Equal Rights are Republican Battle Cries
The day after Judge Walker released his decision in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case declaring bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional under the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the constitution, right-wingers around the country began screaming about the will of the people and majority rule (apparently forgetting that their own messiah, George W. Bush, was elected by the Supreme Court of the United States, not the majority of the people). Republicans, who have traditionally used anti-gay tactics to win elections, muscled it up. In fact, my own Representative, Lamar Smith (R-TX) had this to say:
When Congress returns from recess, I plan to introduce a resolution condemning today’s decision and urging an immediate appeal. The voters of California are not the only ones who lost today. This decision defies the voice of all citizens who have sought to define marriage in their states as the union between one man and one woman. Judge Walker’s actions should be opposed and the decision should be swiftly overturned.
Obviously Lamar Smith’s statement is nothing more than political positioning, smoke and mirrors and 9/11 style fear mongering to wage war on the latest threat to America’s safety, gay marriage. (Why is it everything with Republicans is so doomsday prophetic anyway?)
Unfortunately, the positioning doesn’t stop there. In Georgia’s gubernatorial race Nathan Dean has attacked his rival, fellow republican Karen Handel in a “Last Straw” campaign advertisement. Dean claims Handel supported giving state money to Georgia’s YouthPride, an organization which he claims “promotes homosexuality among teenagers as young as 13.”
YouthPride does promote youth who are homosexual by providing them with: “a safe, comfortable space where youth can conduct support and discussion groups, plan youth-led workshops, utilize library and computer resources, attend social gatherings, or explore educational and career opportunities.” Such an organization dedicated to youth outside of the LGBT community would be heralded as providing a unique opportunity for youth to grow into productive adults, not as a group dedicated to promoting youth sex. But that is the stigma that comes with identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender. One cannot simply be trying to help youth who identify as LGBT better themselves without “promoting homosexuality.” Dean should be told that the youth show up as LGBT, they aren’t converted.
Here’s what one Georgia voter had to say about the ad and the work of YouthPride:
As a straight, Christian woman, I am extremely proud of YouthPride’s work, but even prouder of the organization’s youth. If Nathan Deal wanted to make a difference for Georgia young people rather than win an election, he would encourage people to visit the organization’s website and make a donation, so that YouthPride can keep providing this vital service to Atlanta’s young people for the next 15 years and beyond.
In response to the advertisement, Karen Handel does not defend the organization, rather instead, she declares that she had no knowledge of the decision to provide the money and wouldn’t have even handled such a decision.
Friends, it’s going to be a long and bumpy ride to November as the Republican candidates continue to cater to right wing fringe voters in an effort to win. We will be under constant attack because the belief that LGBT people should be denied rights is one of the last issues that Republicans can hold onto that is agreed to by the majority of voters. Gays and Gay Marriage will swing voters right in November. While there may be many “moderate” Republican voices in our society, there seem to be fewer and fewer moderate Republicans in office. One need look no further than the Texas Republican Party Platform for 2010 to see that the group has become an extremist organization dedicate to reducing the Constitution and equal protection as applicable only to heterosexual, English speaking, Christian Americans.