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Going home again, we are winning the battle for LGBT rights

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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:09 PM
Original message
Going home again, we are winning the battle for LGBT rights
I just got back from my 20th high school reunion. I went to school in a small Ohio town, in a midsized Ohio county that went for Kerry about 55/45 and for the amendment which banned both same sex marriage and civil unions about 60/40. It is a bastion of blue collar workers. In short, while not being Iran it isn't San Francisco either. In addition, I was a pretty big target for anti gay bullying, and that was as a presumedly straight guy.

I was more than a little nervous about going back. It had been a decade since I had last saw many of them. In that decade I quit drinking and was determined to come out at the reunion. I didn't think I would experience violence or even name calling but I did think I might be snubbed. Instead it was really no big deal. Even more amazing a friend of mine who had all but disappeared after an unfortunate arrest (for a restroom rendevous), came with his partner and was welcomed with open arms.

It really was amazing to see. The fact is these are by no means liberal leftists. The ones who stayed in the area are waitresses, laborers, firefighters, and other blue collar or service industries. They aren't artists, computer programers or other white collar elite occupations. Yet to a person, it didn't matter.

I wouldn't have guessed it. I doubt my friend would have either. The fact is that for most people in my age range and lower, this issue doesn't matter. This is the first step to us winning. Going from being hated to it not mattering is a big step. The next step, which people like my friend may well have affected, is to make our isses matter as a matter of justice. Frankly, I have no idea how those people who still live in the area voted on that referendum. I also have no idea who they might vote on a future referendum.

I had been seeing these referenda as a sign of strength from our opponents, but now I am realizing they are a sign of weakness. They see the handwriting on the wall. The only way they can win this war is by making us need super majorities to change the laws. As the older voters die off they will no longer have the ability to gin up majorities to demonize us. If it is OK for me to be gay among those with whom I went to school, it is only a matter of time.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. Artists are white collar elites?
:wow:

lol

Great post and good news.

K&R
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. well on this issue they are the vanguard.
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theHandpuppet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Yeah, I had to chuckle at that one, too
But y'know, everyone can carry around a few stereotypes, even gay folks.

To DSC: Good on ya. You've got guts and I'm glad your courage was rewarded with acceptance. Battle on!
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. The one with the real courage
was my friend's partner. I was the first one to button hole him so he could have a friendly face so to speak to start on but he hardly needed it. He was the hit of the party.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. The Republican hate campaign cannot hold up because most people
are basically good, as Anne Frank observed. We will win this. And thanks for the reminder.

:toast:
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Glad to provide it
Just wish there were more crystalizing moments like that one to report on.
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IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
2. Way cool. Thanks for sharing that glimmer of light! (n/t)
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union_maid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:41 PM
Response to Original message
5. I'm not that surprised
On social issues, the march really has been just one way. Not so on economic issues or foreign policy, but on social issues, liberals really never lost ground. There sometimes is a weird disconnect, however, between how people vote, how they think and how they feel. Gay marriage might take longer than one would hope. That's very sad for couples for whom it might come just too late.

If you've been fighting for gay rights for the last thirty years, progress must seem painfully slow. But to the general public, it's a much newer issue, outside of maybe the most basic protections regarding employment or fair housing. Public acceptance and the rights that follow are happening inevitably. And that's why there's backlash. As you noted, reaction to change is a sign that change is happening. All it really took was almost everyone coming out. Everyone knows someone who's gay. Most people are probably related to someone who's gay. Most people care about someone who's gay. Thing is, even as recently as a decade ago, most people didn't know it.
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. True enough
My sister cast her first vote, along with her husband, against that amendment. I couldn't get her to vote before but on that one I finally did. She also voted for Kerry, I can't say that for her husband sadly.
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union_maid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 05:48 AM
Response to Original message
9. On the same subject
This morning's Newsday has an Op-ed piece (originally from the LA Times) that supports what you're saying.

http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-opehr114847130au...
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. I am not quite as optimistic as he is
I don't think same sex marriage will happen in my lifetime. The Courts, where this change will happen, are too stacked against us. Otherwise I do agree we are on the largly winning side.
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