As a gay American, I no longer feel safe. The U.S. Senate has recently confirmed William Pryor to a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals with a Republican majority vote of 53 to 45. Pryor is so hostile to gay men and lesbians that he compares homosexuality to sex with animals or the dead, and believes states should be able to arrest two consenting gay adults for making love in their bedroom. When Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist seriously described Pryor as "a man with a commitment to treating all people fairly," I knew I was in big trouble.
The Republican Party is now in the hands of fundamentalist Christians who are determined to reverse the progress the gay community has made over the years, progress that has helped gay young people to come out at an earlier age, parents to embrace their gay children with love, and schools to create a safe learning environment for all students. Although in the past I was convinced that at the end of my life my nation would be far better to gay Americans than when my life began, now I am not so sure.
Until recently, libraries sought out books with life-saving messages to gay adolescents that they were fine just the way they are, books that would have spared me years of self-hatred as a teenager. Today, Republican lawmakers in Oklahoma and Louisiana are leading efforts to ban children's books with positive gay themes from children's sections in libraries. An Alabama Republican has introduced a bill that would bar state spending on books and other materials by gay authors or about gay characters. And Texas Republican overnor Rick Perry suggests to gay and lesbian soldiers returning home from the Iraqi war that they leave Texas if they are not happy with the state’s proposed constitutional amendment banning marriages and civil unions for gay couples.
The fundamentalist Christians running today's Republican Party are the driving force to ban gay-affirming books from libraries, eliminate gay characters from television, and prohibit positive messages about gay people in public schools. In essence, fundamentalist Christian Republicans from school committees to political chambers want gays eliminated from all spheres of public life, just as the Nazis campaigned and passed laws to exclude Jews from public life in Germany, prior to their "Final Solution" of Jewish annihilation.
At a recent exhibition in Ft. Lauderdale, entitled "Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals: 1933-1945," most viewers commented on the similarities between Nazi repression of homosexuals and the rhetoric from the so-called religious right. One person desperately wrote, "Many of the words of the Nazis are the same we see today from George Bush and Karl Rove. Won’t someone do something so we don't have to repeat history?"
In the early 1930's, it was well known that Hitler's second in command, Ernst Roehm, was homosexual. Despite the fact that in 1933 Hitler closed all cabarets and bars catering to homosexuals, German gays thought things would never get too bad for them with Roehm in the power structure. Those illusions were eliminated on June 30,1934, when Hitler had Roehm killed, using his homosexuality as a major justification for his execution, and linking homosexuality to subversion and treason.
American gays and our straight loved ones take comfort that there are surely a few closeted gays within the power structure of today's Republican Party. And certainly gays exist in Republican Christian fundamentalist families. But right-wing Republicans have shown all too often that they are more than willing to sacrifice their gay relatives for ratings, politics, or their twisted version of what Jesus wants.
Conservative Republican radio talk-show host Laura Ingraham, despite having a gay brother, is often silent while guests and callers accuse homosexuals of trying to harm families; Vice-President Dick Cheney, while claiming to love his gay daughter, campaigns and raises funds for Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO), one of today's most viciously anti-gay politicians; and Christian fundamentalist Alan Keyes, who often promotes "family values," throws his own teenage daughter out into the street after learning she is gay.
If the over 20 percent of gay men and women who supported the Republican ticket in 2004 think that they will be spared in this fundamentalist Christian war against gays, they are fooling themselves. Thousands of Berlin Jews voted for the Nazi Party in 1932, attracted by their campaign promises of law, order and "family values." None of them were spared the campaigns of hate, the racist laws, and ultimately, the gas chambers.
It is time for Americans of goodwill to come together and stop the Republican Party’s war against gays. We are all at risk in this war. Nazi persecution did not end with the Jews in Germany; fundamentalist Christian attacks will not end with homosexuals in the United States.
Looks like it is time to start packing—either for a trip to Canada or the concentration camps. Call me crazy, but Bush IS the Anti-Christ.
posted by Christopher's Partner, at
7/11/2005 12:14 PM
I'm a reference librarian in a public library and censoring and banning 'gay friendly' materials is not only against the first amendment, it is also contrary to the Library Bill of Rights put out by the American Library Association. These fanatical nutjobs CAN and should be fought. My own library in NJ (believe it or not) had Daddy's Roomate challenged a few years ago and at the library board hearing, the 'christian' wackos even had the temerity to bus in loads of supporters who weren't even from our library's borrowing area. They couldn't censor the book, but our spineless administration agreed to move the book to the adult section;even though it is clearly a children's book. Please dont give up the fight against these hateful ignorant people. Someday when bush and the neo-cons are out of office, the dark nightmare of the past 5 years will end and hopefully progress will begin anew. Gary (NJ)
posted by Anonymous, at
7/11/2005 3:19 PM
I have always had a really hard time referring to the fundamentalist movement as Christian. It is anything but Christian. It is about adhering to a biblical code that is not only impossible to live by, but the picking and choosing of what passages to follow and which ones to ignore is so blatantly obvious. Fundamentalists have always hated gays and would like nothing better to bring back the death penalty for us. There BIGGEST lie of all is the "love the sinner hate the sin" and variations thereof, make no mistake, there is not one once of love behind this agenda. To make matters worse, we have our own people supporting this attack: closeted gays of the GOP and the so-called ex-gays including Alan Chambers, Melissa Fryer and Mike Haley among others. That is very disturbing to me. It is such a betrayal, it is beyond words and comprehension. The problem is, is that the fundamentalist movement has such a stranglehold on the GOP and the President, that there is little that can be done about this except protest and work on gaining support from the straight community. The religous left is just starting to wake up now, other people should also, because they will NOT STOP with GAYS!!! Women in positions of power are next on their list. Mark my words. Tim W.
posted by Anonymous, at
7/11/2005 10:09 PM
Though I agree with many of the remarks of the author, as one who just turned 57 on the 6th of July, I have to compare the climate of today with the climate that many of us have experienced over the past 5.7 decades. The thought of civil unions for same gender couples being supported by any small percentage of straight America would have been considered a fantasy just 10 years ago, let alone the idea of bona fide gay or lesbian marriage. In fact if anyone indeed thought that marriage for same gender couples was fair during most of those times, they would never admit it for fear of a public hanging or being stoned on the town square. Even 30% approval by the general public of such a hallucination would have been labeled as an optimistic delusion. Today, however, we have straight lawmakers in several states around the country willing to break the law and accept the consequences for authorizing gay marriages. We have members of religious groups such as the United Church of Christ voting to affirm marriage for male and female couples. We have the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopalian Church, plus Gov. M. Jodi Rell, a republican, signing landmark legislation that makes Connecticut the first state to recognize civil unions for male and female couples that provides all of the benefits of marriage without court pressure. We have a number of religious leaders in Virginia (of all places) demanding that the far right lay off of our community and Spain, the Netherlands and Canada have accepted Gay Marriage or civil unions for same gender couples, with the U. K., France and other countries considering to follow suit. I could not have ever imagined that such developments may come to pass 10 years ago for our community. And though the religious right is becoming very aggressive in response, that shouldn’t surprise us since most wild animals instinctively become extremely dangerous when cornered. Add all of this to the fact that Karl Rove and his political machine have discovered this as the perfect recipe for the centuries-old "Divide-and-Conquer" strategy, which has already proven to work very well for them, and of course we are going to have a fight on our hands. Certainly we wouldn’t think for a minute that they would back off after the success of this tactic in the last election where an incredibly high percentage of gullible Americans were sucked into it. By filling the coffers of both the Republican party, as well as those of the far right to the hilt as a result of their "The gays are coming!" ranting, grass roots America gave them the incentive to milk these tactics over and over to the max. Once Gavin Newsome set the stage for others like him to come forth with an aggressive campaign against bigotry and discrimination, the right wing should only be expected to regroup and create a huge wave of resistance. A wave which we are experiencing now, and which we should well anticipate to increase for some time to come. None of us should be one bit surprised or discouraged. We have to continue addressing whatever comes up, but at the same time, we also need to change our strategy of changing the opinions of grass roots America and obtaining the votes needed from them to combat the problem. My fear is that we put too much of the responsibility for making changes of opinions about our community onto organizations such as HRC, Lambda Legal defense Fund, The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, etc. And we do so without taking on any of that responsibility, ourselves. We’re often not seeing the forest through the trees in this regard and that has to change if we are ever going to affect those who will enter the voting booths of mid-America to determine our fate. This is especially so in our social lives where we all claim to be "out" but still slink into our safe gay havens every weekend so that we don’t have to face straight America head-on at a social level. A big mistake if we are ever going to disprove the claims that the religious right continue to make; that we are nothing but a sorry lot of sex-crazed, alcohol and drug-infested heathens. That’s what they say about us, and we need to convince more Americans otherwise. All of us have social outlets that we could enjoy outside of the Gay & Lesbian world if we just think about it. And to combat the misconceptions of what we’re really about on a social level, we all need to commit to take those social outlets out into the straight world on occasion as LGBT Americans. As one example, some of us are Ballroom, Latin and Country/Western dancers, and we routinely enter the straight world as same gender couples "OUT on the Dance Floor", as we call it. Creating a stir, at first, but in the process, generating more friends and goodwill than we ever would have imagined beforehand (See www.pleasedancewithme.com/gmyopinion.htm#grassrootsgayactivism). Though we may not all be Ballroom, Latin, Country/Western or Swing dancers (or even want to be, for that matter...), all of us have social interests that we could take out into the real world. Not giving false appearance that we are straight, mind you, (which way too many of us do when we're out of our element) but rather as same gender couples or openly gay individuals. Grass roots America needs to be shown that the claims from the right wing about our adverse and self-destructive lifestyles are a myth (at least for "MOST" of us). And we will never disprove those ideas if we insist on hiding out in our sheltered gay and lesbian clubs every weekend. We all CLAIM to be out. It’s now high time that for our own well-being, we confirm that to the voting public. Though it may take time and energy away from those things that we would rather be doing, anything worth having usually does.
i coming from Singapore,To a person 團體制服here. I was an excellent credit咖啡 staff.Many well-known in the credit 徵信社company to work, and excellent credit 徵信performance. I love this job;I work brought endless fun.I hope that the formal減肥I appreciated the boss .I hope to continue to work in the credit徵信. I work seriously,Peaceful coexistence with colleagues.The company has no particular request, 徵信社I can only hope that the wisdom I 燈光音響play.
posted by Anonymous, at
5/16/2008 11:08 PM