The meaning of the victory in New York is that the battle has just begun.
We desperately needed a victory in our essentially defensive fight for same sex marriage. We’ve been battered and bullied since Bill Clinton championed and signed DOMA, with the overwhelming support of Congressional Democrats and Republicans in 1996. As soon as Clinton signed DOMA he began to batter the LGBT communities with these putrid ads on redneck radio stations:
“Protecting religious freedom. It’s the foundation of our nation.
When the Justice Department went after a church to gather the parishioners’ tithing money, the government was stopped cold because President Clinton overturned the government’s policy and protected us. It’s not the only time he’s defended our values…
President Clinton wants a complete ban on late term abortions except when the mother’s life is in danger or faces severe health risks, such as the inability to have another child.
The President signed the Defense of Marriage Act , supports curfews and school uniforms to teach our children discipline. President Clinton has fought for our values and America is better for it.
Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96 ”
Since then same sex marriage has been the battering ram in an unrelenting attack on our rights spearheaded by Bill Clinton, BushBrain Rove and now by Barak Obama, who bellowed the phase “gawd’s in the mix” to justify his opposition to SSM before millions of TV in 2008 and torpedoed same sex marriage in California, Arizona and Florida. He remains pigheadedly opposed to SSM as do his probable Republican opponents.
The victory in NY will serve to spur, not curb the growing disgust in the GLBT communities with both the Democrats and Republicans and help us refocus our energies on repeal of Bill Clinton’s DOMA and the passage of ENDA, which has been ignored by Democrats for 15 years. Or, even better, many activists are supporting a comprehensive, inclusive Civil Rights Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing equality in employment, housing and public accommodations, providing for harsh fines and jail time for offenders, especially religious cults and making it easy to sue bigots, racists and misogynists for compensation.
There will inevitably be those who take this victory as a sign that the fight is over and they can settle down and become Stepford wives and husbands. Let them. For the rest of us this is a much need slap in the face for bigots like Obama and Bachmann and it’s just the beginning.
The growing LGBT fight for equality, part of the large and rising radicalization caused by the current Depression, is just getting started. HRC, the Stonewall Democrats, Log Cabin Republicans, Obama and Bachmann will just have to get used to it.
The next big steps for us will be to break with the twin parties of bigotry and to get into or create unions where we work. Unions are the heavy infantry of social change. That will allow us to firm up our growing connections with the left wing in unions and to become a part of the broader fight against austerity and union busting but always independently and on our terms.