07 November 2008

A Parable On Proposition 8

Once upon a time, an old black woman boarded a bus and sat in the front row. All of the white people around her glared. The bus driver turned to the old black woman and gruffly said, "You can't sit there."

The old black woman looked down at the floor, "But I'm tired."

"And you're black! Now get to the back of the bus!" the driver snapped back.

The old black woman feebly replied, "You're right. I'm sorry. I should just be glad that you let me on the bus in the first place." Then she picked up her belongings and moved to the back of the bus.

Oh, Diarist, now that's taking it way too far! You've crossed a line!

Good. Because advancements in civil rights don't happen on their own. People have to cross lines. If it wasn't for Rosa Parks, there would be no Barack Obama. So get over your fragile senibilities.

Same-sex marriage is the civil rights issue of our generation. And although perhaps it isn't that important to some same-sex couples out there ... just like riding up with the white folk wasn't important to some black folk back then ... doesn't discount it's importance. This is about our families and the families like ours to follow.

Get some real pride. Get some real anger. And fight for what is guaranteed to us by our country's core principles.


novadj61 said...

Oddly, I have felt the same way with regard to same sex marriage. Like any other cause, it must be fought for if it is worth anything at all. Causes are not won because someone or "ones" is/are highly vocal. Change is effected by people bonding together in a cause and fighting TOGETHER for that cause.

There has to be a purpose for the cause and the willingness within the group to work TOGETHER to attain the goal. don't get me wrong, I am 250% in favor of same sex marriage, but I do feel that there is not currently enough unity within the gay community to warrant such a change in society.

I know I have always gone against the grain. I have always believed that there is an order to everything, and a way to do anything…somewhat of a NONconformist, if you will. I have several beliefs that some might call radical, while others call them bitter. Either way, they are mine, and part of the beauty of living in this country is that one can believe anything he/she likes, for that is what freedom is all about.

For instance….

I believe that all men and women are created equal. Yes there are different colors, different economic backgrounds, different professions, different hair color, eye color, skin color, but we are all STILL human, just as there are different makes and models and colors of cars yet they are STILL cars. So WHY is it (if we are all human to begin with) that we feel the need to treat each other differently? Why do we feel the need to improve our self image by making others feel as badly about themselves as possible? Why is it not possible for us to look outside the “mirror” to what may be outside?

I believe that everyone has the right to happiness…
I believe everyone has the right to be treated with respect…
I believe that everyone has the right to love whomever they wish, and the right to express that love however they wish.
I believe that everyone has the right to live their lives and be who they are without being made to feel as if they are second class citizens or less than simply because they don’t wear the same hair style or the same clothes or listen to the same music, for we never know when we might meet the most important person of our lives.


I believe the only way we are EVER going to pass a gay marriage bill is for the gay community to band together and WORK for it.

I appreciate the reference to Rosa parks and the bus boycott. As tragic as it was, the one most important thing about the civil rights movement was UNITY. The people united in a single cause and proceeded to see it through to the end. They came together in support of their cause. I am sure they didn’t all like each other. I am positive that they didn’t all dress alike or work in the same professions, or live in the same neighborhoods. They didn’t all listen to the same music or watch the same movies or TV shows. They didn’t have the same friends or relatives or drive the same cars. They were each individuals who pulled together (much the same as ingredients in cake batter) mixed it up (for everyone has something to offer) and began to make a cake called civil rights. They didn’t have time to only speak to those who fit into a certain age group, or ONLKY go to restaurants that were “black friendly”, they didn’t make it a point to push themselves onto anyone else as if they were victims. Rather, they attempted to show the world that they were as good as anyone else. That they were EQUAL. The ONLY way they could do that was to BE equal. You see, the civil rights movement was not about being black, it was about being fair. We are going to have to remember that first and foremost WE ARE PEOPLE! We have to learn to stop segregating ourselves as GAY people and learn to be apart of society as PEOPLE. There is already enough division in this country and we don’t need to perpetuate it by separating ourselves and making it a point to be so completely different as if the world owes us special treatment because we are gay.

I don’t believe there will ever be a same-sex marriage bill passed until gays and lesbians can learn to treat EACH OTHER with respect FIRST. I think that while we are doing our stints in the mirror, we need to realize that we are NOT victims and the world owes us absolutely nothing just because we are here….


“If you disrespect anybody that you run in to
How in the world do you think anybody's s'posed to respect you
If you don't give a heck 'bout the man with the bible in his hand
Just get out the way, and let the gentleman do his thing
You the kind of gentleman that want everything your way
Take the sheet off your face, boy, it's a brand new day

Respect yourself, respect yourself
If you don't respect yourself
Ain't nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na
Respect yourself, respect yourself

If you're walking 'round think'n that the world owes you something cause
You're here you goin' out the world backwards like you did when you first come here
You keep talkin’ bout the president and wanna stop air pollution
Put your hand on your mouth when you cough, that'll help the solution
Oh, you cuss around women and you don't even know their names and you
Dumb enough to think that'll make you a big ol man

Respect yourself”

My point is that until we learn to respect ourselves and EACH OTHER as gay Americans, we don’t have the right to demand OR expect respect from anyone else. Until we can see that we don’t have to want to be with someone in order to say hello…until we can see that we can learn something from everyone we meet (not just those who look like us or act like us or are the same age as us or the same color, etc, etc)…until we can come together to present a UNITED FRONT, we will NEVER pass a same-sex marriage bill. You see, it is one thing to talk about the civil rights movement, but it is another thing altogether to live it…to practice it in our daily lives, for it is not a drag show, it is LIFE!

Jimmie said...

I'm sorry, man, but I don't agree. I simply don't see it as a civil rights issue. I know this is a touchy issue, but you still have to explain to me how carving out one exception to the "no two people of the same gender may marry each other" rule is an exercise in equality.

Then you have to explain to me why letting two gay people marry but not allowing other types of currently-prohibited marriages is fair or equal.

I'm not trying to light a fire here. I'm working from a rational basis. I just don't see the equal rights argument.