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Gay not so 'good' for candidates?
August 9, 2007 12:56 AM   Subscribe

In 1968, Mattachine Society of Washington co-founder Frank Kameny declared "Gay is Good"; in 1971 he became the first openly gay candidate for the US Congress. But if you're running for president today, while you know gays contribute money and definitely vote, Kameny's or any "gay support could cost candidates":
Quinnipiac University polls of voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania -- the big three Electoral College swing states -- found voters by large margins more likely to see the endorsement of a gay rights group as a reason to vote against, rather than for, a candidate.
So is the Democratic Party's apparent embrace of gays, as evidenced by tonight's "gay debate," a good idea? Or would greater distance between gays and the Democratic Party help both groups achieve their goals?
posted by orthogonality (131 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
The problem is partially the fault of gay activists. We know many Americans have ultra-conservative viewpoints, but the failure of gay activists to stop focusing on sexuality has done nothing but reaffirm those views. The issue of sex needs to be toned down, especially at public rallies. I think much support can be gained that way. People like me don't need convincing, it's the sexual conservatives that need it. As long as their view of homosexuality is just a sexual choice is reaffirmed by the popular gay rights movement, there will be little progress. The unconventional just doesn't work in America. I don't like it, but it's always been that way. Progress for groups usually comes from the sentiment that "we are capable of fitting in, equally."
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 1:17 AM on August 9, 2007


Democrats blaming gays for Kerry's loss remind me of Demo's blaming Nader voters.

If American citizens can't get rid of Republicans on the basis of voter fraud and the damage they've done to the country and the world over the last eight years, I doubt that OMGGAYZ getting married is really the problem.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:17 AM on August 9, 2007 [6 favorites]


We know many Americans have ultra-conservative viewpoints, but the failure of gay activists to stop focusing on sexuality has done nothing but reaffirm those views.

The failure of civil rights activists to stop focusing on equal protection has done nothing but reaffirm ultra-conservative views?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:20 AM on August 9, 2007 [5 favorites]


People shouldn't need to tone themselves down in order to gain freedom from bigots.
posted by scodger at 1:20 AM on August 9, 2007 [22 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon The failure of civil rights activists to stop focusing on equal protection has done nothing but reaffirm ultra-conservative views?

They aren't all focusing on equal protection, but asserting group identity. When the public face of the movement is defined by it being a sexual lifestyle, then there is nowhere to go, support is going to peak. Only a minority of the population cares about making gay sex illegal. Those days are gone. If the movement wants marriage, adoption rights, and equal rights with heterosexuals then they need to show there is no reason they shouldn't have them. Other civil rights groups tended not to have this problem because their movements didn't happen in disparate waves. The first wave of gay rights was about the right to have sex with other consenting adults. Now it is about more, and it has to adjust.

scodger People shouldn't need to tone themselves down in order to gain freedom from bigots.

Ideally they shouldn't, but this is the practical world. It's not about convincing bigots, but simply swaying enough of the population that renders the opposition powerless. The movement only needs to gain a small percentage now. They are going to get what they want. It's just a matter of when, not if.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 1:30 AM on August 9, 2007


When the public face of the movement is defined by it being a sexual lifestyle, then there is nowhere to go, support is going to peak.

I suggest that your description is your own, because no one else who is involved in the GLBT community whom I know uses your definition.

The public face of the civil rights movement (such as it is) is embodied in organizations like the HRC, GLAAD and Lambda Legal, which focus primarily on the legalities of equal protection: visitation rights, estate management, child rearing, etc.

I don't see much in there that is about "sexual lifestyle", except where equal protection issues are twisted by conservatives to rationalize their hatred of GLBT folks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:39 AM on August 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


The problem is partially the fault of gay activists. We know many Americans have ultra-conservative viewpoints, but the failure of gay activists to stop focusing on sexuality has done nothing but reaffirm those views.

So, basically, it's our fault for making the movement "too gay." The fact that many Americans would rather have us straight, closeted, dead, or at the very least, huddled into pockets of certain cities where they can never have to hear from us again is something that should be accommodated, lest we "reaffirm those views." Of course. I think I've heard this argument before.
posted by Subcommandante Cheese at 1:50 AM on August 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Civil rights for all sexual orientations are an inevitability, and you know what? After it happens, life will be better, and the people opposing it are going to look like assholes in the history books. I'm surprised more people haven't learned from history, or at least observed the world failing to fall apart when the more civilized countries have legalized same sex marriage.

Even Osama bin Laden said if he hated freedom he'd have attacked Sweden...which is funny because it's true.
posted by mullingitover at 1:58 AM on August 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


I agree with Gnostic Novelist. Politics is a nasty game and putting people who disagree with you on the defensive doesn't tend to help your side.

I actually don't know much about the gay rights lobby in the States but my understanding is that they don't tend to be too uncompromising or have a tin ear with respect to socially conservative demographics. I've heard / read a fair bit of stuff from people affiliated with leading organizations in the movement who say that pushing for marriage so hard in 2004 or pushing so hard against don't-ask-don't-tell in 1992 may not have been the best of ideas (beyond the health care reform spearheaded by Hillary Clinton that was the major issue that screwed the Clinton presidency's beginning and tangentially helped the Republican congressional sweep in '94.)

Think about it this way. During the Civil Rights era, much reform happened through the courts. Did the NAACP Legal team attempt to take just any case all the way to the Supreme Court? Of course not. Brown v. Board of Education was a good case for their purposes. Similarly now that much civil reform happens through legislation, it's important to get the timing and purpose right.

I don't mean that passion at the grassroots should be squashed in favour of Machiavellian machinations; I think basically there should be a difference in how the grassroots of a movement conducts discourse and how the people who're its representatives conduct their advocacy. Both parts (passion & dispassionate tactics) are vital.
posted by Firas at 2:27 AM on August 9, 2007


Anyway, to get back on topic:

Gay not so 'good' for candidates?

Let's look at the Republican-made mess that a new President will need to deal with:

• damage to civil rights from illegal wiretapping scandal
• damage to health from crumbling domestic infrastructure and related EPA mismanagement
• damage to national security and covert operations from Plame scandal
• damage to international reputation from the Iraq quagmire
• damage to international reputation from World Bank cronyism
• damage to international reputation from appointing Negroponte as a representative on our behalf in the UN and Iraq
• damage to non-conscripted military from avoidable losses in Iraq
• damage to public education from NCLB
• damage to children from abstinence education funding
• damage to civic rights from religious funding
• damage to the economy from a $1.5T war
• damage to the economy and industrial production from the Hurricane Katrina scandal
• damage to the environment from weakened laws
• etc. etc. etc.

If a candidate loses because of supporting gay marriage, given all of the issues above, then:

1. Gay folk certainly aren't to blame for the loss
2. That candidate and his or her party deserved to lose
3. The new President should get to fold up the Constitution into a paper airplane and fly it into the Potomac at the oath ceremony
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:57 AM on August 9, 2007 [12 favorites]


America is a democracy where the majority of voters aren't qualified to do so.
posted by rhymer at 3:22 AM on August 9, 2007


I don't think it's at all constructive to say that gays are 'at fault' or 'to blame' for any past or future losses. We should be careful how we formulate this. It should be clear that unless you're one of the homophobes, this is purely a tactical question, not a moral one.
posted by creasy boy at 3:31 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


As a gay politico, I have to say that my first reaction was that the debate was not at all a good idea. Then I found out that apparently there was one last year (equally well attended), and that this one was only going to be broadcast on LOGO, so I'm less worried.

But yes, I agree in principal that it may not be the best idea.
posted by awesomebrad at 4:29 AM on August 9, 2007


There are only two ways to get something done in American government when public opinion is against it.

If you can make a constitutional claim, take it to the Supreme Court. However, that's a long shot even with a supportive bench, and this one ain't.

Outside of that, you have to play the game. Legislators who personally agree with your cause invariably care more about keeping their jobs, and who can blame them? The system is stacked against the honest, progressive politician to the point where many people would call the very term an oxymoron.

So if you're affiliating yourself with a party against its political interests, you're screwing your chances with the closest you have to "friends in high places." You lose the close elections to the people who hate you, and you lose even the meager public support of the allies who remain.

It's not your "fault" when they lose, it's the result of a crappy system. But what the hell difference does that make? Their loss is still your loss, you might have prevented it but you didn't, and you're naïve if you think your "friends" aren't going to take a lesson from the experience.

Feel free to keep the idealism, but don't realistically expect the world to do you any favors that way until 51% of voters agree with you.
posted by Riki tiki at 4:30 AM on August 9, 2007


People like me don't need convincing, it's the sexual conservatives that need it.

And those black people- if they'd just stop hanging out in the streets, get jobs, and become productive members of society, they'd be accepted enough that it wouldn't matter what the bigots say! And if the Jews would stop trying to control the banking system, why, nobody would have a problem with them! Heck, if [minority group] would just stop [stereotype of minority group], [majority group] wouldn't hate them so much!!

I find that there's an easy way to figure out whether or not someone's homophobic. Replace every instance of "gay" or "homosexual" with "black". If this modified statement is screamingly offensive, then, well... it was before you modified it, too.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:34 AM on August 9, 2007 [8 favorites]


Ed Rendell, the governor of Pennsylvania, is a very outspoken supporter of gay rights and the voters have voted him into office twice in landslides. And everyone knows that we booted the gay hating Santorum out last year. So people here may say that they'd vote against a candidate who supports gay rights but they don't always follow that up with actual votes.
posted by octothorpe at 4:37 AM on August 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Thanks orthogonality. Good post.
posted by peacay at 5:26 AM on August 9, 2007


Right now, the democratic party has such favor (or shall we call it Political Capital?) with the population of the US that they can afford to embrace Hillary Clinton. I don't see how supporting the gays is really much worse.
posted by smackwich at 5:34 AM on August 9, 2007


Feh. The article about the poll didn't print enough information about it to make it possible to decide whether it meant anything or not. Newspaper reporting about polls and statistics pretty much sucks it.

Also, this post fits a little too neatly into the self-fulfilling "whatever happens is bad for Dems, good for Repubs" genre, whether it was intended to or not.

Good poster, bad post.
posted by facetious at 5:40 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, orthogonality, all that whining and crying about wanting to be able to get married, and to be able to make medical and legal decisions for their partners, dang. Those darned gay activists need to quit talking so dirty and focus on...

Jeez. If we give gays and lesbians equal rights, everybody'll want them.
posted by headspace at 5:44 AM on August 9, 2007 [6 favorites]


Gnostic Novelist -

The perspective you raise is actually a popular one in the gay community. I've seen your argument articulated in much the same way in many letters to the editors of local gay newspapers, and your stance is essentially the stance of mainstream gay rights groups such as HRC. But there's a problem with your idea that you might not be thinking about.

Gay is about sex. To say that we should tone down our sexuality (and again, this argument is often made by gay people as well) is to suggest removing the biggest, most consistent thread in gay subculture. Throughout times of intense repression, we queers have been brought together by pickup-bars, bathhouses, provocative drag shows, and public restrooms. Sex is what pushed us to find each other, even when we were terrified to be found. Mainstream gay activists like the Democratic campaign donors discussed in this FPP certainly want to be seen as being just like the Joneses, but the history of gay culture tells us that, as a group, we are NOT just like the Joneses.

People are scared of queers exactly because we have sex, and how we have sex. My sex and sexuality is exactly the part of me that is understood to be outside the norm. As a society, we somehow balance an obsession with, and a terror of sexuality that permeates all public discourse about intimate relationships and about the human body. But its not just that. As a dyke, I can tell you that my orientation is a sexual one. I like to have sex with women and that is what makes me gay. Sure, the oppression I experience has little to do with my sexual behavior (although sodomy laws were only struck down by the Supreme Court in 2003, and the law does still impact sex), but the source of my oppression has everything to do with my sexuality.

What this debate essentially comes down to is about assimilation. Do we as queers try to fit into our mainstream cultural model in order to gain acceptance, or do we maintain unique and distinct cultures that don't fit into the mainstream values of religion, the nuclear family, and the worship of capital? Sure, some gay folks feel completely ready to buy a house in the suburbs and embrace monogamous marriage. But there are huge numbers of us who come from a queer tradition that does not embrace those models, and that specifically center around sex and sexuality – a sexuality that is dirty, that is public, and that is flamboyant.
posted by serazin at 5:53 AM on August 9, 2007 [10 favorites]


And this is why America sucks. Gays should be fucking gays. Seriously. It must suck to have to vote for one of two parties who both dislike you in their own way.
posted by chunking express at 5:55 AM on August 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


Look, the themes of the civil rights and gay rights movements are the same. But the approaches are very different. Civil rights leaders of the 1960s and earlier demanded integration into society--they asserted blacks were the same as whites and during parades and public appearances didn't play up to white stereotypes of black people. Participants were church members and considered "respectable" members of society. It hurts, but if marchers had been in overalls and fros instead of suits, church clothing, and the stuff any white American at the time would see other white people wearing you can bet America would have cared quite a bit less about the pictures of protesters getting shot with a fire hose or brutalized by police.

Look, I love Gay Pride parades, they are great and a joy to watch, but when the ostensible face of gay pride is groups of half-naked men running around in rainbow banana hammocks and topless, butch women on bikes you are not doing nothing to help convince social conservatives gay people are just like everything else and this is not a movement devoted to hedonism and sexual pleasure. You call it being free and being yourself--that's what I call it, too. But that's not how they see it and we are at a serious psychological disconnect if you can't see why. If you want to appeal to social conservatives, instead of showing them the crazy, fun, exciting face of gay pride, show them the other side--the gay families with their kids, gay couples young and old taking a stroll down the street, the gay lawyers and doctors and janitors and firemen, gays dressed in their everyday workwear showing that they are people, not extreme caricatures providing fodder for any ultra-conservative minister with half a brain to point out and scream about the sins of the homosexuals.

Is this right? No. In a perfect world that stuff wouldn't matter. It wouldn't matter if a black guy went to a job interview at a law office with gold fronts, cornrows, and hip-hop clothing instead of a suit, it wouldn't matter if someone from deepest Arkansas showed up to his New York City investment banking job in overalls and playing up his Southern drawl, and a woman could walk past a construction site in fishnets and a miniskirt and not expect to get harassed. But you know what? We live in a world where appearances matter, and screaming shrilly that they don't and shouldn't and acting accordingly does not change anything.

At some point, you have to decide if you want to win the battle or the war. This is a losing battle. It is not a losing war.
posted by schroedinger at 6:05 AM on August 9, 2007 [17 favorites]


And PS to folks who think that the only way to make change is through the Supreme Court -

The Court doesn't make their decisions in a vacuum. And the Court is not the only force for change. Historically, grassroots movements and direct action are what pushes law makers to take action.
posted by serazin at 6:05 AM on August 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Serazin, the debate between assimilation and expressing one's own unique culture has been the debate of all minority groups for All. Fucking. Time. And ya know what--it was when groups publicly assimilated, if even only temporarily, that they got rights.
posted by schroedinger at 6:11 AM on August 9, 2007


schroedinger -

To put my point as concisely as possible: If I have to change who I am to obtain 'rights', then I am losing as much as I gain in the process. What's the point in protecting yourself if there is no 'self' anymore?

And the American Civil Rights movement contained many of the same questions and pressures actually. Just ask Kwame Ture.
posted by serazin at 6:11 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


And I am saying there is a big difference between giving up your soul and encouraging members of gay pride parades to not march down the street topless.
posted by schroedinger at 6:13 AM on August 9, 2007


I am queer/lesbian. I am also a pragmatist. If we decide we're going to have our own separate gay culture and gay communities and it's all going to be about SEXSEXSEXSEXSEX, then please resign yourself to never gaining rights from mainstream culture. If we want mainstream culture to accept us, we're going to have to accept them.
posted by schroedinger at 6:15 AM on August 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Do we as queers try to fit into our mainstream cultural model in order to gain acceptance, or do we maintain unique and distinct cultures that don't fit into the mainstream values of religion, the nuclear family, and the worship of capital?

that is the choice and in our society, you're not going to be able to pick both ... a lot of people in a lot of differing situations, not just gays, are faced with that choice ... it's probably the oddest thing about american society - that our government and institutions are founded on freedom but our culture demands a certain degree of conformity

if you want to win the political battle, mainstream is probably the best way to go ... if you want to win the cultural battle, then uniqueness will probably work, but it may take decades more, as cultural change seems to lag behind changes in laws
posted by pyramid termite at 6:24 AM on August 9, 2007


If we decide we're going to have our own separate gay culture and gay communities and it's all going to be about SEXSEXSEXSEXSEX, then please resign yourself to never gaining rights from mainstream culture.

It's not about having a separate culture of SEXSEXSEXSEXSEX. It's about refusing to pretend that you don't have sex at all in order to appease the mainstream. serazin's not arguing that gay culture be a neverending stream of orgies, he's saying that pretending that homosexuals don't have sex in order to appease the mainstream is fundamentally dishonest. You can rant on all you want about how dammit, people suck, and they're not going to change, but that's precisely how one ensures that people will never change- by never doing anything to require or encourage them to do so.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:25 AM on August 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


OK schroedinger - you just ID'd as queer. When I was in Queer Nation in the 90s, less than 20 years ago, NO mainstream gay advocate would call herself queer. Queer was specifically and intentionally reclaimed by radical anti-assimilationist-pro-sex activists who were explicitly trying to say that we are not just like everyone else and we are in fact very, very different and very, very queer. You call yourself 'queer' now because activists forced their perspective into, if not the mainstream, at least into progressive circles of the mainstream rather than just accepting the mainstream idea of what they should be.

Gay Pride is our march. It's not a zoo, and we're not performing monkeys. We get to be ourselves, and only by being ourselves can we make a society where all people are allowed, all people are accepted.
posted by serazin at 6:26 AM on August 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


It's about refusing to pretend that you don't have sex at all in order to appease the mainstream.

And I honestly don't think if you show gay couples in blue jeans and t-shirts anybody's assuming they're not doin' like rabbits when they get home.

We get to be ourselves, and only by being ourselves can we make a society where all people are allowed, all people are accepted.

You suffer from crippling naivete and an overdeveloped sense of self-righteousness. This is like talking with a teenager who demands they wear their goth club wear to job interviews. Look--the vast majority of Americans don't care what people do in their private time. The boss likes pegging? It's cool! Secretary has a leather daddy? Whatever, man. The issue comes when you take those private activities and throw them in everyone else's faces. It wouldn't be cool for a heterosexual BDSM pair to walk around in public in their leather wear, so why the hell should gays demand that we can and by not doing so we're oppressing our "culture"?

You say gay culture is about sex. Mine isn't. I don't give a shit if I can parade my sex life in front of the world--and you know what, I don't particularly want to. But I do want to be able to walk down the street with a girlfriend holding her hand, and kiss her on a park bench, and get married if I want to. And my argument is that's no more parading my sex life in front of the world than a dude and a girl doing the same thing. But doing it topless? Yeah, that's a little different.
posted by schroedinger at 6:36 AM on August 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


You say gay culture is about sex. Mine isn't.

What's your gay culture about, then?
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:39 AM on August 9, 2007


Also--that's interesting about the derivation of the word "queer". I picked it because I'm dating a guy right now whereas previously I've only been interested in women, but feel bisexual is kind of extreme for the choice.

However, you point out it took 15-20 years for it to be forced into mainstream. Now, do you want to wait another 15-20 years for gay marriage to be accepted so you can keep everything as it is now in gay culture exactly the same, or would you rather get it sooner? pyramid termite speaks the truth.
posted by schroedinger at 6:39 AM on August 9, 2007


I don't think it really ends up changing things much at the polls. OMG TEY GAYZ was one of the biggest Republican boogeymen during the recent mid-term elections, and it doesn't seem to have done them a whole lot of good. It'd probably couterbalance, at worst. The number of people that are hard core enough to vote against a candidate strictly due to support of gay rights is probably not too dissimilar from the number of gays who would vote for the same candidate. Both sides can play the get-out-the-vote single-issue politics.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:41 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


If you want to appeal to social conservatives, instead of showing them the crazy, fun, exciting face of gay pride, show them the other side--the gay families with their kids, gay couples young and old taking a stroll down the street, the gay lawyers and doctors and janitors and firemen, gays dressed in their everyday workwear showing that they are people, not extreme caricatures providing fodder for any ultra-conservative minister with half a brain to point out and scream about the sins of the homosexuals.

I very often find myself thinking the same thing and agreeing with you, schroedinger, but Gay pride marches aren't the same thing as the civil rights marches. Their point isn't to demand America be comfortable with them. Their point is to let gay people feel comfortable with themselves.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:43 AM on August 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


What's your gay culture about, then?

So it was stupid of me to say I have a "gay culture"--I would say more that I don't identify at all with your post that says being gay is entirely about sex. I've identified homosexuality/heterosexuality with being about who you love, with sex being an expression of that love. If it was just about sex, than every college girl who's ever had a drunken makeout session to draw the dudes over or every boy who's ever experimented in the locker room is automatically bisexual.
posted by schroedinger at 6:43 AM on August 9, 2007


Their point isn't to demand America be comfortable with them. Their point is to let gay people feel comfortable with themselves.

I'm not clear on why schoedinger and others feel that these are mutually exclusive.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:44 AM on August 9, 2007


Might it be that we're making too much of this story?

1) It's in the Politico, which despite being brand new is already a disreputable right-wing rag that's had to retract several major stories. Consider the source.

2) The poll actually says that large majorities either see the support of gay rights orgs as a plus or don't care either way. About a third is negative, which is more or less what we already thought.

3) Polls aren't the most reliable measures of public opinion on questions such as these--slight differences in wording can produce dramatic effects. The same sample might voice majority support for ENDA and civil unions.

Gays are going to remain toxic in some quarters for a long time to come, but the Politico is spinning this data for its own purposes. The real story is that Democrats are playing to one of the most loyal parts of their base while not alienating many voters they were likely to get in the first place. Yawn.
posted by Epenthesis at 6:47 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


What's your gay culture about, then?


I don't understand why people question why gays and lesbians want to talk about gay and lesbian issues.

I went to a meeting at my college on national coming out day, and one of the attendees asked, "Why is it that gay people always want to talk about SEX? Why is everything always about BEING GAY?"

My favorite answer to this question went: "We don't want to talk about being gay. We want to talk about being ourselves. Think about it. Think about having to decide if you should hold your partner's hand in front of someone. Think about deciding, every time you have a conversation, if dropping the name of your partner is going to make someone feel uncomfortable. Think about having to pretend you are something you aren't because people will assume that all you want to talk about is sex. All we want to talk about is our lives.""
posted by nuclear_soup at 6:48 AM on August 9, 2007 [6 favorites]


I really need to be previewing before posting. Sorry about this.

XQUZYPHYR, that is a very good point. I guess I'd argue in return gay pride marches often end up being the public face of the gay rights movement to many, even if they're not supposed to be and we should keep that in mind. Pope Guilty, they shouldn't be mutually exclusive, but they are. My dad doesn't give a whit about homosexuality. But he'd be very uncomfortable at most gay pride parades--not because he hates gay people, but because gay pride parades throw the bedroom aspect in your face in a way two men walking down the street holding hands do not. If it was a heterosexual pride parade and people were behaving the same way he'd be uncomfortable. If you're arguing an integral part of gay rights is being able to wear a banana hammock all-day, all-the-time, well, you just made him a lot more uncomfortable with gay rights.

Dang, I can't believe I'm coming off like a conservative here.
posted by schroedinger at 6:49 AM on August 9, 2007


This is going to cost them the election, guaranteed. I'd rather see them distance themselves from gays and cater to everyone, not some special interests.

I plan to not vote in the next election. The country is spiraling out of control and nothing anyone can do can fix it, so it's futile to even try.
posted by mike3k at 6:50 AM on August 9, 2007


schroedinger, I'm uncomfortable at gay rights parades. So much so that I became ex-gay and I've turned against gay rights.
posted by mike3k at 6:53 AM on August 9, 2007


I didn't realize we reached a point where homosexual rights = MUST WEAR BANANA HAMMOCK, and one could not have one without the other. OK then!
posted by schroedinger at 6:55 AM on August 9, 2007


Feh. The article about the poll didn't print enough information about it to make it possible to decide whether it meant anything or not. Newspaper reporting about polls and statistics pretty much sucks it.

Actually, the article was written with a byline from the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which makes it much more difficult to shrug off the flaws of the article as due to a beat reporter's cluelessness about social science. (It's possible that some nuances got lost while the article was being edited and chopped up for Politico's space requirements, but that's another issue.)

However, when I looked at Quinnipiac's more extended press release, it appears that gay angle was somewhat overplayed. Quinnipiac asked questions about multiple interest groups. In most cases, support that associated a candidate with any interest group was a net minus, regardless of whether the group was associated with the Left or Right. Support from a gay rights group was a net minus, but so was an endorsement from a business group, an abortion rights group, or a gun rights group. If Democrats get attacked for being endorsed by a gay rights group, all they have to do is "grow a pair" and highlight the many endorsements from business groups that their Republican opponent will undoubtedly have.
posted by jonp72 at 7:00 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Furthermore, please note that when I say "banana hammock" or "topless", I am literally talking about wearing nothing but a banana hammock and going topless. These are not metaphors for "Going to to dinner with my same-sex partner", "Having children with my same-sex partner", "Walking down the street holding hands with my same-sex partner", or any of the other not-overtly-sexual things that couples, gay or straight, do in public.

America has a problem with public displays of sex, heterosexual or homosexual. Some Americans have problems with the idea of gay people, mostly because they've equated making homosexuality OK with making public displays of homosexual sex OK. Like, actual sex and overtly sexual behavior. All I'm saying is that if we can disassociate those two things we've gone a long way.
posted by schroedinger at 7:00 AM on August 9, 2007


For what it's worth, schroedinger, I'm 100% behind you here. If you're coming across as conservative, it's only because people are creating a false dichotomy between the status quo and a banana hammocracy.

Just because they can't separate personal sexual behavior from wild public flaunting thereof doesn't mean that there isn't a difference.
posted by Riki tiki at 7:01 AM on August 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


America has a problem with public displays of sex, heterosexual or homosexul

Tell that to...everything on TV.


Seriously, I understand and, to some degree, even agree with what you are trying to say. I think the real problem has more to do not with holding some wild parae but the unwillingness of extreme social conservatives to realize that a parade is not a representation of an entire group of people.
posted by nuclear_soup at 7:07 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


when the ostensible face of gay pride is groups of half-naked men running around in rainbow banana hammocks and topless, butch women on bikes you are not doing nothing to help convince social conservatives gay people are just like everything else and this is not a movement devoted to hedonism and sexual pleasure.

Also, that rape victim shouldn't have worn that slutty dress, she was completely asking for it.

Gay pride parades have been fixtures in many major cities for years now, and every year they become more accepted as part of the mainstream. Most of the people I know in Toronto who go to Pride aren't even gay—which, of course, brings up the occasional discussion of whether Pride has been watered down to cater to corporate sponsorship and the mainstream public at the expense of the queer community.

And despite the discussion about whether Pride is too mainstream, men still run around half naked, there's still plenty of butch women on bikes, and no one here seems to think that's the least bit threatening. Perhaps Pride has shifted to become less confrontational and less outrageous—but it's undeniable that society has also become more willing to embrace gay culture in all its forms, including the overtly sexual elements.

Besides which, I think there's something wrong when you're always trying to justify yourself to your worst critics just because you want everyone to love you. The queer movement doesn't have to win over every social conservative, just like the civil rights movement didn't have to win over every white supremacist. You just have to get to the point where enough of society agrees with you and stops listening to the people preaching hate over tolerance.
posted by chrominance at 7:19 AM on August 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


Who cares about the Mattachine Society? I wanna know which of the political parties is prepared to get into the sling with the Eulenspiegel Society?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:19 AM on August 9, 2007


schroedinger,

I understand where you're coming from, but I think you're missing some information about the history of social movements and social change (which, sadly, does take many years to achieve). Just for the record your idea that if civil rights marchers had been in overalls and fros instead of suits... they wouldn't have made changes, doesn't make sense when you look at the broad and evolving tactics of that movement. The Civil Rights movement attempted to gain mainstream acceptance, AND emphisized African-American cultural values. And it became increasingly militant over time. Just to specifically answer your examples:

Overalls and afros: From the March on Washington, Robert Moses, Jesse Jackson.

Still, there's always been this tension between fitting in and pushing the society as whole to grow. Perhaps I am naive, but I don't believe we can have a truly just society until we, as a society, can truly accept the diverse range of human experience. I konw that your dad doesn't want to see dudes fucking each other in the street, but all of our dads, and all of us, must find a way to accept difference, or we aren't really creating a just society. This applies to queers and it applies to ethnic diversity too.
posted by serazin at 7:19 AM on August 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


I don't understand why people question why gays and lesbians want to talk about gay and lesbian issues.

I'm not questioning that at all. You appear, to me, to be suggesting that glbt-types need to do what they can to help mainstream America be able to quietly ignore the fact that GLBT types engage in sex. The Civil Rights era didn't win the victories it won by quietly conforming to the demands of mainstream America. It demanded that mainstream America acknowledge and accept the rights in question.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:20 AM on August 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


America has a problem with public displays of sex, heterosexual or homosexual.

Incorrect. America has a problem with admitting to the existence of sex, heterosexual or homosexual. We're the most sexually repressed culture in the developed world, and the reason our culture shuns homosexuality is because it's inherently defined by the image of who a person is having sex with. When you hear "fireman," you imagine a dude riding around in a fire truck, maybe a dalmatian or something. When you hear "librarian," you get the image of some woman with glasses and bunned-up hair. When you hear "gay," you get the image of two dudes having sex with each other. The stereotype associated with homosexuality is one of sexuality, and because we live in a culture that tries to imagine sex doesn't actually exist, it causes a massive conflict. Jesus, folks- it took fifty years of television to put two people who already had children in the same bed together.

Even the casual glance at the most popular music, movies, and TV shows in this country prove America has no problem with a public display of sex. It has a problem with anything that conclusively indicates Americans are actually having it. That's why the embarrassing extent of gays in popular media are relegated to Puck-like stereotypes of the flamboyant best friend.

We love sex. We love to see it, we love to have it, we love to hear that others are having it, and we honestly, deep down, don't care who's doing it with who as long as everyone involved is happy with doing it. But we go apeshit when someone points to us and says "so tell me about your sex life."

America, essentially, doesn't want to admit it masturbates.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:29 AM on August 9, 2007 [7 favorites]


Serazin, we will have to agree to disagree. You're arguing that in order to create a just society we must accept people having sex on park benches as part of the "diverse range of human experience." I argue that we can have a just society even if people are asked to restrain the act of sex to private arenas. We simply have a different idea of what constitutes a "just society".
posted by schroedinger at 7:30 AM on August 9, 2007


America has a problem with public displays of sex, heterosexual or homosexual.

Hah! Right. So, tell me why, then, every major Hollywood movie has at least one fairly explicit heterosexual sex scene, every teen drama on television the same, while every time two men or two women do it anywhere near a camera, it's a major media controversy?
posted by Subcommandante Cheese at 7:50 AM on August 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


What's on TV and in movies isn't "public." It's part of our culture, and no one's going to pretend it's bias-free, but it's a very different animal from seeing something on the news or on the street. You can have objections to sexual displays in one without similarly objecting to the other.
posted by Riki tiki at 7:59 AM on August 9, 2007


I plan to not vote in the next election. The country is spiraling out of control and nothing anyone can do can fix it, so it's futile to even try.

You, sir, are what's right with America.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 8:17 AM on August 9, 2007


Do we as queers try to fit into our mainstream cultural model in order to gain acceptance, or do we maintain unique and distinct cultures that don't fit into the mainstream values of religion, the nuclear family, and the worship of capital?

Your ideology is showing.

The Civil Rights movement attempted to gain mainstream acceptance, AND emphisized African-American cultural values. And it became increasingly militant over time.

There's no acknowledgment here that at different times in this movement it had different degrees of success.
posted by fugitivefromchaingang at 8:18 AM on August 9, 2007


You appear, to me, to be suggesting that glbt-types need to do what they can to help mainstream America be able to quietly ignore the fact that GLBT types engage in sex

I'm not sure why it appears that way to you.

The Civil Rights era didn't win the victories it won by quietly conforming to the demands of mainstream America. It demanded that mainstream America acknowledge and accept the rights in question.

True, and I agree.

What I was trying to highlight was that I don't understand why many people boil everything down to sex. They see a lesbian talking about her partner, they see two gay men holding hands in public and they think "God, why do they always have to bring up their FREAKY GAY SEX?". But the lives of gay and lesbian people aren't about sex. Obviously that's a part of their lives, but there are other parts, too. But people ignore that someone might want to feel normal living their day to day lives and view their actions, instead of normal, as a cry of HEY LOOK AT ME. I LIKE HAVING PERVY SEX. I don't think mainstream america should ignore that glbt people have sex, but I think that people should get over their weird assumption that sex is all that glbt people do.
posted by nuclear_soup at 8:26 AM on August 9, 2007


Andrew Sullivan has written about this debate in the past. I don't like it for the same reasons he doesn't: it's being moderated mostly by unserious non-journalists, and it's being shown only on a little-known gay cable channel. Why not try better to deal with gay issues in the context of the main debates? This is just going to be a pander-fest.
posted by fugitivefromchaingang at 8:27 AM on August 9, 2007


schroedinger, I'm with you too.
posted by arcticwoman at 8:28 AM on August 9, 2007


Your ideology is showing.

Oh god, no, not an ideology! We can't trust those people who believe in things! Next thing you know, they'll have internally consistent structures of values and analysis that enable them to interpret raw sensory data in useful ways!
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:29 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm a little meh on the whole gay rights thing, but can you tell me more about this wearing nothing but a banana hammock platform please?

Also I am offended that none of the candidates for president have mustaches.
posted by ND¢ at 8:29 AM on August 9, 2007


Why not try better to deal with gay issues in the context of the main debates?

It's the new, hot Jim Crow. Separate but equal debates.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:30 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


The failure of civil rights activists to stop focusing on equal protection has done nothing but reaffirm ultra-conservative views?

And those black people- if they'd just stop hanging out in the streets, get jobs, and become productive members of society, they'd be accepted enough that it wouldn't matter what the bigots say!

The thing is, Gnostic Novelist would probably agree with those sentiments. He's said in the past that he disapproved of the civil rights movement, and that blacks in the 1950s and 60's who felt "oppressed" had only themselves to blame.

In other words, he's a preposterous troll, or very at least a very silly fellow.
posted by delmoi at 8:31 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


More and more.
posted by fugitivefromchaingang at 8:31 AM on August 9, 2007


If you want to appeal to social conservatives, instead of showing them the crazy, fun, exciting face of gay pride, show them the other side...

The last thing on my to-do list is to appeal to social conservatives, any more than a black person would want to appeal to the klan. Why would I spend any effort trying to appease someone else in order to get on my knees and ask for rights that are already due me? The best strategy at this point is to just wait for the old bastards to die off, and perhaps to gently push them toward the light a little bit faster.
posted by troybob at 8:31 AM on August 9, 2007


They see a lesbian talking about her partner, they see two gay men holding hands in public and they think "God, why do they always have to bring up their FREAKY GAY SEX?". But the lives of gay and lesbian people aren't about sex.

And this is the problem- even those little bits of affection are reminders to homophobic retards that OMG BUTTSECKS. Until we come to a point where OMG BUTTSECKS doesn't freak people out (or the number of people who are freaked out by it are a cranky minority), the "don't remind people of OMG BUTTSECKS" tactic is going to be a ludicrous, ridiculous failure, because any sign that you are not heterosexual is, to the freaked-out retards, a reminder of OMG BUTTSECKS.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:32 AM on August 9, 2007


delmoi, Gnostic Novelist claims to be black.

I suspect him of being Alan Keyes.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:33 AM on August 9, 2007


And this is the problem- even those little bits of affection are reminders to homophobic retards that OMG BUTTSECKS. Until we come to a point where OMG BUTTSECKS doesn't freak people out (or the number of people who are freaked out by it are a cranky minority), the "don't remind people of OMG BUTTSECKS" tactic is going to be a ludicrous, ridiculous failure, because any sign that you are not heterosexual is, to the freaked-out retards, a reminder of OMG BUTTSECKS.

I completely agree with you. I wasn't trying to suggest that people should try not to remind people of it, I was saying that I think it is ridiculous that people ARE. I guess I wasn't being clear.
posted by nuclear_soup at 8:36 AM on August 9, 2007


We simply have a different idea of what constitutes a "just society".

Randy Shilts said that some people see the gay rights movement not as a movement to end discrimination under the law but "as a movement to allow every gay person the right to be a homosexual leftist."
posted by fugitivefromchaingang at 8:39 AM on August 9, 2007


I don't know what anyone else's "gay culture" is "about," but my gay culture is about, for one thing, having the right to visit my partner in the hospital if he's incapacitated. In California right now, there are no less than four initiatives on tap for the 2008 ballot that would deny me and all other gay Californians that right.

I don't watch Logo, I don't particularly like gay movies or books or other cultural artifacts, and I haven't been to a gay bar in years -- but that's what my gay culture is about. And it's inextricable from politics.

Those who think that the two are not intertwined are living in a fantasy world.

As for the matter of a gay issues debate -- I will probably watch part or all of it; I don't really particularly think it's going to be revelatory, because all of the candidates on stage (except the minor players like Kucinich) are going to tread carefully for all of the reasons pointed out in this thread; and the GOP candidates, though their avoidance of this debate is not necessarily irrational given the political climate, are missing the chance to put their views on the table, whatever those views may be. Because like it or not, the gayz do vote.
posted by blucevalo at 8:46 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


The solution here is obvious:
Quinnipiac University polls of voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania -- the big three Electoral College swing states -- found voters by large margins more likely to see the endorsement of a gay rights group as a reason to vote against, rather than for, a candidate.
Clearly, major gay-rights movements just need to endorse a Republican candidate.

(And don't tell anyone why. If they ask, just smile and raise your eyebrows knowingly. Chaos will ensue.)
posted by spiderwire at 9:07 AM on August 9, 2007 [6 favorites]


I don't know how long it's been since you've been to a Gay Pride parade, schroedinger, but if you feel like you're coming off as a conservative, it's because you're describing it through the eyes of a conservative.

Every parade I go to has its lunatic bird-of-paradise drag queens in zipper-thongs, but it also has endless groups of people from various churches, organizations, schools, and businesses with their own float or procession. Whole sections of the parade are even a little boring because I've watched so many packs of this or that group pass by. And then of course a big float with go-go boys throwing condoms to the crowd. But then some senior citizens' action league, and then the Lesbian Pacific Islanders support committee, and then a student group from Columbia, and then a marching band. You usually have to hang around for a while in order to see some skin.

So while sex and sexuality are a celebrated theme of the event, it's just one aspect of it. The problem is less with how gays portray themselves and more how the media chooses to focus on the event. The television networks show up with their cameras and film all day; the clip that makes it onto the national news just so happens to be the one with the glitter pasties, jockstraps, and latex. That's what makes for "good television". The media have figured out that people aren't interested unless it's sexy, even if the sexiness alienates or disgusts their viewers.

We clean up well. Gays have TONS of huge events, political rallies, vigils, and celebrations in which our sexuality is not showcased, but somehow they don't make it onto the news. And when they do, they don't stand out in the public memory quite like the image of a Brazilian drag queen on stilts. So it seems to me that the problem is not with how gays present themselves to society, but how society is willing to see us.
posted by hermitosis at 9:08 AM on August 9, 2007 [8 favorites]


Yep, hermitosis! Growing up in Georgia, part of the fear of being gay had to do with how everyone reacted to those news stories that would pop on TV now and then, featuring the freakiest gay images possible; the other part of the fear was that if I were to accept being gay, that's what my life would look like.
posted by troybob at 9:17 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Very good point. You can't let the Fox News editing room dictate a culture's behavior. Every homosexual in the country can be encouraged to wear a blue suit with a red tie every day of every election cycle, and you will still see a shirtless fireman in leather chaps and rainbow suspenders dry humping someone dressed as the gimp from Pulp Fiction on the news under the headline "Gays institute new dress code." It is not the face of gay culture that is offensive to the majority of Americans. It is the face that certain people are choosing to show them precisely to make sure that they are offended.
posted by ND¢ at 9:25 AM on August 9, 2007


The first wave of gay rights was about the right to have sex with other consenting adults.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 1:30 AM on August 9 [+] [!]

No, it wasn't.

"The Mattachine Foundation was organized in Los Angeles in 1950 by Harry Hay and seven other gay men....In 1951, Mattachine adopted two major purposes: 1) It called for a grassroots effort to challenge anti-gay discrimination and 2) It called for building a positive homosexual community and culture."

They dressed up in suits and ties and picketed in front of the White House in the early 1960s. And you know what? Despite the fact that they were not wearing banana hammocks or feather boas, people still hated, despised, and wanted to kill them. Even though Mattachine members looked just like "everybody else." And they weren't advocating for the right to have sex on park benches; they were advocating for the right to be treated like citizens.

I kind of believe that I'm just like "everybody else" (i.e. straight people): I work, I pay taxes, I go grocery shopping, etc. Except I'm not like everybody else, because I'm a lesbian. It's not just a part of me; it's central to who I am; it informs how I see the world, and it certainly informs how the world sees me, since I have short hair and don't dress in typically female ways. This makes people uncomfortable sometimes - I get called "sir" a lot, and sometimes the person doing that notices that I'm not a "sir", and they apologize and get all flustered. Occasionally, they get angry - a friend and I were chased down the escalator at the Dupont Circle metro by a man who was furious that we, in his perception, looked like men (both my friend and I are...well endowed up top, and except for the short hair, really don't look like men, IMO); this was somehow a challenge to him, and his response was to try to catch us and beat us up.

So. They hate us if we look and dress and act like them. They hate us if we look and dress and act like ourselves. Tell me again why I should give a fuck what they think?

The most numerous and popular (judging by the applause from the parade-watchers) groups at San Francisco's pride parade appear to be PFLAG, various high school GSAs, churches, and community organizations. There were far, far more of these folks - mostly dressed in jeans and t-shirts - than there were of naked-or-nearly types, and most of the naked-or-nearly folks seemed to be on corporate floats (like Altoids).
posted by rtha at 9:41 AM on August 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


schroedinger-

I understand that we disagree. But if you think that I'm advocating that men should fuck each other on park benches at all times of day, you misunderstand me though. I'm being honest that you can't divorce queer issues from sexuality issues. They're intimately connected in the public mind, and they're intimately connected for many queers - even if not for you.

I'm also trying to explain my historical understanding of how movements happen, and what I do think is just - which is the right of people to express themselves and be themselves. My original comment was responding to Gnostic Novelist's idea that we should 'tone down' sexuality at public rallies. I'm saying, we should get to be ourselves in our own contexts. That we are not 'liberated' if we feel we must take on the values of the mainstream in order to find acceptance.

You've ignored the way that you yourself benefit from radical queer activists before you - you didn't even understand how it comes that you can call yourself 'queer'. Gay Pride parades came out of a riot which was started by drag queens. There was nothing mainstream about Stonewall, the gay bar where it happened, or the queens who threw shit at the cops when they busted in there for the millionth time. The very first gay pride parades were solidly rooted in counterculture.

For young gay folks to come in and express embarrassment about gay pride events is offensive to me because what I hear is a very harsh message to the queer, faggot, dyke, bull, pansy, perverts who started gay pride and who fought for young queers who now can hold hands with their girlfriends in relative safety. I won't pretend that there haven't always been asymilationist threads in gay rights movements - matachene, Bilitis, etc, but there have also always been threads that aren't pretty, or neat, or acceptable to people's dads. And part of why we have the rights we have now comes from the work of people outside of the mainstream.
posted by serazin at 9:49 AM on August 9, 2007 [8 favorites]


To the extent that gay culture is about sex, I think that straight people should show a bit more appreciation. I'm no sex theorist, but my impression is that gay culture threw a welcome liferaft to masculinity at a time when the wider culture was losing its appreciation for it. And say what you want about the dominant popular image of gay sex being a guy on a pink float wearing a thong, it's a whole lot better than where straight sex is going these days, which dominant imagery as far as I can make out is a blonde with fake tits being tortured in a dungeon.

And plus, were it not for gay men, the blowjob would be on the FBI's 10 most wanted list for as much as you straight guys would see one. You're welcome!
posted by troybob at 9:58 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


The NPR story on this forum last night on All Things Considered sounded like Fox news! First, it said that the candidates are only participating because they can "get something out of" showing support for gays. Or, (radical thought) they might be participating just because they believe its the right thing to do.

And this is very weird. The final line of the piece was something like "they hope voters will be thinking about the war, and not about sex." I thought it was outrageous, so I went back to listen to it on the web before I sent them a bitchy e-mail, and they had edited out the "not about sex" half of the line. I guess they realized after the fact that it was completely idiotic.
posted by tizzie at 9:59 AM on August 9, 2007


In other words, yes, hermitosis - "the problem is not with how gays present themselves to society, but how society is willing to see us."
posted by tizzie at 10:02 AM on August 9, 2007


serazin: I don't think that it is embarrassment over gay pride (myself, I appreciate every brand of what has paved the road before me), but as hermitosis points out, it's more the imbalance in how the culture is portrayed--leaning toward sex in a sideshow way, and away from the numerous other things that make us human.
posted by troybob at 10:03 AM on August 9, 2007


Since we can't help how we are portrayed, we may as well be as we are, or how we would like to be. Which is why I don't have a problem with the sexuality of parades and whatnot.

Repression of sexuality is not just a gay issue, but we're doing most of the fighting, because we don't have nearly as many other shelters of complacency. And count me among those who thinks the visible sexuality of gay culture has inspired heterosexuals to keep trying to redeem the notion of sex for the sake of pleasure, as an end in itself-- which is constantly (and may forever be) under attack.
posted by hermitosis at 10:12 AM on August 9, 2007


Let me first say, that I am not gay, queer, or homosexual. I don't play a homosexual on television, and some of my best friends don't just happen to be gay. So, I don't really care about your identity, your lifestyle or who is banana-hammocked and who is topless. I don't think I'm alone in my lack of caring. You probably don't care about some of the unique things that make me me and that's OK. In fact, I wager that's how you'd like it.

What I do care about it having someone decent win the next election. The articles seems to be saying that trying to appear "gay-friendly" has hurt the Dems. I would therefore like Democrats to stop appearing gay-friendly. I don't care if they actually are gay-friendly, just stop looking like it. I know politicians are capable of this sort of deception, I've seen it.

I realize that the post seems to have greater ramifications than that, but I don't care. I don't want Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuiliani to be my president.

Ideally, I don't want a section of my country to have to curtail their expressions of love or lifestyle or whatnot, but you know what, we all do it to a certain extent and I'm personally asking you to do just a little bit more until we can get some of our civil rights back. Then you can go right back to doing whatever you were doing, wearing whatever you want, where ever you want, secure in the knowledge that you have the freedom and privilege to do so.
posted by BeReasonable at 10:12 AM on August 9, 2007


Anti-eponysterical?
posted by hermitosis at 10:16 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


BeReasonable

What civil rights exactly are you hoping to get back? Queers have been voting democratic for a long time now because intuitively, it seems that Democratic candidates should support our civil rights. Yet, they consistantly follow your strategy of 'putting off' our civil rights in order for some 'larger' good.

It begs the questions - why on earth do queers keep voting for the don't-ask-don't-tell-masterminding, defense-of-marriage-act-signing Democrats?

This dichotomous thinking has been going on since forever. Just ask the white suffragettes who did support suffrage for African-Americans about their strategy of 'putting off' the 'Negro question' until women got the vote – and vise versa for the African-American suffrage advocates on the 'Woman Question'.
posted by serazin at 10:19 AM on August 9, 2007


I get the strategy, BeReasonable . It reminds me of how politicians in the South would court the racist vote in subtle ways (well into the 90s, at least; I don't know what it's like these days) after doing so overtly was viewed as trashy. It helped with electability, but the effect of prolonging racist sentiment wasn't worth it.
posted by troybob at 10:22 AM on August 9, 2007


Or, (radical thought) they might be participating just because they believe its the right thing to do.

Wait, is it stand-up comedy day on Metafilter?
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:57 AM on August 9, 2007


Troybob: If that's an argument against BeReasonable, then I don't think the logic of your analogy works out the way you think it does.

"Privately racist politician 'tones it down' for electability. Result: prolonging racist sentiment, helping racist causes."

...becomes:

"Privately gay-friendly politician 'tones it down' for electability.
Result: promoting gay-friendly causes, helping gay rights."

Which means that if you're right, then the same strategy applied by the forces of good, could have positive results.
posted by Riki tiki at 10:58 AM on August 9, 2007


BeReasonable: this is not one of the debates where the ends justify the means. When dealing with civil rights issues the means are intrinsically linked to the ends you get. Supressingly exactly those things that you are trying to fight to be allowed to do reduces the chance that you will ever get them. Candidates aren't running some under the radar stealth pro-gay rights campaign - they're busy "defending marriage" and other nonsense.
posted by patricio at 11:03 AM on August 9, 2007


troybob, I sort of hate to say it, but who says it wasn't worth it? Southern politician seem to stay in power for a good long time. I say we use the strategies of the enemy against the enemy.

serazin, I have no idea why anyone votes for the Democrats or the Republicans. I say vote for neither...next election.

I realize your point is sort of, yes, but there's always a next election and you've got to take a stand some time, but I think that's how the Green party and Ralph Nader got us into our current mess.

I would suggest you try to show your displeasure with the dominant party after Clinton or Obama's first term, or maybe vote out some governors and congresspeople. Just as effective, less hurtful to our freedoms.
posted by BeReasonable at 11:04 AM on August 9, 2007


I think that's how the Green party and Ralph Nader got us into our current mess.

I'm sure it had nothing to do with the Democrats consistently thumbing their noses at the left, running shitty campaigns, and nominating bland, centrist, pro-corporate candidates. I've said it before and I'll say it again: You are not fucking entitled to my vote.

Then again, everything else you've posted in this thread is a complete load of heterosexist privileged nonsense anyway. Go back to your cave, concern troll.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:21 AM on August 9, 2007


And plus, were it not for gay men, the blowjob would be on the FBI's 10 most wanted list for as much as you straight guys would see one.

$20, in the bathroom, now, G-man!

Actually, I'm sure that this isn't the case. Straight people owe our blow jobs more to the Joy of Sex and stuff of that ilk than we do to gay men. I'm old enough to recall the point at which straight blow jobs started appearing, and I'm fairly certain that the vast majority of the women giving them out had no contact with gay men or gay culture whatsoever.

They all read The Joy of Sex though.

On the other hand, perhaps you're floating the idea that just in case women decide that they're ever going to stop giving head, there's a legion of gay men out there who'd be only too happy to suck a straight guy's dick. If so, I like this proposition. You cant beat a little competition to keep the dominant suppliers honest.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:32 AM on August 9, 2007


On the other hand, perhaps you're floating the idea that just in case women decide that they're ever going to stop giving head, there's a legion of gay men out there who'd be only too happy to suck a straight guy's dick. If so, I like this proposition. You cant beat a little competition to keep the dominant suppliers honest.

Are you suggesting that gay men are the CostCo of blowjobs?
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:34 AM on August 9, 2007


Actually patricio if marriage didn't seem to need defending, Democrats wouldn't have to pretend like they cared. Politicians today do what's popular and I can moan about that or I can pick the least offensive of the bunch and back him or her.

Really Pope Guilty, Al Gore was a pro-corporate, centrist candidate? I mean, c'mon I'll give you bland, but the other two...

And as far as troll or heterosexist, where is your call that the others in this thread are homosexist? I don't see any call for homosexuals to be tolerant of a hetero's right not to be confronted with someone else's sexuality. I'm sure some of my neighbors are into some very interesting bedroom behaviors. I don't care, and as long as they don't invite me over for tea and spankings I wholeheartedly approve. When you start trying to make me approve of it, then I get a little angry. I like to think about people based on who they are, not on who they sleep with or how they do it.

Patricio's got my number better than you do.
posted by BeReasonable at 11:35 AM on August 9, 2007


you point out it took 15-20 years for it to be forced into mainstream

I think you'll find that the acceptance (and persecution) of homosexuals moves in an oscillating pattern throughout history. The advances we see today are likely to get to the point where the pendulum will swing back, if the past is any indicator.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:38 AM on August 9, 2007


Invoking the Green Party or the gays or anything else is just a really wishful, loopy game of "What if?". How many Republicans *almost* voted against Bush but at the last minute chickened out? How many people really planned to vote but for one reason or another got detained? If you are going to participate in this political system, then that is supposed to place the responsibility on the party and the government to provide candidates that effecively represent the people they intend to govern, not on everyday people to bargain their own votes and potential civil rights against nebulous unknowns. It's easy too look at numbers afterward and then point fingers; up until the votes are counted, our votes are our own to do with as optimistically or as negligently as we please.
posted by hermitosis at 11:38 AM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Are you suggesting that gay men are the CostCo of blowjobs?

They're more like a BJs Wholesale Club.

(I am so sorry)
posted by Riki tiki at 11:41 AM on August 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


I would suggest you try to show your displeasure with the dominant party after Clinton or Obama's first term, or maybe vote out some governors and congresspeople. Just as effective, less hurtful to our freedoms.

WTF? Are you kidding?

You seem to think that there's some realm out there called GayRightsLand, and that it has no relation to RightHereWhereYouLiveLand. That politicians who vote for Defense of Marriage acts don't really have to be your concern because DOMA doesn't affect you directly if you're of a heterosexually married persuasion. It sounds like you're saying - and this can't be right, can it? - that gay rights are "special" rights, and that we should all calm down until Bush is out of office and then we can quietly and politely ask for our rights.

This is a political strategy of monumental idiocy.

Bill Clinton brought (parts of) the gay and lesbian rights movement to the dance; when the music started, he dropped us like a hot rock and went to dance with the nice kids from Don't Ask, Don't Tell. He signed fucking DOMA into law.

Oh, we showed some displeasure all right. And what good did it do us?

If the Dems lose "because" of being gay friendly, don't lay that rotten corpse at my door. Hurl it through the window of the DNC et al., which has been too chickenshit for years and years and years to call Republican tactics what they are: racist, sexist, antigay, divisive. In case you hadn't noticed, the Dems have been pandering to the right for years; they have been shifting ever rightward in a misguided attempt to win more votes, and until November '06, when war-fatigued voters went to the polls, it's gotten us where, exactly?
posted by rtha at 11:44 AM on August 9, 2007


Well, I don't think the politicians using the subtle racist strategy were even necessarily racist themselves; many were probably doing just what they felt they needed to win. So I'm not speaking as much to their perspective, or what they might do. I'm thinking more of the perspective of the voter. When a politician running for office uses subtle racist cues that might be overlooked or dismissed as irrelevant by the general population, they are giving comfort to racist ideology in the sense that they are representing that such perspective is still viable and that there is someone out there who sympathizes. Similarly, I think a politician who supports gays and intentionally avoids the appearance of such (though avoiding the subject these days seems itself suspicious) might get elected because of it, but along the way will perpetuate the idea that it is not relevant (making those who do bring it up appear to support more an extreme agenda), and it winks an eye at the bigot, saying 'yeah, we've got you covered, bud.'
posted by troybob at 11:44 AM on August 9, 2007


Go back to your cave, concern troll.

Get bent. The "concern troll" slur is a transparently backhanded way of shit-talking someone just because they disagree on a point of strategy. It's a cowardly way of dismissing someone for not dumbing down their argument enough for you.

You can make your "not the Green Party's fault" argument as much as you like, but at least have the balls to admit that it's only an argument, and one that many people legitimately disagree with at that. I'd take a "concern troll" over a self-righteous prick any day of the week.
posted by spiderwire at 11:44 AM on August 9, 2007


Peter: Actually, I think it's three things: the competition factor, as you mentioned (which was the only one I considered at the time, really); the fact that many a straight guy has benefited from the lessons gay men give to straight women; and that women have strong role models for the fact that one can give blowjobs because doing so is enjoyable, rather than out of a sense of duty or having to be convinced. (My impression is that years ago women tended more to be of the attitude that they wouldn't do it, or they would if they had to; but gays have done a lot for the perception that it's a whole lotta fun!)
posted by troybob at 11:53 AM on August 9, 2007


troybob, those aren't similar at all. On the one hand (racism) you're saying the wink-wink association makes the cause relevant beyond its time, and on the other hand (gay rights) you're saying it makes the cause irrelevant. You're arguing opposite effects from the same behavior.
posted by Riki tiki at 11:57 AM on August 9, 2007


rtha take a breath, I won't be hurling any corpse anywhere. I fully believe that Dems are just as worthless as Republicans, but I believe that here and now, things are different. I really truly believe that in this instance, I, and other Americans, should vote for the Democratic choice because the other option this time is really, really, really bad.

Although, what about the other part of my suggestion? Why not organize on the local level? Vote out governors and such. Governors are important and are actually more responsive to the people.
posted by BeReasonable at 12:03 PM on August 9, 2007


The same effect (though mentioning the side effect of marginalizing the gay rights viewpoint muddied it a bit): in both cases the bigot feels validated because the system/candidate appears to cater to his prejudice as opposed to just trying to swipe his vote; thus he feels more correct in his prejudice (why else would the system appear to honor it?).
posted by troybob at 12:14 PM on August 9, 2007


You'll never push some people off supporting gay rights whatever you do. For instance, you won't lose me if the next gay pride parade is a spectacle to make Robert Mapplethorpe blush.

You'll never gain some people's support no matter what you do. Fred Phelps won't care if you dress like LDS missionaries and march singing spirituals, he'll hate anyway.

But there's a vast in-between. There are people who vote on their emotions, and whose emotions could fairly easily be tipped to support gay rights because of the fundamental horrible unfairness of keeping someone from their partner's deathbed, or ripping away a child from a loving caregiver. But some of those people can be tipped the other way because of their visceral reaction to banana hammocks or topless bikers or other things that would creep them out even if the people involved were straight.

It's really just a question of "What is the consequence of alienating those people (defeat? delay? no cost at all?) and how much of your soul do you have to sell to gain their support?"
posted by tyllwin at 12:16 PM on August 9, 2007


Pope Guilty writes "Are you suggesting that gay men are the CostCo of blowjobs?"

I do wish somebody would interest women in the idea of the Glory Hole. But you just know that whenever you poke your dick through a hole in the bathroom stall, the mouth on the other side is going to be that of a male, not a female.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:27 PM on August 9, 2007


You can make your "not the Green Party's fault" argument as much as you like, but at least have the balls to admit that it's only an argument, and one that many people legitimately disagree with at that.

And their disagreement is predicated upon the unspoken premise that the left owes their votes to the Democrats, that the Democrats are entitled to our votes. That's a big honking line of b.s., and until the Democrats understand that there are consequences to their constant rightward shift, they're never going to learn anything. The amount of blame-evasion that goes on in Democratic circles around the 2000 elections is pathetic.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:41 PM on August 9, 2007


I don't see that there's any need to choose between the out-there, in-your-face approach to achieving gay rights and the more subtle assimilationist approach. Both tactics are being used right now, and they're both effective. In fact, I believe they're at their best when working in tandem.

I don't set off the gaydar much myself, as I don't fit the stereotypes very well. I'm honest about who I am and who I love, and I'm as tactful and respectful when discussing my private life as I would be if I was straight. That means that people judge me as a person before they get to judge me as a gay person, which has led to a lot of my acquaintances and friends having to revise their opinion on gay people.

But without the aggressiveness of the out, proud and loud among us, people wouldn't even have an image of homosexuals at all. We'd be conflated with the shadowy lurkers preying on kids in public parks, we'd be monsters without faces suitable for scaring the public into frenzies, but not much more than that. That's where silence got us, that's what blending in achieved. When we became visible, when we at least had stereotypes in the public eye that could be talked about, we started to make progress.

Some of us are really just like you. Some of us are, fabulously, not. It's going to take both approaches to achieve equality.
posted by MrVisible at 12:55 PM on August 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail"
posted by kirkaracha at 1:25 PM on August 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


scodger: People shouldn't need to tone themselves down in order to gain freedom from bigots.

Yeah, shouldn't.
posted by spaltavian at 1:28 PM on August 9, 2007


Very good point, MrVisible. In a world where all the gays are indistinguishable from other fine upstanding citizens, we never would have gotten out of the "They walk among us! They hide in plain sight! They look just like YOU AND ME!!" era. Suspicion and witch hunts would be ever more pervasive.

Most gays go through different periods of visibility and self-acceptance as they come out and become reconciled to the effects of that decision. Pride (including its sexuality) is often a huge moment for most of these people, a genuine revelation of what is possible. People look forward to it all year, and it's not just because of the sexiness, which we can pretty much have whenever we want. It's about seeing what the streets of your city might look like if people didn't have to walk around wearing bland masks for their own safety. That kind of experience keeps people warm no matter who the president is, so don't expect anyone to change it in order to appeal to the demographics that make such events necessary in the first place.
posted by hermitosis at 1:32 PM on August 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty: ... until the Democrats understand that there are consequences to their constant rightward shift, they're never going to learn anything.

Yes, but when will the left learn there are consequences for punishing the Democrats for not supporting politically untenable positions? The presidency of George W. Bush, for example.
posted by spaltavian at 1:35 PM on August 9, 2007


rtha: In case you hadn't noticed, the Dems have been pandering to the right for years; they have been shifting ever rightward in a misguided attempt to win more votes, and until November '06, when war-fatigued voters went to the polls, it's gotten us where, exactly?

Right, they should go back to the liberals days of McGovern, Mondale and Dukakis, when the Democrats were winning votes and getting things done!
posted by spaltavian at 1:41 PM on August 9, 2007


Blogger "Joe. My. God" writes movingly on the subject of gay pride here.
posted by Space Kitty at 2:08 PM on August 9, 2007


Right, they should go back to the liberals days of McGovern, Mondale and Dukakis, when the Democrats were winning votes and getting things done!

Never said that, don't advocate that (in the sense you seem to mean, anyway). Please don't pretend that the DNC's "strategy" of the last ten years has been effective.

BeReasonable: with you on local changes: city & county governments, state assemblies, governers. These, however, cannot trump Federal power when it comes to pesky issues like war and civil liberties, and we would do well to acknowledge that.
posted by rtha at 2:36 PM on August 9, 2007


Blogger "Joe. My. God" writes movingly on the subject of gay pride here.

Because "corpo-droid homos" indicates that his gay pride is universal and tolerant, in stark contrast to the folks who hate being represented by drag queens.

And likening a political movement to Mardi Gras favorably is perfectly logical.

And saying "I'm not like these people, they don't represent me" is totally similar in any conceivable way to loading them on trains to concentration camps.

When he's not treating Godwin's law as a to-do list, has Joe.My.God ever considered that the "normal" gay folks might be doing as much or more for the cause than Dykes on Bikes?

While the image of the civil rights era is marches and protests, we shouldn't disregard all the black people who put on a shirt and tie, came in to work every day, and proved to the world that they could do "white" jobs just as well as white people.

Sometimes the important activism is the boring activism.
posted by Riki tiki at 2:58 PM on August 9, 2007


But you just know that whenever you poke your dick through a hole in the bathroom stall, the mouth on the other side is going to be that of a male, not a female.

Well, it's the men's bathroom, isn't it?

The "concern troll" slur is a transparently backhanded way of shit-talking someone just because they disagree on a point of strategy.

If your strategy is to tell me not to worry about my rights because they're less important than your concerns, I want nothing to do with your strategy.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:22 PM on August 9, 2007


But back to the question at the top of the page:
So is the Democratic Party's apparent embrace of gays, as evidenced by tonight's "gay debate," a good idea? Or would greater distance between gays and the Democratic Party help both groups achieve their goals?

The fact remains that GLBT organizations and voters have been some of the Democrats' most reliable and lucrative supporters in recent decades. More so than some labor unions, for example, which have endorsed Republican candidates. More so than some other traditionally-Democratic-leaning groups.

At this point, the Democratic candidates cannot not attend the GLBT debate (though a couple won't), anymore than they could skip an NAACP forum. For this gay man, politically active and voting over a quarter century, this is progress.
posted by Robert Angelo at 3:49 PM on August 9, 2007


If your strategy is to tell me not to worry about my rights because they're less important than your concerns, I want nothing to do with your strategy.

See, that's exactly what I'm talking about.

My "strategy" is to try to head-fake the right into losing the culture war by overplaying their hand on gay rights. I think that's defensible as a means, but that's not the point. It might well be wrong or suboptimal or whatever, but the ultimate goal is still the same as yours.

But disagreeing reasonably is far different from calling someone a "concern troll" or imputing tacit discrimination to them, as you're doing. I'm not really in the mood to have anyone visiting my intentions, and I don't think anyone in this thread has acted disingenuously.

In fact, I think the position is nonsensical -- so-called "concern trolls" poisoning the well are rare at best, and to the extent they do exist, it's in advocacy groups, not forum discussions. There'd be no point. Most people who are anti-gay-rights just talk behind their backs -- they dont bring their opinions into the public eye where they might be pressed on the issue and have to admit their bigotry and intellectual dishonesty. That makes so little sense that it's demeaning to have to listen to the sorts of accusations that Pope Guilty's making.

Your skepticism is welcome, and more than understandable given that you're shouldering most of the burden of any delay, and get lied to by politicians all the time. That said, you're taking out your frustration at the people who share your goals simply because they're conveniently available and willing to actually talk strategy. If I didn't sympathize with your aims, I wouldn't be here talking about it. You doth protest too much.
posted by spiderwire at 4:26 PM on August 9, 2007


the ultimate goal is still the same as yours.

Ultimately, we will all be dead. Our short-term goals obviously differ.

But disagreeing reasonably is far different from calling someone a "concern troll" or imputing tacit discrimination to them, as you're doing. I'm not really in the mood to have anyone visiting my intentions, and I don't think anyone in this thread has acted disingenuously.

All I said was that I want nothing to do with your strategy. I don't care about your intentions. You might be the nicest guy in the world, for all I know. But if you think that asking me to wait for my rights to be validated, for your benefit, isn't tacit discrimination, I suggest you think that over more carefully. I don't think anyone in this thread is anti-gay-rights per se, but many are willing to delay the fulfillment of my rights in pursuit of their own goals. I am not willing to delay becoming a first-class citizen for your convenience.
posted by me & my monkey at 5:47 PM on August 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


All strategic and other considerations aside, I agree with me & my monkey: I'm sick of being a second-class citizen in my own damn country.
posted by blucevalo at 9:05 PM on August 9, 2007


That's an excellent way of putting it, and you're quite right to distinguish between the strategy and the people advocating it. I think that's a devastating argument, as opposed to the "concern troll" comment:
I'm sure it had nothing to do with the Democrats consistently thumbing their noses at the left, running shitty campaigns, and nominating bland, centrist, pro-corporate candidates. I've said it before and I'll say it again: You are not fucking entitled to my vote.

Then again, everything else you've posted in this thread is a complete load of heterosexist privileged nonsense anyway. Go back to your cave, concern troll.
That said, I'm not qualified to resolve the dilemma. I don't know how to weigh rights being abused right now against poisoning the well or against complicity. And I imagine I'd feel the same way if I were the one being directly discriminated against.

For the most part, I agree with your position. But I feel like it's unacceptable to paint people as traitors simply because they have a putatively legitimate disagreement about methods. Your comment doesn't really do that, to my mind. The "concern troll" label, however, does, and it doesn't have any place in an adult discussion.
posted by spiderwire at 9:30 PM on August 9, 2007


Please don't pretend that the DNC's "strategy" of the last ten years has been effective.

So, Bill Clinton didn't get elected twice and leave office with approval ratings in the upper 60's?
posted by spaltavian at 11:10 PM on August 9, 2007


So, Bill Clinton didn't get elected twice and leave office with approval ratings in the upper 60's?

Some of us would like to see a President who's left of center.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:36 AM on August 10, 2007


But since that isn't going to happen anytime soon, why punish the people you know harbor your sympathies? Is your ideological purity really more important than keeping people like George W. Bush out of office?
posted by spaltavian at 9:57 AM on August 10, 2007


So, Bill Clinton didn't get elected twice and leave office with approval ratings in the upper 60's?

Maybe it was Clinton's goal simply to be the president. What exactly did he accomplish as president?

I think "don't ask, don't tell" is a great example of what we can expect from the Democratic party. They want our votes, but feel we don't really have a choice since the Republicans are just so much worse. They're not willing to commit any political capital for positive change on our behalf, though; they're quite willing to sacrifice us to retain their perceived hold on the center. You want to know why Pope Guilty responded the way he did? The Democratic presidential candidates are all concern trolls! They might think that we should be able to marry and avoid job discrimination and so on, but they're unwilling to risk anything for that. They just think they're entitled to our votes because they're not going to fuck us as bad as the Republicans would.

The Democratic party has not been the reason that gay people get their rights. The reason that gay marriage is a viable issue today is because gay people are yelling that they want to get married.
posted by me & my monkey at 10:23 AM on August 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


You want to know why Pope Guilty responded the way he did? The Democratic presidential candidates are all concern trolls!

He didn't direct his comment at presidential candidates, he called another commenter discussing in good faith a concern troll. How is this distinction so hard to grasp?
posted by spiderwire at 9:46 PM on August 12, 2007


Ah, shucks. I'm late for the party. I see a virtual Golden Shower of fabulous comments here! (pun intended).

So, come on. What's the difference between a Democrat and a Republican?
...
When the Democrats f*k you they use a condom and lube.

But then there's Bill, and Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Sorry, but please, can we stop acting like this was Bill Clinton giving us the shaft? Do you really think that he wanted it to go that way? I don't believe that for a moment. Maybe I'm naive, maybe not. But I saw it at the time quite clearly, as Bill being QUITE surprised at the vehemence with which his intentions were met.

You know, lots of nice people are actually surprised, even shocked, when they learn the ways in which gay people get a bad deal in society. This issue about visiting one's partner in the hospital is one of the best we have, in that department.

I'm on the fence in this issue. OUCH! I've been both sides. I like Pride as we do it, but I've made the same arguments myself, in the past. Yet that was before I understood who exactly Pride was for.

Now, one thing does bother me: how can so many gay people have any idea what is in a gay pride parade? Hmmm? I can honestly say, I have NEVER watched one!!!!! Sorry, if I'm in town, I'm marching, thank you very much. And so should you. Maybe some places you have magic fairy power to both march and see, but not in Manhattan. Maybe they sell DVDs afterwards, nowadays?

And whoever suggested we all dress up like Mormon missionaries: Puhlease, that would be just TOO MUCH! I fear I would expire in a cloud of steam and smoke from my own spontaneous orgasm. What can I say, that look appeals to me.

posted by Goofyy at 3:30 AM on August 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Don't Ask Don't Tell story goes something like this:

→ Clinton gets elected
→ Media raise issue
→ Clinton White House has no idea how to manage the media (they never really figured it out)
→ Republicans grab hold of issue, media gets into frenzy
→ New president convenes meetings, armed services push back hard
→ Colin Powell compromises with don't ask don't tell

I think all the players involved understand that Don't Ask Don't Tell isn't different from status quo before the policy. My point was that the issue was completely blown out of proportion and played out at a time when the President's hand was very weak. Fuck Washington.
posted by Firas at 4:16 AM on August 15, 2007


And the "I'm not willing to delay becoming a second-class citizen" line misses the point. The gays-in-military thing majorly helped the 1994 Republican sweep. Way to secure your first-class rights!
posted by Firas at 4:21 AM on August 15, 2007


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