Saturday, November 15, 2008
(ABOVE--TWO SUPPORTERS OF GAY RIGHTS, JUST BACK FROM WATCHING THE GAY PRIDE PARADE IN SAN FRANCISCO LAST JUNE, WHEN PEOPLE WERE CELEBRATING THE RIGHT OF GAYS TO BE MARRIED IN CITY HALL)
I still cannot get propostion 8 out of my mind.
Just a few minutes ago I was watching CNN with J. L. Hugely as the host. He is one of the wittiest, funniest comedians on t. v., somebody I just discovered a few weeks ago, and have enjoyed a great deal. A funny comic is hard to find. And I was glad to see a black man in the host position of this national news medium.
But tonight I had a shock. He was interviewing a gay man and they discussed the whole gay marriage issue. It turned out that this hip, very mod, very clever black comic cannot bring himself to support gay marriage. I was so upset, I did something I have never done before in my life--I wrote a letter to CNN to complain. But, of course, when I tried to send it, it didn't go through, and I lost the whole letter.
But here are some of my thoughts:
1. J.L. Hugely, like many others including Obama, excused his views by explaining that they were part of the religious teachings he had received as a child. I wondered if he did not realize that most of the social progress we had made in this country came because we went beyond the indoctrination (from churches, schools, and society as a whole) we received when we were young. Otherwise, many of us would still be convinced that blacks were inferior to whites because the Bible said so, and that it was not only a crime, but a sin for blacks and whites to marry (miscenation). These views were quite prevalent in the last century.
2. He said he didn't approve of the "gay lifestyle." What is the "gay lifestyle"? Is there also a "black lifestyle", a"white lifestyle", a "Hispanic lifestyle", etc.? Does he not know that there are only individual members of a group, and all may act differently. If he objects to the behavior of certain members, then he should speak to the behavior, not confuse it with the entire collective. Does Ellen DeGeneres offend him? Or the many same sex couples who have lived together for decades, waiting? I doubt it. Do those people desiring to be married in order to cement their union offend him by this act--are they likely to be guilty of whatever it is that is bothering him? I don't think so.
3. He objects to the comparison of the struggle for gay rights with the civil rights movement of the past, stating that the latter involved many more people and that they endured more persecution. Of course, both of these are true. But is civil equality a matter of numbers? Doesn't the right of equal protection apply to all? Doesn't each person deserve equal rights under the law, even one (or in this case, two)? And indeed, many more blacks have been victims than gays (who were hidden by virtue of their skin color), but if you are the one strung up on a fence, should society look the other way simply because you are merely one person?
4. Like many, he seems confused as to the difference between a civil ceremony and a church sanctioned wedding. Nothing in the present law forces any church to violate their own beliefs or teaching. Their marriages are not threatened. We are talking about civil equality under the law here, a totally different issue.
I think this young fellow needs to study history, to go home and read some books and think.
I told CNN (in my lost protest letter) that I was signing off on J. L. Hugely until he got his head straight on these issues.
I signed my letter "Elderdyke, 80 and still waiting for civic equality"
As I said, I lost the letter on my computer before it could be sent, but I felt better after writing it.
Some may be tired of the discussion around this issue, but many of us are tired of the struggle, and wonder how long we have to wait to be "free at last." We (gays and others of open mind) have watched and supported the struggles of many groups who have won acceptance in the last few decades, including various minorities (blacks, Hispanics, and Jews) as well as women as a category. But we (gays) are still waiting to be seen as more than second class citizens with full civil rights. We have witnessed as group after group has passed through the door of equality. We are still waiting, wondering when our own time will come.own
I don't mean to make this a political blog, but this is a sensitive issue for me (though I don't plan to marry anyone of either sex anytime soon or ever), and I think we all need to think about its implications.
NOTE: GO TO THE FOLLOWING SITE TO FIND OUT WHERE VARIOUS PROTESTS ARE TAKING PLACE in your state--be sure to check the dates: