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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-04-04 09:30 PM
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A few words about the discussion of gay rights and related issues.
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Edited on Thu Nov-04-04 10:12 PM by Skinner
We find ourselves in a rather unpleasant situation here, because events outside of DU have raised a rather sensitive issue: How does the issue of Gay rights effect the national electoral prospects of the Democratic party?

I will spare you a long discussion about my point of view, and boil my opinion down to one sentence: I believe that some potential Democratic voters are turned off by Gay rights, but on balance I believe that the issue helps us more than it hurts us, and I believe we can win nationally without abandoning our support of equal rights for all. But the purpose of this post is not to tell you my point of view.

The purpose of this post is to remind everyone that Democratic Underground has rules regarding anti-gay bigotry. We expect *all* of our members to support equal rights for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation.

We have very few litmus test issues on DU. We permit members to be pro-life or pro-gun or whatever, provided that they are generally on our side.

But this is a litmus test issue, because we are talking about REAL PEOPLE, our fellow members of this community. I simply will not tolerate the idea of some DU members arguing that other DU members are not deserving of full and equal rights. This is a moral issue. If DU had existed back during the civil rights movement, I hope that we would all agree that this was not the place to discuss whether blacks deserve civil rights.

But I also need to make something else clear: Democratic Underground is a message board dedicated to the discussion of political issues, including how political issues affect the electoral prospects of the Democratic Party. It is not homophobic to discuss whether the issue of Gay rights cost us votes, provided that you are not discussing the issue in a homophobic way. But it is homophobic to scapegoat gays and lesbians in an effort to answer an extremely complex question like "why did we lose?"

So, where is the line drawn here? What is acceptable discourse and what is not? I wish there were easy answers. I would prefer not to have to make calls like this, because invariably someone gets pissed off, but it comes with the job description.

Keep the following guidelines in mind:

1. We expect all of our members to support equal rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation. That includes the right to marry.

2. If you want to discuss this issue, you need to do so in a manner that is sensitive to the values of this diverse community. Be as clear and as non-inflammatory as possible in everything you say.

3. If you are opposed to gay rights, you are a homophobe. Don't share that particular point of view here or else you're going to get banned. You've been warned.

4. If your explanation for why we lost is based entirely (or almost entirely) on gay rights, then you are scapegoating and you're probably a homophobe. You might get banned.

5. If you are arguing that the party needs to abandon support for gay rights entirely, then you might not be an outright homophobe, but in my opinion you are not sufficiently supportive of equal rights.

6. It is not homophobic to point out the obvious truth that there are large numbers of people in large regions of the country who are opposed to gay rights. ON EDIT: It also not homophobic to point out that political candidates, particularly those running in conservative areas, may have to compromise on the issue of gay rights for the purposes of political expediency.

7. I believe that we need to focus on the question of how our party can be competitive nationally without abandoning this core principle. I believe that gay rights is not a make-or-break issue for a majority of voters in any state. The opinions of hard-core homophobes notwithstanding, my impression is that most Americans are supportive of the idea that people should be able to live their lives how they like. How do we convince potential voters that they need not be afraid? How do we convince potential voters that they should care more about their job and their health care and their children than about who some stranger falls in love with? These are the questions we need to be asking.

We are right on this issue, I have no doubt. In 40 years, we are going to look back at opposition to gay marriage as something as bigoted and anachronistic as opposition to interracial marriage.

I am sorry if some of you feel I am putting too much restriction on the discussion of this topic. I am also sorry if some of you feel I am not restrictive enough. My goal is to create a place where we can discuss the issues in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
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  -A few words about the discussion of gay rights and related issues. Skinner  Nov-04-04 09:30 PM   #0 
  - Thank you.  seaj11   Nov-04-04 09:34 PM   #1 
  - Thanks....much needed on here..  Dob Bole   Nov-05-04 04:40 PM   #137 
  - I'm really glad you posted this.  DrWeird   Nov-04-04 09:36 PM   #2 
  - Agreed with much of what was written..  TheEvilThatMenDo   Nov-04-04 09:36 PM   #3 
  - I believe that is key.  Skinner   Nov-05-04 06:34 AM   #43 
  - Thank You.  TeacherCreature   Nov-04-04 09:37 PM   #4 
  - Amen, it was getting very odd this afternoon and disturbing  wellstone_democrat   Nov-04-04 11:18 PM   #27 
  - Thank you...  arcos   Nov-04-04 09:38 PM   #5 
  - Thank you so very much  plastic_turkeys   Nov-04-04 09:40 PM   #6 
  - Must support gay marriage  JPJones   Nov-04-04 09:40 PM   #7 
  - John Kerry is a politician.  Skinner   Nov-04-04 09:43 PM   #9 
  - It is impossible to know what his true feelings really are  Sterling   Nov-04-04 09:47 PM   #11 
  - It would be a great thing.  Skinner   Nov-04-04 09:50 PM   #14 
  - I really hope we can get the amount of "lets sellout the gay"  Sterling   Nov-04-04 10:28 PM   #23 
     - I am with you Sterling. I also will take a hardstand against that.  umtalal   Nov-05-04 09:10 AM   #64 
  - No it is not impossible, he told us in the 3rd debate  NewYorkerfromMass   Nov-04-04 11:26 PM   #29 
     - get the government out of marriage  RegexReader   Nov-06-04 08:04 AM   #139 
  - But  HFishbine   Nov-05-04 11:25 AM   #102 
  - I have real problems with this.  djg21   Nov-05-04 09:47 AM   #75 
     - This website is not an arm of the Democratic Party.  Skinner   Nov-05-04 10:50 AM   #89 
  - is this related to bush's mandate?  kodi   Nov-04-04 09:42 PM   #8 
  - AGree 100%  RinaJ   Nov-04-04 09:46 PM   #10 
  - Thank you  Amaya   Nov-04-04 09:48 PM   #12 
  - Right on! Thanks!  phish420   Nov-04-04 09:48 PM   #13 
  - Thank You!  really annoyed   Nov-04-04 09:53 PM   #15 
  - Jesus is alleged to have said  msongs   Nov-04-04 09:53 PM   #16 
  - What would Rush do then? n/t  Midlodemocrat   Nov-05-04 06:08 AM   #39 
  - Thanks, Skinner. It needed to be said.  cat_girl25   Nov-04-04 09:53 PM   #17 
  - Can I hear a BIG AMEN!  DuaneBidoux   Nov-04-04 09:58 PM   #18 
  - Thank you, but I still want "Hide Threads" back! nt  blondeatlast   Nov-04-04 09:59 PM   #19 
  - I disagree with some of what you say...  Jack_DeLeon   Nov-04-04 09:59 PM   #20 
  - Sooooo.......we should start our posts with, "I personally support gay  Mike L   Nov-04-04 10:27 PM   #21 
  - I know some people are going to think this is dumb, but...  Skinner   Nov-05-04 06:43 AM   #44 
  - Very nice, Skinner.  madfloridian   Nov-04-04 10:27 PM   #22 
  - Very good.  Eloriel   Nov-04-04 10:45 PM   #24 
  - I am 100% in support of gay rights  Walt Starr   Nov-04-04 11:07 PM   #25 
  - Exactly Walt  wabeewoman   Nov-05-04 11:35 AM   #103 
  - Many thanks  Riverman   Nov-04-04 11:15 PM   #26 
  - Thank You Very Much Skinner.  TriMetFan   Nov-04-04 11:26 PM   #28 
  - I suppose you put lots of effort into this  jarab   Nov-04-04 11:33 PM   #30 
  - I don't think the gay marriage issue cost us the election  Midlodemocrat   Nov-05-04 06:11 AM   #40 
  - Jarab, you're not going to get banned.  Skinner   Nov-05-04 06:53 AM   #46 
  - Well, I don't support (civil) "marriages" at all. Period.  TahitiNut   Nov-05-04 08:09 AM   #55 
  - I agree, however . . .  djg21   Nov-05-04 09:55 AM   #81 
  - Oy vey.  freetobegay   Nov-05-04 09:48 AM   #76 
  - Thanks, Skinner.  alwynsw   Nov-05-04 12:01 AM   #31 
  - I feel for you. Good luck with the fighting behind line.  TriMetFan   Nov-05-04 12:09 AM   #32 
  - Thank you so much!  alwynsw   Nov-05-04 12:14 AM   #34 
  - you fight where it is most important  Kipepeo   Nov-05-04 11:49 AM   #107 
  - Thank you, Skinner.  Sapphocrat   Nov-05-04 12:13 AM   #33 
  - Thank you, Skinner.  94114_San_Francisco   Nov-05-04 12:34 AM   #35 
  - Thank you, Skinner  incapsulated   Nov-05-04 03:51 AM   #36 
  - Thank you, Skinner  theHandpuppet   Nov-05-04 04:45 AM   #37 
  - I will  Midlodemocrat   Nov-05-04 06:17 AM   #42 
  - Right On Skinner !!!  WillyT   Nov-05-04 04:49 AM   #38 
  - I agree with you 100%  Midlodemocrat   Nov-05-04 06:14 AM   #41 
  - did I miss it?  iverglas   Nov-05-04 06:51 AM   #45 
  - I'm a strong supporter of a woman's right to choose.  Skinner   Nov-05-04 07:11 AM   #47 
  - it's too bad  iverglas   Nov-05-04 07:38 AM   #52 
  - I'm trying to be as honest and fair as possible here.  Skinner   Nov-05-04 08:11 AM   #57 
     - any time this stops being fun  iverglas   Nov-05-04 09:06 AM   #63 
     - I think you made a mistake in terminology...  progdonkey   Nov-05-04 09:53 AM   #79 
        - heh  iverglas   Nov-05-04 10:16 AM   #84 
           - The Problem is that pro-choicers have given in by using  OrwellwasRight   Nov-05-04 11:03 AM   #95 
              - 'zactly  iverglas   Nov-05-04 01:29 PM   #128 
              - Bingo  Djinn   Nov-07-04 04:25 PM   #141 
  - I agree with that as well  Midlodemocrat   Nov-05-04 07:44 AM   #53 
     - They are both killings...  Jack_DeLeon   Nov-05-04 11:47 AM   #106 
     - They are both killings  Midlodemocrat   Nov-05-04 01:16 PM   #124 
     - I'm one but it's NOT hypocrisy  Djinn   Nov-07-04 04:33 PM   #142 
     - Not necessarily  OrwellwasRight   Nov-05-04 12:35 PM   #121 
        - Clarification  Midlodemocrat   Nov-05-04 01:20 PM   #125 
           - Agreed. n/t  OrwellwasRight   Nov-05-04 01:26 PM   #127 
           - How can you be staunchly anti-death penalty but not prolife?  Justice   Nov-05-04 03:55 PM   #132 
              - Because I think it is up to the woman  Midlodemocrat   Nov-06-04 12:31 AM   #138 
              - one is a individual  Djinn   Nov-07-04 04:35 PM   #143 
  - Thank you, thank you, thank you iverglas!  Love Bug   Nov-05-04 07:24 AM   #51 
  - Thank you iverglas  VelmaD   Nov-05-04 10:44 AM   #87 
  - Thanks, Skinner.  arwalden   Nov-05-04 07:16 AM   #48 
  - Thank you, Skinner.  terrya   Nov-05-04 07:17 AM   #49 
  - Sadly, it's the Blame Game.  Beware the Beast Man   Nov-05-04 08:44 AM   #60 
  - Remember 63% were FOR either marriage or civil unions. They were  54anickel   Nov-05-04 07:21 AM   #50 
  - Well, I didn't see this post before I posted a thread about this  unfrigginreal   Nov-05-04 07:44 AM   #54 
  - I don't see anything wrong with that.  Skinner   Nov-05-04 08:16 AM   #59 
  - Thanks, Skinner. Let's draw a line in the sand here.  Wat_Tyler   Nov-05-04 08:10 AM   #56 
  - Well put!!!!! n/t  skryabushka   Nov-05-04 08:13 AM   #58 
  - Skinner, you hit the nail right on the head  welshTerrier2   Nov-05-04 08:59 AM   #61 
  - Skinner: we should title this thread as what the dem. party should do next  umtalal   Nov-05-04 09:04 AM   #62 
  - This is an oversmplified view.  Skinner   Nov-05-04 09:19 AM   #66 
     - Well then basing it on your post. Let us start a brainstorming thread.  umtalal   Nov-05-04 09:31 AM   #71 
     - Absolutely. Bill Clinton did it and he was pro-choice.  Kerryfan   Nov-05-04 10:25 AM   #85 
     - Well, I live in the South, and I think I know the answer.  Mike L   Nov-05-04 12:38 PM   #122 
  - THANKS SKINNER  Skittles   Nov-05-04 09:11 AM   #65 
  - AMEN!  molly   Nov-05-04 09:20 AM   #67 
  - THANK YOU SKINNER!!!!!  ET Awful   Nov-05-04 09:20 AM   #68 
  - thank you  amazona   Nov-05-04 09:22 AM   #69 
  - My feeling is that this rule is poorly done.  Romberry   Nov-05-04 09:30 AM   #70 
  - Anything less is Jim Crow  publichealthnut1   Nov-05-04 09:51 AM   #78 
  - For some reason "marriage" just seems  jjanpundt   Nov-05-04 10:16 AM   #83 
  - Romberry, I think you misunderstand.  Skinner   Nov-05-04 10:55 AM   #92 
  - That's almost worse  HFishbine   Nov-05-04 11:23 AM   #101 
     - You're fine.  Skinner   Nov-05-04 11:57 AM   #109 
        - Have you been able to put a dent in that brick wall yet Skinner?  freetobegay   Nov-05-04 12:01 PM   #114 
        - Well, there you go then  HFishbine   Nov-05-04 12:07 PM   #115 
           - Again, it's not a new rule.  Skinner   Nov-05-04 12:14 PM   #118 
  - historically  Djinn   Nov-07-04 04:39 PM   #145 
  - What about people who only support civil unions?  Endangered Specie   Nov-05-04 09:35 AM   #72 
  - I'm from the south and voted against the protect marriage amendment  The Flaming Red Head   Nov-05-04 09:44 AM   #73 
  - While we are on the subject of sensitive issues...  Endangered Specie   Nov-05-04 09:45 AM   #74 
  - We may change our approach to this issue.  Skinner   Nov-05-04 11:13 AM   #99 
     - Thank you for your consideration.  Endangered Specie   Nov-05-04 12:42 PM   #123 
  - Gay Gratitude = Heartfelt Gratitude; Empathy Required  publichealthnut1   Nov-05-04 09:49 AM   #77 
  - I thank you for your words  freetobegay   Nov-05-04 09:55 AM   #80 
  - Please do not take names.  Skinner   Nov-05-04 12:18 PM   #119 
  - Never mind  theboss   Nov-05-04 10:13 AM   #82 
  - great post, and badly needed . . . thank you! . . . n/t  OneBlueSky   Nov-05-04 10:35 AM   #86 
  - Thank you Skinner. n/t  Redneck Socialist   Nov-05-04 10:49 AM   #88 
  - Thank you!  helnwhls   Nov-05-04 10:51 AM   #90 
  - Thanks! nt  Dian2004   Nov-05-04 10:51 AM   #91 
  - Thread I Started In The Meeting Room, Please Copy,and Distribute  norml   Nov-05-04 11:01 AM   #93 
  - well said  realcountrymusic   Nov-05-04 11:02 AM   #94 
  - This is a first and ought to be reconsidered  HFishbine   Nov-05-04 11:11 AM   #96 
  - Actually, our rules have always forbidden anti-gay bigotry.  Skinner   Nov-05-04 11:18 AM   #100 
     - Careful, don't put words in my mouth  HFishbine   Nov-05-04 11:44 AM   #105 
        - I fully understand why national candidates have to fudge this issue.  Skinner   Nov-05-04 11:50 AM   #108 
           - Argggh  HFishbine   Nov-05-04 11:59 AM   #111 
           - So as a 'goal'  Freddie Stubbs   Nov-05-04 12:00 PM   #112 
              - Nothing homophobic about that point of view, IMO.  Skinner   Nov-05-04 12:09 PM   #116 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Nov-05-04 11:12 AM   #97 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Nov-05-04 11:13 AM   #98 
  - Thank You Skinner  Kipepeo   Nov-05-04 11:42 AM   #104 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Nov-05-04 11:59 AM   #110 
  - We have to look at the meat of the issue.  votefordan   Nov-05-04 12:01 PM   #113 
  - Thank You Skinner Bigotry Is A Distraction And Doesn't Need To Be Here  americanwomanone   Nov-05-04 12:11 PM   #117 
  - It would be more beneficial for all of us if we focused on the  Ewan I Bushwackers   Nov-05-04 12:22 PM   #120 
  - Shouldn't this post be pegged to the top?  UdoKier   Nov-05-04 01:25 PM   #126 
  - Is it possible to discuss this issue in strategy terms without seeming ..  kentuck   Nov-05-04 01:58 PM   #129 
  - I would like to point out that gays/lesbians often fear for their  Ewan I Bushwackers   Nov-05-04 03:00 PM   #130 
     - I is not trivial....  kentuck   Nov-05-04 03:43 PM   #131 
        - Maybe my memory is fuzzy....  Ewan I Bushwackers   Nov-05-04 04:03 PM   #134 
  - Way to go!  twenty2strings   Nov-05-04 04:01 PM   #133 
  - BRAVO!! BRAVO!!  Trahurn   Nov-05-04 04:33 PM   #135 
  - Thank You  KennedyGuy   Nov-05-04 04:36 PM   #136 
  - Thank you  arewenotdemo   Nov-06-04 08:28 AM   #140 
  - Thank you, Skinner.  Rockholm   Nov-07-04 04:38 PM   #144 
  - cannot argue with the idea of equal rights for all  Zuni   Nov-07-04 04:52 PM   #146 
  - Well said, Skinner.  DemoTex   Nov-07-04 04:58 PM   #147 
  - Number One, I don't think that Kerry lost the election  yardwork   Nov-07-04 05:32 PM   #148 

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