My first post was about the constitutional amendment in North Carolina that banned same-sex marriage. People were bummed about this vote, but I looked on the bright side:
Lots of people are understandably upset about the vote in NC yesterday, but here’s the thing. It didn’t change anything. No laws changed at all. Thirty states now have similar constitutional amendments, so don’t single out NC. But more importantly: all these bigoted constitutional amendments are just the last gasps of a dying movement. Like turning dogs and fire hoses on people during the civil rights era, people react violently to change. But the trend is clear. Gay marriage is coming. Poll after poll shows that, as the older homophobes die off, the younger generation embraces gay rights. In 50 years (or 30 or 20 or 10) people will look back on these constitutional amendments as ugly moments in our history. Voters, you’re on the wrong side of history.The next day I re-posted this from the George Takei page:
Ha! Pointing out the hypocrisy of blowhards on the Right is fun and easy.
Then the President himself came out with a public position, at long last, that he was in favor of gay marriage. The first president to do so!!! There was much rejoicing in Facebookland.
But there always has to be some cynic sulking in the corner and taking a dump on everyone's happiness.
After reading a great passage from another blogging Tim, See Tim Blog, I posted this on Facebook:
I've had so many friends post about Obama's public declaration on gay marriage yesterday that I can't decide which ones to "like." So instead I'll post my own thing, from some random guy's blog who is also named Tim: "Sure, it would be great if Barry [Obama] dispensed with the "state by state" rhetoric so beloved of Republicans. But guess what, children: Barry is the fucking President of the United Freaking States and he's up against a shit-ton of bollocks being thrown his way constantly forever by a certifiably insane right-wing who has been amazingly adept at not inspiring the electorate-at-large to tell it to just STFU with its constant stream of idiotic, schizophrenic claptrap. He came out with an eloquent defense of gay marriage that, guess what, probably a lot of folks--left, right, and center--can relate to: He knows gay people, knows their families, and at the end of the day just can no longer see the reason for them to be a separate category of people."This post got me into an argument with some FB friends. They were upset at the "timing" of Obama's announcement, that it was a "slap in the face" to all the NC gays and singles who had their rights "stripped away" by this vote.
Um, excuse me, but Obama didn't strip away their rights. The NC voters did. Somehow, Obama's announcing his support for those very gays who had their rights stripped away was now "chickenshit."(Actual word used.)
What the what?!?
When I pointed out the absurd logic of this reasoning, they claimed that Obama only made that announcement for "political reasons" because he asked for money from gay rights groups afterward.
He's a politician-- of course he's going to make political calculations and try to play up his base. But HIS BASE IS THE GAY-FRIENDLY. Why wouldn't he ask them for money? That's how politics works. But if you think he ONLY came out in favor of gay marriage just to win political points, your cynicism is unfounded. Sixty-one percent of voters in a swing state had just opposed gay marriage! I certainly wouldn't call it "chickenshit" to make a principled stand against that majority.
When I pointed this out, my friend said that it's not worth it to defend their position (because it is indefensible, I muse snarkily), but that they voted for Obama once, but won't do it again.
This just makes me sad.
I can understand it if you oppose Obama because you're conservative-- you're against social programs or civil rights or the working class or diversity or protecting the environment. But for someone who supports gay rights, who's ANGRY that a constitutional amendment was passed that denies gays the right to marry, for someone like that to hold a grudge against the first president ever who comes out publicly in support of gay marriage-- merely because of his TIMING? So much so that they won't even vote for him?
That's a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face. If you don't believe Obama has done anything for gay rights, read this. Would you really rather hand the fate of civil rights over to the Republicans? (While Obama was being all "chickenshit" and coming out in favor of gay marriage, Romney was proudly re-affirming his opposition to it.) If you don't vote for the progressive candidate, you only have yourself to blame when rights are "stripped away."
It's such twisted logic, so ridiculous and irrational, it makes me lose what little faith I had in the political process. If this is how people decide to vote, then Democracy really doesn't work. And that makes me angry, because now that cynicism has rubbed off on me. They've made me cynical, too.
But no, I'm not going to let a few irrational hotheads ruin this moment. Obama's announcement is a Big Deal, and I'm going to revel in it. As Andrew Sullivan writes, "To have the president of the United States affirm my humanity—and the humanity of all gay Americans—was, unexpectedly, a watershed. He shifted the mainstream in one interview." [My italics.]
This was the fourth (and last) thing I shared on FB, and it made me happy:
14 Steps That Will Evolve Your Views On Gay Marriage