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November 10, 2008

They’re Having a Tantrum and They Don’t Represent Me

There have been Prop 8 protests here in L.A. every day since Tuesday. In fact, last night’s march went right past my apartment just after 12-midnight. From what I hear more are planned. So far, the next steps for gay marriage appear to be as follows:

(1) Push for churches to lose their tax-exempt status.
(2) Call blacks the n-word.
(3) Harass Mormons.
(4) Equate opposition to gay marriage with bigotry.

So let’s clear a few things up. First, these folks don’t represent all gays, nor do they represent all people who want to legalize gay marriage. Do not make the mistake of thinking that gay marriage is inextricably linked to harassment of Mormons and blacks. It is not. And many gays (I would hope most gays) understand that Christians and blacks do not deserve the harassment they are getting from a few rowdy loudmouths who are being indulged by the drama-starved media.

Second, minority groups are often mistakenly portrayed as being composed of nothing more than their loudest proponents. It tends to distort outsiders' understanding of the group. Not all gays are even in favor of gay marriage. Some take a libertarian view, others believe it’s enough to have civil unions, and some are dying (literally, in many cases) to prevent “heteronormativity” from overwhelming their counterculture deviance. There will be backlash against gays for the behavior of the protesters and these poor souls, who had nothing to do with it, are caught in the middle. (See also: Christian gays, like myself, and black gays, boy mustn’t they feel like dirt right now.)

For that matter, the vast majority of the 14,000 gays who got married this summer were not parties to the lawsuit which temporarily legalized marriage, nor were they present for Gavin Newsome’s “Whether You Like It Or Not” speech. In other words, they are victims of nothing more than hope, collateral damage from the blow which was struck against judicial activism and a braying jackass in San Francisco. So please, do not tar a whole community for the behavior of relatively few.

Third, notably absent from these protests has been anything remotely resembling advocacy. The point of modern protest is simply to tell others how very, very emotional the protesters are. So it’s a tantrum. Ignore it and the little screamers will tire themselves out.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 02:14 AM

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