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Change only comes from changing

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Buzz Publications
March 12, 2007

 

I am of the opinion the majority of the GLBT community has absolutely no desire to achieve full and equal civil rights under the Constitution, or in the eyes of the law. This opinion is derived from years of observations regarding the misplaced priorities of those most affected by institutional discrimination.

It is clear, at the beginning of the 21st century, that gay men and women do not share the same rights that avowed heterosexuals enjoy. It is also clear state legislatures across the United States are enacting policy formalizing discrimination. Unclear is why the gay community is so complacent in the face of government endorsed homophobia.

What happened to the strident activism following the Stonewall riots of 1969 and the equally powerful efforts of Act Up of the 80's? Why the complacency? As a social minority, have Gays and Lesbians grown accustomed to a second class status? Is civil martyrdom always to be a part of the GLBT experience?

As a member of the Green Party I am acutely aware of the efforts aimed at ending the ban prohibiting homosexuals from serving openly in the military. The people trying to overthrow this discriminatory policy are few in number, and lacking in financial resources. Sadly, the injustice of "Don't Ask. Don't Tell" is trumped by the ideology of Don't Care, Don't Bother evidenced by the "Friends of Dorothy."

At a time when members of the military and the National Guard are being forced to endure numerous tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, with families being permanently scared by prolonged separations, widowhood, along with the physical and financial challenges faced by the returning wounded, banning gays and lesbians from national service adds insult to the injuries sustained and sacrifices made by those serving.

Equal rights must be fought for if they are to be achieved. The suffragette movement at the beginning of the 20th century, and the civil rights movement are examples of how struggle against blatant discrimination must be applied to abolish social inequalities. Demanding change is a lot more effective half-heartedly hoping for it. Has the GLBT community learned nothing from the sacrifice made by Dr. Martin Luther King?

Considering the fact that gays and lesbians are not actively and aggressively opposing policy discriminating against them through boycotts, protests and taking to the streets, it's not surprising state sponsored homophobia is gaining ground.

Considering the fact that gays and lesbians are not actively and aggressively opposing policy discriminating against them through boycotts, protests and taking to the streets, it's not surprising state sponsored homophobia is gaining ground.

And yes, I am aware there is a small minority within the GLBT community intensely involved in efforts to end anti-gay discrimination, but that action is negated by the inaction of the rest. As politically incorrect as it may seem, I am of the opinion gays and lesbians are responsible for the ongoing discrimination against themselves. More concern with circuit parties than political parties, social equality registers low on the cultural to do list. Obsessed with fashion, passion and body image, little energy is left for obtaining the rights other Americans take for granted.

And for those who cite cultural opposition fighting to deny equal rights for the GBLT community, as justification for their inaction, it is clear to this journalist they consider themselves undeserving of rights granted to their brothers and sisters based on their sexual orientation.

Change will only come if the Gays and Lesbians want it bad enough. Otherwise we should expect nothing but further erosion of our rights and a permanent second-class status.

 
 
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