us what we want. That concerns me more.

Last year when Proposition 8 passed, some of us got so angry that we forgot ourselves. We allowed our private prejudices and inner demons to come out and control our actions.

And we allowed ourselves to be played.

One thing I hated last year was how the gay community was unfairly cast as overly violent racist aggressors who wrote nasty threatening things on blogs, sent threatening letters to Mormons and beat up old women.

But we helped further that image by playing into the hands of the opposition. We gave them plenty of ammunition as they scoured blogs looking for negative reactions to the vote and looked at video protests seeking to twist the smallest thing into evidence of a gay insurrection.

Yes I know that we get angry over the lies of the religious right, but there is no excuse for being so angry that you allow yourself to become a pawn in your own dehumanization.

So let me advise this - despite what happens today (regardless of what the prognosticators say the court will rule before its 90 day window), remember that this is not over. And the actions that you may choose to take will always have either positive or negative repercussions.

If you feel yourself getting angry over the lies and such, channel that anger into something more productive than writing an ugly note on a blog. Volunteer for a local political or service group. Organize your friends together.

And above all, get educated. That's the one thing we don't do enough as a community.

The struggle for self-determination isn't supposed to be easy, but there is no excuse for making it more difficult.

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