Did The Gay Activist Movement Do Us Wrong?
I’ll spit it out, strictly from my perspective as an ordinary gay man, not some LGBT hybrid: however noble having gay marriage legal may be, only a minority of gay men will ever take advantage of it. And just how many transgenders, whose rights the gay media seems to be obsessing over lately, have you known in your life? But gay rights when it comes to employment, housing and so many other social survival necessities affects most, if not all of us, and in retrospect maybe that’s the fight we should have won first.
Because unless all you do is dream about Beyoncé, clubbing and getting laid, and think Trump is the name of a hotel chain, you should have heard by now that Tennessee has just adopted the most discriminatory laws against gays in the country on the basis of religious beliefs. It follows a similar though less stringent law in North Carolina, and the only reason Georgia isn’t on the list is that its governor vetoed the anti-gay bill passed overwhelming by its legislature in the face of losing a billion dollars alone from some heavyweights in the entertainment industry like Disney, 21st Century Fox, and Viacom that threatened to boycott the state when it came to filming. (PayPal pulled plans for a new base of operations in North Carolina that would have created 400 jobs in retaliation of its new anti-gay stance.)
And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Other Sunbelt states like Mississippi and Alabama are doing the same, using an organization or business’s “religious beliefs” as justification to not only not serve gays but also not hire (and possibly fire) them. Twenty one states across the country have adopted or are contemplating such legislation.
So did gay activists go after the wrong thing? Looking at it from the viewpoint of tight assed America, did we shove our alternate lifestyles in their faces by demanding gay marriage and bathrooms for transgenders rather than going for something more palpable like equal citizen rights? It’s obvious that this tsunami backlash is in direct response to the loss of control many str8’s felt when the Supreme Court just waved its judicial magic wand and made gay marriage the law of the land by fiat. If we were going to enter a supernova legal fight wouldn’t it have been more sensible to be one to secure the broad spectrum of equal rights we should enjoy as citizens under the Constitution, much like the civil rights movement for African Americans did over fifty years ago? Once won, gay marriage ( and gender neutral bathrooms) would have been just part of a tapestry of rights we would have gained after the Supreme Court ruled we were as good as anybody else.
Instead we pushed the image of two men at the altar getting hitched (although marriage is a secular contract) before the eyes of mainstream America which naturally would get any “God fearing” Christian bigot bent out of shape. Or the sight of a surgically engineered woman entering a ladies room to take a piss.
The bottom line is we may have let our well-intentioned but at times myopic activists front put the cart before the horse. True, corporate America has largely come to our defense, but how much of this is born out of altruism and how much out of a desire for our discretionary dollars and those of str8 liberals is unclear. But one thing is sure: hell fire and damnation may be what we as a minority population in this society – we keep forgetting we may only constitute 3% of the population, less than half of either of our country’s largest minorities, black and Latino – will be up against in the months and years ahead.
Disneys or no Disneys.