In a nasty comment, a frequent critic of this blog made a somewhat valid point, that I seem to be making the same point over and over (and over) again when I fault the gay leadership for being more eager to attack the president and the congressional GOP leadership for advocating a constitutional amendment (defining marriage) than to actually debate the issue. Indeed, in the very post to which he attaches his comment, I wrote, “As I’ve said before . . . ,” acknowledging that I was aware I’d made the point in prior posts.
This is not, as my reader contents, a “relatively minor point.” It is a rather significant one as it gets to the heart of what our gay advocacy groups should be doing.
In their very rhetoric last week, however, they focused on attacking the sponsors of the amendment, not promoting our (i.e., gay and lesbian) issues. (Even the ostensibly Republican organization joined the anti-Bush chorus.) In the debate on a constitutional amendment defining marriage, they made it clear that they stood with the far left whose priority is not issue-driven, but animosity-driven — demonizing President George W. Bush and the GOP.
What else explains the failure of all the leading gay groups (save Log Cabin) to note that this is the one issue on which the Vice President has publicly distanced himself from the president?
I believe a public debate on this issue would not only promote state recognition of same-sex unions (no matter what they’re called), but would also further understanding of same-sex relationships. As I indicated in my last post, I had a tough time coming out because I did not then find, either in my experience or my reading (about gay culture), examples of long-term monogamous gay couples. My gay peers (and a few gays senior to me) told me to have sex, play safe and not worry about emotional connection because it wasn’t possible anyway.
A debate on marriage would make it very clear how commonplace is the type of gay relationships I so longed for in my youth — and still seek today. The failure of the gay groups to speak out is not a minor point. It gets to the heart of how we talk about ourselves. And the more I think of the behavior of gay groups last week, the more outraged I become.
I’m not alone. Other gay bloggers (e.g, Chris Crain, Stephen Miller, The Malcontent’s Robbie, Andrew Sullivan) representing a variety of different political viewpoints, have faulted gay groups for their unwillingness to debate gay marriage.
In the most recent debate on the issue, gay groups have ignored their basic responsibility — to promote a positive image of gay people to the American people. They would rather spend their time painting a negative picture of President Bush and the GOP.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com