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The “Fierce Advocate” in the Struggle for the Full Civil Rights of the GLBT Community

We all know that the "modern" civil rights movement for the GLBT community uses the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969 as a benchmark in their long personal and community-wide struggle for human dignity.

Since that time the GLBT community has been engaged in a continuous struggle to attain their civil rights in all of those areas of American life that the majority of Americans take for granted.

We all know that the "modern" civil rights movement for the GLBT community uses the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969 as a benchmark in their long personal and community-wide struggle for human dignity. Since that time the GLBT community has been engaged in a continuous struggle to attain their civil rights in all of those areas of American life that the majority of Americans take for granted.

There have been many successes, in the context of many setbacks, toward full equality — in employment, housing, enactment of laws in bias crimes; the struggle of AIDS; and the concomitant struggle to gain funding for research and treatment in the still ongoing battle against this pernicious virus; and in recognition of same sex couples through enactment of civil union statutes and laws.

More recently, the GLBT civil rights movement has been pushing for marriage equality as a qualitative improvement over the limited rights inherent in civil unions; and has been engaged in a determined struggle to overturn the highly unworkable, unsatisfactory, and demeaning don’t ask, don’t tell policy (DADT).

These latter struggles have been multifaceted in turns of struggling simultaneously in the courts (both federal and state); on the legislative front; in the streets; in the media; and in everyday one-on -one interactions with fellow Americans.

The setback of marriage equality by Proposition 8 in 2008, momentarily threw the GLBT movement off its stride; but once the shock of Prop 8 wore off, the GLBT movement became even more determined, more persistent, more fierce in the quest for full civil rights and full human dignity.

Whether the GLBT community has won victories in certain courts, certain states, and certain legislatures; or whether there were defeats in other courts, states, and legislatures, there has been an amazing, focused determination to keep struggling, to keep pushing ahead, for the rights that are inalienable to all human beings – whatever one’s race, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, and ability/disability, etc.

What we are currently witnessing in terms of, at least, some current court victories, in the area of a gay person’s right to serve in the military; to serve as an out and proud gay man or women, is the culmination of the struggles, determination, and bravery of both individual gay servicemen and women; as well as the organizational support of innumerable GLBT advocacy groups.

So, not surprisingly, it is obviously not the President, or other elected leaders, who have been very fierce in helping to bring about equality of rights for the gay community, on the contrary; it is the gay community, itself, who has been, and will continue to be, their own, best, "fiercest advocates" for their own liberation.

And whether the GLBT community realizes this or not, this persistent, determined struggle, in spite of a powerful array of reactionary forces that oppose and want to roll back the gay rights movements’ advances, holds out an important, shining light and direction to the rest of the fractured, progressive community on how to stand together in a determined way, and fight for all of the other economic and social transformations that this country so desperately needs.

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