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Thread: Is Gay the new Black?

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    Senior Member Accountable's Avatar
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    Is Gay the new Black?

    Dan Wentzel - Dan Wentzel on Bigotry in a Post-Proposition 8 World
    Bigotry on the Bus


    By Dan Wentzel
    Monday, November 24, 2008; A17


    A week after the election, I was riding the bus home in Santa Monica when we went past one of the many protests around the city against the narrow passage of Proposition 8, which amended the California constitution to eliminate marriage rights for an entire class of people.

    The bus driver surveyed the situation and exclaimed, loud enough for the passengers to hear, "sodomites!" I've been so hurt and angry since my theoretically liberal and gay-friendly state passed Proposition 8 that I instantly replied, just as loudly, "Hey, I'm one of those sodomites, too!" Maybe I should have had a snappier comeback, but the driver was stunned. I'm guessing that nobody had ever stood up to him for saying something homophobic. The driver has a right to free speech and is entitled to his beliefs and opinions -- and his bigotry -- just like everyone else. However, he was a public employee in uniform, on the clock.

    Once upon a time, I might have been too scared to say something, or I'd have just grumbled in silence. No more. In my anger, I wanted to immediately report the driver to the transit authority. But I found myself with a moral dilemma. What if this person was fired as a result of my complaint? These are tough economic times. Would he find another job? What if he was just having a really bad day? So for two days I thought about whether to report the driver.

    I realized that in a post-Proposition 8 world, it is not okay for me to enable anyone's bigotry with my silence. If he had said the "n" word or the "k" word or something else offensive regarding someone's race, gender or religion, there would have been no question about whether to report him. But gay men and lesbians are no longer willing to be doormats. It is no longer acceptable for people to say bigoted and hateful things about gays or anyone else in front of me. This behavior has to stop now.

    If the bigots thought they would slap down gay men and lesbians by passing Proposition 8, or if they thought it would end the gay civil rights movement, they were mistaken. I haven't seen the gay community this galvanized in a long time. The passage of Proposition 8 might be this generation's "Stonewall," the 1969 riot that began after an unprovoked police raid on a gay bar in Greenwich Village and that marked the start of the gay rights movement. If we can somehow harness the energy unleashed by California's Proposition 8 vote, we can achieve tremendous gains for us and for future generations of gay men and lesbians.

    One of the most gratifying aspects of attending "No on 8" rallies was the number of straight demonstrators who showed up -- people who see this not just as an issue for gay men and lesbians but as a matter of everyone's civil rights.

    So I finally stood up for myself and reported the driver to the transit authority. If someone were to say something racist, sexist or antisemitic, I would say something, even though I am white, male and non-Jewish. But I wonder, when a homophobic remark is made in a conversation among straight people, whether anyone is willing to say, "That's not appropriate and I find that offensive." I don't know, but I hope so.

    I am sorry I had to report the bus driver, because I'm sorry that the incident happened. However, if I won't stand up for myself now, who else will stand up for me? The world has changed. No more Mr. Nice Gay. We are all in a post-Proposition 8 world now.
    Comments?

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    Premium Member flopstock's Avatar
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    Re: Is Gay the new Black?

    No, gay isn't the new black, IMO. Blacks are allowed to marry each other.

    Gay is another step down the food chain to some folks, apparently. You would think that blacks and women and every other group that has ever had to fight for rights in america, would be a bit more supportive of an entire group being denied rights that they take for granted today. But that's not how we operate in the real world.

    In the real world, in those secret places of our souls , we like knowing that folks who are different then us are not quite as good as us. That they are not as entitled as us. We like having someone to look down upon.

    And while I sincerely hope that folks who feel gays are an abomination and deserve to not be accepted by society as equals, will be judged as harshly by their own version of god... I accept that in that secret place in my own soul, that makes me as bad as them...

    The way I've always viewed it...I don't have to understand where gays are coming from, with their choice of partner. I just need to understand it is not my business.

    But if I'm not willing to stand up for the cause, who do I ask to support me when someone decides it's best if women not be allowed to do something..
    I expressly forbid the use of any of my posts anywhere outside of FG (with the exception of the incredibly witty 'get a room already' )posted recently.
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    Re: Is Gay the new Black?

    Quote Originally Posted by flopstock View Post
    No, gay isn't the new black, IMO. Blacks are allowed to marry each other.
    I'm pretty sure you know I mean that homosexual people are styling themselves as the downtrodden du jour.
    Quote Originally Posted by flopstock
    Gay is another step down the food chain to some folks, apparently. You would think that blacks and women and every other group that has ever had to fight for rights in america, would be a bit more supportive of an entire group being denied rights that they take for granted today. But that's not how we operate in the real world.

    In the real world, in those secret places of our souls , we like knowing that folks who are different then us are not quite as good as us. That they are not as entitled as us. We like having someone to look down upon.

    And while I sincerely hope that folks who feel gays are an abomination and deserve to not be accepted by society as equals, will be judged as harshly by their own version of god... I accept that in that secret place in my own soul, that makes me as bad as them...

    The way I've always viewed it...I don't have to understand where gays are coming from, with their choice of partner. I just need to understand it is not my business.

    But if I'm not willing to stand up for the cause, who do I ask to support me when someone decides it's best if women not be allowed to do something..
    I don't disagree with you; I just think a better solution to the prob would be for the federal gov't to eliminate marriage as a legal institution altogether. I would support the same thing for my state & local governments.

    My question is more along the lines of, well, quality I guess. Does the "plight" of the homosexual community of the same level of civil/human rights issues as the historical plight of black Americans? Is the homosexual community justified in drawing the parallel?

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    Senior Member K.Snyder's Avatar
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    Re: Is Gay the new Black?

    Only 23 views!

    ...

    You know what?

    I don't even care!

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    Senior Member OpenMind's Avatar
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    Re: Is Gay the new Black?

    Quote Originally Posted by Accountable View Post
    I don't disagree with you; I just think a better solution to the prob would be for the federal gov't to eliminate marriage as a legal institution altogether. I would support the same thing for my state & local governments.

    My question is more along the lines of, well, quality I guess. Does the "plight" of the homosexual community of the same level of civil/human rights issues as the historical plight of black Americans? Is the homosexual community justified in drawing the parallel?
    The only distinction I can think of that marks Black Americans from the homosexual community is one of enslavement. This is not a minor distinction. The history of Black Americans is very different to that of homosexuals.
    Homosexuals, initially, faced religious bigotry and mistrust and disgust from others mostly borne from religious views. Today, I find the main problem is that heterosexuals do not want to be 'hit' on by a gay person. They feel that a 'hit' implies that they are gay. Yet this shows that there is still a lot of discomfort about the concept of homosexuality.
    To a certain extent, there was religious propoganda concerning black people as a whole, American or otherwise and this served to justify their enslavement. Nonetheless, I don't think the gay community can really draw a parallel with the Black Americans.

    As for your comment concerning marriage. I disagree with you here. Marriage is a social institution which has a lot to merit it. It should be for the individuals to decide whether they get married or not and I see no reason for stipulating who can get married to whom. Neither do I believe that people should be forced to get married if it is not what they want to do.
    However, I do have other considerations concerning marriage which I am planning to raise in another thread (if I ever get the time).

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    Senior Member Accountable's Avatar
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    Re: Is Gay the new Black?

    Quote Originally Posted by OpenMind View Post
    As for your comment concerning marriage. I disagree with you here. Marriage is a social institution which has a lot to merit it.
    Exactly, which is why there's no reason for the gov't to issue any law about its legality or illegality, and no reason to endorse or oppose it. It is a social institution.

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    Re: Is Gay the new Black?

    Quote Originally Posted by K.Snyder View Post
    Only 23 views!

    ...

    You know what?

    I don't even care!
    And yet you post.

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    Senior Member K.Snyder's Avatar
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    Re: Is Gay the new Black?

    Quote Originally Posted by Accountable View Post
    And yet you post.

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    Re: Is Gay the new Black?

    Quote Originally Posted by Accountable View Post
    I'm pretty sure you know I mean that homosexual people are styling themselves as the downtrodden du jour.
    I don't disagree with you; I just think a better solution to the prob would be for the federal gov't to eliminate marriage as a legal institution altogether. I would support the same thing for my state & local governments.

    My question is more along the lines of, well, quality I guess. Does the "plight" of the homosexual community of the same level of civil/human rights issues as the historical plight of black Americans? Is the homosexual community justified in drawing the parallel?
    Actually, that is how I understood you. I was in a rush here so probably didn't complete my thoughts as well as I'd have liked..

    If the only issues that blacks had to overcome was the ability to marry one another, I'd say yeah, same struggle, blacks ahead. For hundreds of years, members of the gay community chose to live a heterosexual lifestyle in public and hid their issue. Blacks have never had that luxury. Blacks are black. Women are women. It's a visual thing that gays can fudge their way around.
    So the struggles are not the same, IMO.

    That doesn't mean that it should be okay to treat them any differently then we treat anyone else in this country. They are just as entitled to the rights and protections as the rest of us, IMO..... and that means they can marry any other adult they'd like without getting my approval.

    BTW, I don't think the courts could handle the load from dissolved relationships if marriage was done away with. how would we assess rights to property, responsibilities for children and bills? Inheritance?
    I expressly forbid the use of any of my posts anywhere outside of FG (with the exception of the incredibly witty 'get a room already' )posted recently.
    Folks who'd like to copy my intellectual work should expect to pay me for it.

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    Premium Member flopstock's Avatar
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    Re: Is Gay the new Black?

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    Quote Originally Posted by K.Snyder View Post
    Only 23 views!

    ...

    You know what?

    I don't even care!
    Why should you care how many views? Is this an offshoot of another thread?
    I expressly forbid the use of any of my posts anywhere outside of FG (with the exception of the incredibly witty 'get a room already' )posted recently.
    Folks who'd like to copy my intellectual work should expect to pay me for it.

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