Monday, May 15, 2006

Say NO to bigotry and get America back on track

The Human Rights Campaign alerted me today to take action on the June 5 vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment. Republicans fearing losses during the midterm elections have resurrected one of their favorite boogey-men and a divisive issue--gay marriage--to distract the nation from more important congressional business--the Iraq War, immigration, energy costs, health care, and the economy.

Examine the most important issues facing Americans and you won't find gay marriage on the current list.

Only one poll back in 2004--the last time the GOP used gay-baiting to mobilize social conservatives--listed gay marriage at all and it was a low priority compared to the economy, terrorism, Iraq, and health care.

To the Time Poll's discredit, they lumped the gay marriage topic into "moral values issues," a specious attempt to frame the civil rights of a sexual minority as a "moral issue"--ugly political chicanery--which completely ignores the immorality of discrimination against a legit minority. Shame on Time.

Dishonest GOP politics and the outrageous, undocumented falsehood that allowing gays to legalize their unions will destroy the marriages of hetero people is a dubious claim. The divorce rate won't alter one bit for married hetero couples if gays can marry or legalize their relationships with civil unions. The Right's assertion that the sanctity of marriage is under assault is red herring, a diversion away from the truth, and an underhanded way to exploit the fear of conservatives to react with an emotional knee-jerk. Gay unions won't change how, when, or why heteros marry or divorce. Not. At. All.

But why bring gay marriage into the national debate and to a vote in Congress? Why now? With Bush's job disapproval at an all-time high and division within the GOP, putting FMA on the front-burner will rally the homophobic contingent of the conservative base and distract attention from Republican failures. Don't take the bait.

Do Americans truly want to codify discrimination into the U.S. Constitution? I don't think so and polls demonstrate that Americans oppose a federal amendment that takes away citizen rights. As Americans--and religious leaders--denounce the actions of right-wing efforts to keep gay U.S. citizens at the back of the bus, consider the words of the late civil rights advocate, Coretta Scott King. She didn't agree with anti-gay bigotry and her words powerfully speak the truth:

"I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice... But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream to make room at the table of brother and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people."

...Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood," she said in a speech in Chicago in April 1998, just days before the 30th anniversary of her late husband's assassination. "I've always felt that homophobic attitudes and policies were unjust and unworthy of a free society and must be opposed by all Americans who believe in democracy."

But out-of-touch floundering Republicans want to hype an issue that won't affect the vast majority of Americans in the least to avert scrutiny from their abject failures in leading the nation to more prosperous and peaceful times. Republicans will do most anything to avoid accountability:

Rather than defend Bush, Rove will seek to rally the Republicans’ conservative grass roots by painting Democrats as the party of tax increases, gay marriage, secularism and military weakness. That’s where the national message money is going to be spent.

Take action and stop the insanity of Republicans off-track, heading us in the wrong direction and ignoring America's priorities. Say NO to the Federal Marriage Amendment and YES to no longer being manipulated politically. Voice your dissent and get Congress back on track and on the main issues affecting us all. Don't fall for gay-baiting and the GOP tactic to change the subject as they did in 2004. Look at what that got us.