Don’t count on anyone simply handing over gay rights upon polite request.

David Hart

Let us first understand that our adversaries are dominionists. One of our failures in opposing Proposition 8 was not successfully communicating this fact to the general electorate. These folks are not content simply to have fundamental religious beliefs. In contrast, they will only be satisfied when the United States becomes a theocracy. They seek to impose those religious beliefs on everyone else. If you study the agenda of the religious right and its numerous overlapping interest groups, it is their intention to control what we — the people — read, what movies we see, what music we listen to and what television shows we watch. Ultimately, the religious right wants to control what and how we all think.

The greatest threat to dominionism is critical thinking. This, in turn, engenders the religious right’s war on science. We all know, for example, that the universe is 4.5 billion years old; that evolution is generally accepted scientific fact and that sexual orientation is biological — not choice. We also know that acceptance of GLBT people can be directly correlated to accepting the scientific conclusions that sexual orientation is involuntary. Educating the general public about sexual orientation and sexuality is essential. Yet, that was seemingly absent from the debate over propositions 8 in California and 2 in Florida. The religious right is perfectly content to oppose scientific findings with “the bible says thus and so.” Critical thinkers are more persuaded by empirical scientific findings.

The religious right has been empowered to frame their arguments as “protection of marriage” and the old standard of “protection of children.” Now, of course, the mainstay of persuasion is “the will of the people” which is flawed argumentum ad populum. Notably absent from their arguments is any cogent construction that explains how one couple’s same-sex marriage affects, in any way whatsoever, another couple’s “traditional marriage.”

One of the religious right’s most cynical endeavors is to divide us along racial lines. The intent is to cause people not to view our struggle as one for civil rights. Huckabee and others are making the fatuous argument that we have not suffered the same violence and oppression as blacks. That is patently preposterous. Every day, gay people are physically assaulted — even murdered — disparaged, marginalized or discriminated against simply because we are gay. The religious right provides permission slips for people to do violence to us. Furthermore, they uniformly oppose every anti-bullying law and every anti-discrimination law. The stated reason for doing so is to prevent anything that might “normalize the homosexual lifestyle.” The very fact that they would state their objective in these terms depicts a spectacular level of arrogance.

Complicating matters is the fact that the Republican Party is in league with the religious right. I would encourage everyone to read the conservative Kathleen Parker’s latest column wherein she explains that “… the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents … ” She concludes that many in the Republican party realize that the relationship is toxic “But they need those votes!” It is profoundly absurd that 27% of gays and lesbians voted for McCain/Palin. That must change.

I have an agenda. We must:

  1. Use whatever economic levers are available to us. We and our allies simply cannot patronize businesses that are opposed to our equal protection under the law. The HRC has provided us with a list. Once the administration changes, I am in favor of putting considerable pressure on the IRS to revoke the Mormon’s tax exempt status.
  2. Educate the public. Every individual who can be swayed to the scientific evidence that sexual orientation and sexuality are biological and not choice is more likely to be an individual who supports GLBT rights. We should be flooding our newspapers with letters to the editor, particularly in smaller markets where they are more likely to be published. We should also be active participants in Internet discussions including those on opposition fora. Each time, we only need to get a small percentage of people to become more critical thinkers.
  3. Appeal to Americans’ basic sense of fairness. We are their neighbors, fire fighters, teachers, police, physicians, lawyers, plumbers and accountants. People need to see us in those terms rather than in the abstract.

There is a time-honored tradition of peaceful protest in this country. Non-violent civil disobedience is certainly a part of that process. When they start locking us up for a day for trespass or (non-violent) disorderly conduct we advance our cause. People need to know that we are not giving up and that we are not going away — Not quietly. Not at all.

davidhart

davidhart

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