Playing on the “Legalize LA” T-shirts and signs once ubiquitous in the Southland, some gay activists, in the wake of the passage of Prop. 8, created a “Legalize Gay” T-shirt, like this one seen at one of HRC’s two booths yesterday at LA Pride:
What makes this T-shirt so absurd is its suggestion that it’s not legal to be gay in America today. To be sure, we still need laws in more states recognizing our unions.
Even, however, without that recognition, gay people who enter into such relationships, even those who call such relationships, “marriage,” aren’t been hauled before federal magistrates (or state courts for that matter) and asked to disavow their romantic inclinations; they’re not being forced to live apart from their partner nor to move to another jurisdiction nor are they being incarernated for living openly with individuals of the same sex. And they’re not being forced to undergo “conversion therapy.”
Simply put, it’s not illegal today in American to be gay. People aren’t being arrested and threatened with a loss of liberty for freely expressing our sexuality. I mean, heck yesterday at Pride, the county sheriff was not closing down our celebration, but was instead helping facilitate it, guaranteeing our right to assemble peaceably.
Let’s not make things seem they are worse than they are — and acknowledge (as most of us do) how much progress we have made. It’s not illegal to be gay in America. Indeed, gay people in the United States — and other Western societies — are more free to live our lives openly than they have been at almost any point in human history.
FROM THE COMMENTS: Az Mo in NYC offers:
As far as the original post goes, I never thought I was illegal, or a second class citizen, until people started drilling it into my head that I was….people on the gay left. One day I said, “wait a minute,” looked around, saw wealthy gay men and women, homosexuals in congress, and on TV and realized that just wasn’t the case. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter what someone else thinks of me just as it shouldn’t matter to them what I think of them.