March 02, 2004

The Majority of Americans Are Against Equality for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Persons

I’ve listened to and / or read this statement several times, once on “Crossfire,” except it’s not put in quite so unpalatable a manner. It is used to show that gays and lesbians should not be given the same rights as their heterosexual brothers and sisters. I have rephrased the statement in order to reflect the actual prejudice against America’s GLBT sons and daughters. Instead, the argument goes something like the following.

Based on pole results sixty-seven percent of all (heterosexual) Americans are against Gay marriage. In a democracy it is the will of the majority that counts. Therefore the president is asking for an amendment that defines marriage as a contract that may only be made between a man and a woman. The President was forced to ask for the new amendment because the majority of Americans are against Gay Marriage.

This argument is fallacious and reflects the prejudice of any person using it. In fact, it is not much of an argument at all. Let’s take it apart. First, poles are notoriously inaccurate. The sample may have been poorly chosen. For instance, the sample may be based on those who watch a particular program on television, or those who choose to check in at a particular Web site. Second, our constitution is supposed to protect the rights of all Americans, not just the majority of Americans. The animus of the constitution has developed over time to become increasingly open to allowing all groups to participate in our society, and in the democratic process to the fullest extent possible. Three examples will serve to substantiate my claim. The majority of Americans in the early Nineteenth Century were in favor of maintaining a society in our Southern states based on slavery. The majority of the male citizenship in the USA in the late Nineteenth Century were in favor of denying women the right to participate fully in our culture including the right to vote. The majority of Americans during the middle of the Twentieth Century were in favor of denying the right of black people to access stores, restaurants, and public restrooms based solely on the color of their skin. Finally, The President is not forced to do anything because of pole results. If he has convictions, his behavior is a result of those though it may be influenced by knowledge about the desires of some of his constituents. Thus, If we had allowed the constitution to be used to define who deserves all the rights and privileges of American citizenship historically, American citizenship would be limited only to males of Western European origen.
*

I am also disappointed that Senator Kerry has not been able to come out for gay marriage. The definition of leadership sometimes involves taking a stand and working to convince others that you are correct. Sometimes leadership involves taking risks. Senator Kerry’s reputation as a Liberal is at stake here. And, so to is the reputation of the Democratic Party as the liberal party, the party willing to defend the rights of all Americans regardless of religion, color or ethnic background, sex, or sexuality. It is time for Democrats to reclaim their concern for each and every man, woman, and child in the USA. It is time for Americans to realize that the current administration is concerned only for the rich. It is time for all Americans understand that those currently in power in the Republican party would reestablish a society in which the rights of those with money are preserved while those of the middle classes are increasingly limited, and more and more Americans are disenfranchised.


*This image was taken from Betty Bower’s Miracle Cards, http://www.bettybowers.com (viewed Monday, March 1, 2004 at 6:44 A.M. EST).

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Take a look at:

Betty Bower’s Miracle Cards for wonderful political commentary you can send to your friends. She plays the part to the fullest!=

Holty’s blog for great political comentary and much more from an Australian point of view.

Mark Harden’s Artchive. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the best place to find excellent images of artist’s works on the WWW.

Gay Artist’s Galleries

Oku’s Surotic Gallery, an erotic art site.

Arts and Letters Daily, ideas, criticism, and debate, a service of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

ArtsJournal.com, the Daily Digest of Arts, Culture, & Ideas.

the Advocate, the GLTB news magazine.

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