Gay Rights Divorced from Economic Abortion

I have seen written that I “must vote for Obama” because I am a gay man. Because, it is proffered, that he’s for gay rights, whatever they may be, and he’s going to solve our problems, whatever they may be. I have seen this on gay blogs everywhere. Though I’ve also seen plenty of commentary to the opposite, and have joined in that opposition. The idea that Obama and this current administration is “for” gay folks is not any different than saying any American is “for” gay folks. Some are, some are not. The issue is so befuddled, so mushed, so convoluted that it’s actually rather impossible to say one is “for” gay folks and our “rights” at all. The gay issue is simply so different, so unrelated to anything else under the sun that I can’t conceive of hitching the gay star to any one politician or his party. The idea is preposterous.

Throughout my life I have had to vote for this or that candidate who not only often didn’t say much, if anything, about gay folks, but when he or she did speak it was dismissive, condescending – they call it “tolerance.” Yes, well, one will tolerate a pebble in one’s boot when running on the battle field, I’m sure. And too, despite a plethora of laws against gayness, and despite a Supreme Court decision basically telling every jurisdiction in the nation to pass whatever laws against gay folks their heart desired, the nation evolved, it got better. Throughout the nastiness and invective from Anita Bryant to today, it has gotten better. With barely a law for us whatsoever. The few laws “for” us, those ambiguous inclusions in the list of aggrieved minorities have not really done much. I have heard of so few lawsuits under these laws that one wonders if they are not mere statements of decency, rather than a “Law to be followed.”

Indeed, it seems, at times, that the more nasty the invective against gay folks, and the more vocally public, the more gay folks are liked by everyone. America loves an underdog – we are the most underdog group on earth. And it’s on earth, too, that we are – spread out all over the place. Gayness is not some American political issue – it is a world political issue. It is not some Left or Right wing thing – it is simply a human thing. We are the untouchables (unless, beaten of course,) of the world. The most despised. And while it is certainly wonderful to have Mr. Obama and the rest of his crew evolve to where many other Americans already were, this hardly makes him a leader. He’s merely a leader who has followed some of his people.

Too, I notice that many religions are moving to like us – in their fashion, in their way, with their words and reasons. Often these are different than the church next door. I notice more and more judges saying “What on earth? This is just wrong!” about all sorts of laws against gay folks. Weirdly, we don’t really need laws for us, so much as we need to be included in laws that already exist. The argument seems to have always been about whether gay folks deserve all the rights and obligations of citizenship. Decades ago we weren’t allowed to meet or pass out political handbills. Decades ago we could not argue for ourselves in court, for the decision was made beforehand – we were gay, ergo, just insane. I find it funny that every single study of gayness since Kinsey starts with the conclusion that something is wrong, or broken, and or missing – and then, lo, they find nothing wrong, broken or missing whatsoever – except, well, we’re still gay.

And throughout the times since I entered the work force and a gay bar – about 1976 – economics was almost foremost on my mind. For the bar existed, the men were there, the gayness afoot – and the laws against us ignored. But we all had jobs, we all had to pay rent, buy food, clothes, and live the good life. (We have a phrase back then: Living well is the best revenge.) Today is no different. It’s the economics that matter – not the law. The law for gay folks was intermittent, even rare – even during the 1950s bar raiding frenzy they still only raided once every few months, and then let the bar open up the next night and go right back to business. No jurisdiction ever didn’t allow a gay bar to exist, if it did. At most they mildly harassed it.

Meanwhile, family, friends, neighbors, coworker wise, gay folks were pushing ahead for acceptance – regardless of what any stinking law said. And we won over people, by the truck loads. It is said today that some 60% of Americans are simply not against including gay folks in some way or another. Oh sure, there’s still differences on how it might be done, and even to some extent on somethings (like 30-30 on “civil unions” – “marriage” – so long as the twain do meet and buss.) And 20%, even 30% more, are evolving so fast it might make heads swim. 10% are digging in their heels in obstinate refusal to see reality. Oh well, perhaps they shall always be with us. Not financially poor, just poor in spirit and humanity.

Is it nice that Obama finally joined the others, the others whom gay folks led to where they are, and not any politician? Sure it is. Welcome, sir, welcome. But don’t tell me now that because you have joined me in my 35 year trek that you are now my leader. I dare say sir, it’s a back of the caravan for you. And meanwhile, what are you doing to the economy?

For let me assure my gay brethren – whether the economy is good or bad – gayness is an issue that stands apart. It’s even tougher than abortion, in fact. Abortion is rather easy – it’s a fetus, you’re removing it, killing it, eliminating it – pick a word, I don’t care – and you are either for this or against this – but what it is is rather clear >> a woman is pregnant and you are ending it – presto, done! But gayness? Hahaha! There are still people arguing over what it even is. We know what starts the abortion process – sex, it leads to pregnancy, which leads to the decision or not, which leads to the end of the pregnancy. It’s like a TV show – a beginning, a middle, an end – in an allotted time. Gayness? Well, as the Archbishop of the Armed Forces says: it’s largely unexplained. No one knows how it starts, nor much about the middle, nor how to end it, or even if it should be ended, or could be if one wanted to.

What that has to do with the IRS code I have no idea. What is the gay position on whether we should be writing massive new laws on financial services? How could there be such a position? Gayness is endemic to humankind the world over – what does a Brazilian or an Indonesian gay person have to do with the USA’s financial services sector regulations? Sure, as an American one might be for or against Dodd-Frank, or Ryan’s new plan, or some other plan I never heard of – what does whom you smooch and whether the neighborhood church likes it or not have to do with it? You might well agree with the preacher on financial services regulation, and perhaps on every other matter under the sun, but still he thinks you are going to hell and should be incarcerated as a gay man.

I find it odd that even our most obstreperous opponents on the gay thing are not aware that they agree with gays on so many matters it’s rather alarming. Or not. Depends on your politics. Would a gay man have the same politics if he was hetero? Or a hetero the same if he was gay? How could one know? For the politics of our days – finance, economics, jobs, regulations, laws, health care, schools, foreign policy, and more and so on – are all there regardless of whether there ever were gay folks – or if there were 20% of us, or 2% of us in the population. And if each and everyone of these issues was magically resolved tomorrow in total 100% agreement by all Americans – you would still have the gay thing – even if all gays joined the 100% on agreement on the new and improved IRS code.

And my gayness and my acceptance by many a hetero has been utterly independent of whether Mr. Obama and his minions have been for or against this acceptance. Meanwhile, whether I have a job or am making money, or the government isn’t forcing me to do this or that, or preventing me from acting this way or however, is also independent of my gayness. I could be married to a fine gal with perfect kids and find myself in the same spot in life – then what? I make a political decision as to whether Obama is for the gay guy next door getting married or not? Meanwhile, his economics have caused me to lose my job and go on assistance, however graciously supplied by bureaucrats, and I can’t buy a nice gift for the marriage he now approves of, and just so recently? And suppose, as the hetero, I’m for the marriage, what do I care if Romney is against it, if he will make sure I have the job to earn the money and the low taxes to keep it so that I might buy the bigger wedding gift? For how can a president prevent a marriage from being recognized by those who matter – one’s family and friends.

And because I want to get rid of the supposed 1400 or so “rights” and “obligations” of the law related to marriage – what do I care if the government now is to recognize gay marriages that have to conform to this confabulation? I’d rather get rid of the laws, frankly, and the joint IRS return completely gone – and have my neighbors and family recognize my marriage well before some bureaucracy bleeding me financially dry says “yes, it’s OK.”

So, no, I cannot vote for Obama because he’s for gay marriage, of a sudden. Though I can’t vote for Romney because he’s basically for rearranging the Titanic’s deck chairs – so I shall vote for Gary Johnson – the Libertarian – as I’ve done for decades – supporting the only political party that has been for gay folks both socially and economically since the 1970s. And then watched in bemused discontent the rest of you hash out which of the twiddles, dee or dum, has made a mess of the next four years.

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1 Comment

  1. jim, republicans are controled by the christian taliban, 12 republican senators believe if a women is raped , she must have the rapist child, republicans hate poor people, but they want to force poor people to produce more babies, republicans believe that the constitution does not protect abortion roghts or gayrights, because their is no right to privacy, they want gays and reproduvtive rights crimminalized,mitt romney will put a women and gay hater on the court, so the right to privacy will be overturned, any gay person that likes republicans, deep dpwn does not like himself, this is the most anti gay party in the world, not to mention the most destructive to our econmy with their silly trikle

    down policy, which has never worked

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