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Saturday, February 18, 2012

What's the Opposite of Lavender?

Impossible to say, since black and white are the only two colors that are polar opposites on the light spectrum. But if we had to choose a color that's the perfect analogue of lavender, the more or less official color of the gay rights revolution, I'd nominate black.

Because, while white is, paradoxically, all colors, black is the complete absence of color and doesn't even qualify as one. Black also perfectly describes metaphorically the fist-like little hearts of scumbags like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for making good on his threat to veto the marriage equality bill passed in the New Jersey Senate late Thursday night.

Democratic leaders in the New Jersey legislature have vowed to have the necessary votes to overturn Christie's veto and one cannot overstress the importance of doing so. It's been a very exciting week for those of us in the LGBT community: The NJ legislature passing a marriage equality bill (or gay marriage bill, if you're feeling a little more adventurous) comes on the heels of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' 2-1 ruling that California's Proposition 8 was unconstitutional. It's important to parse the distinction between the 9th Circuit striking down the unconstitutionality of overturning existing state law and them saying that opposing gay marriage is in itself unconstitutional (which they did not).

Still the 9th Circuit Court's ruling for not the first time revealed the pettiness and lawlessness behind the homophobic mindset that created Prop H8 and has kept this useless referendum on the books for over three years. Said Judge Stephen Reinhardt in his majority opinion,
Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.

For now, I'll gloss over his failure to include us bisexuals in his ruling and just cut to the chase: That it's simply wrong to impose your notions of morality at the expense of the dignity of your fellow human beings.

As I said last night in my jeremiad to GOProud, the hateful organization that discriminates against liberals as everyone but liberals discriminates against them, the only thing distinguishing the LGBT community from everyone else is with whom we choose to sleep. And with whom we fall in love. Falling in love, as virtually any human being will tell you, is as involuntary as our sexual identities.

It's the love part that freaks out right wingers and homophobes so much they cannot even bring themselves to address it. This is why they confine their arguments to gay sex, something guaranteed to give their fellow homophobes the dry heaves. They faithfully trot out Leviticus, a book in the Bible that was plainly written by deeply disturbed people, as if it's the law we ought to be observing and enforcing including the capital punishment part.

It's the narrowing of their argument to anal sex, swallowing semen, one woman going down on another woman and AIDS that produces a visceral reaction in others who are simply incapable of believing that sexual orientation is something you're born with. Love? Well, that's much, much harder to invalidate. We may not have experience in gay sex and many of you may even feel it's repugnant. But most of us, if we're lucky, know what true love feels like.

So, automatically defeated on that front, they narrow their arguments as they seek to criminalize homosexuality, even going as far as to import their hateful homophobia to other countries with the express purpose of imposing the death penalty.

And as if discriminating against their fellow humans isn't bad enough, the GOP is taking more than baby steps toward genocide by decriminalizing anti-gay bullying and even physical violence. When the Michigan Senate voted on an anti-bullying bill, House Republicans had already succeeded in inserting an amendment that neatly defanged the legislation and even subverted its entire reason for being. Michigan Republicans made it legal for one student to bully, beat and even kill a gay, lesbian or bisexual student as long as they whip out the Religion/Morality card.

Essentially, it turned Matt's Safe School Law into a 007 license for homophobes to beat gay students with absolute impunity. Even more despicably, this was hailed as a "compromise" with Republicans, despite it offering no real protections for LBGT youth who since time immemorial have been specially singled out for persecution.

This genocidal movement against LGBT youth is multi-faceted. Right wingers like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council screamed until they were blue in the face over President Obama making Kevin Jennings the head of the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. Jennings achieved notoriety in right wing circles by founding the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, which caters to straight students as well as LGBT youth. Mr. Jennings' responsibilities as President Obama's Safe Schools Czar also includes curbing drug abuse.

When you see and hear the furor arising from Mr. Jennings' appointment by our president (think about that, too, GOProud, next time you try to spit venom at liberals and Democrats who allegedly hate gays), you shouldn't need to take even half a step back in the interests of perspective, objectivity and context to see how hateful it is for anyone to stand in the way of making our public schools safer for our greatest asset and resource: Our youth. Our very future.

Religious freedom, to people like Perkins and other evangelical homophobes, essentially boils down to getting their way every time and not being disagreed with even at the expense of endangering our LGBT youth and indemnifying their abusers and killers.

If they're willing to disrespect our nation's LGBT youth, then no one with an ounce of compassion and grey matter should feel beholden to respect their homophobia whether or not it's clutching a cross. The First Amendment curtails the government's attempts to establish a national religion and mandates that it respect all faiths. It does not obligate individuals to do the same.

I do not respect a religion that is not all-inclusive and seeks to destroy a portion of humankind that has been around since the earliest days of prehistory and will be around as long as our species endures. And while my passion for certain issues waxes and wanes, what will never diminish and what will the last thing for which I stop fighting, is gay rights for my people.

And if you evangelical nut jobs out there want to scream discrimination, I have but four words for you: "How does it feel?"
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