For anyone who was thinking of joining the November 15 demonstrations for gay marriage, here‘s a troubling report from Lansing, Michigan. Last weekend a church was attacked on Sunday morning during a service by a group claiming to be gay. In the photo you can see they have pink scarves over their faces and are carrying bats and sticks.
This is not the type of political blog I usually read, but this piece at least seems to be a straightforward narrative account. Some of the comments are interesting too:
“The only civil rights being violated were those of the church members. They have the first amendment right to practice their religion. The queer activists from Michigan were not harmed by Proposition 8 in California. They were simply engaging in a conspiracy to deny civil rights to Christians in Michigan. RICO anyone? Besides which, Proposition 8 was a clear case of “petitioning the government for redress of grievances” while the queer activist harassment did not engage the government at all, only innocent Christians.”
If anyone is interested in following this story further, Daily Kos printed some excerpts from local blogs. Even more interesting, and not in a good way, is a poll attached to the piece, 37% of their readership supports the protests. I am reminded of how the Weather Underground discredited and delegitimized the peace movement back in the 60′s and set back the end of the Vietnam war by who knows how much.
A sensible comment by BlueJeanDem is encouraging:
As a gay man I condemn this sort of action.
It is counter-productive and only makes things worse for the cause of gay equality. How many more gay-haters will be created by this incident? Probably quite a few.
That church is the private property of the congregants. It is also their spiritual home. Regardless of what you think about their politics or doctrines, this was morally and ethically wrong and just plain stupid.
Besides, something tells me those protesters were probably not even gay. Anarchists and hoodlums doing NO GOOD.
Our fight for equality is through law and the courts, not by increasing physical conflict between the two factions.
Some of those people at the Church were no doubt friends and family of gays who are on our side on the gay issue. They were there to worship in peace. And now they might be having second thoughts.
Good going, creeps.
Nobody’s coming into my home to protest my being gay.
That’s how it should be. These jerks violated that rule of social behavior.
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” Upton Sinclair via Al Gore
I had thought about writing more about the gay protests coming up this weekend and maybe evening reading up on the history a little. Who were Mattachine, Stonewall, ACT UP, and Queer Nation?
But now I’m really not that interested anymore. Sure, I belong to a church that openly invites people of every persuasion, even if the question of gay marriage is still being debated within the denomination. And I still support civil rights for everyone. But who are these people? They don’t seem to respect the civil rights of others, even as they demand it for themselves. And what DO they want? Some say they don’t really want marriage or are undecided, or they only want civil unions that will give them inheritance and medical insurance benefits. They are just marching because they’re upset about Prop 8 and not because they are sure they want marriage instead of civil unions.
Then there was the matter last week of the gay couple in California who put an effigy of Sarah Palin with a noose outside their home as a sort of cutesy Halloween decoration. It was the mayor, not the gay community, who convinced them to take it down.
Throughout history, women have supported everyone else’s freedom, from opposing slavery to gay rights. But when it comes down to supporting women’s civil rights, where are the people whose rights the women marched for?
My time and energy are limited. I won’t be writing about this issue again. It is not my issue. For anyone else who plans to demonstrate, I can only say “know who you are with,” and recommend PumaPAC’s Proposition Hate forum for the latest information. The Pumas I don’t agree with 100%, but they do support gay rights issues. Join the Impact has moved their site around and the old links don’t work but they have comprehensive of the protests; here is their home page. You might also want to read this apparently unmoderated list of demonstrations, if only for the freaky “we need to get angry” comments.
Update: photo–the same group at a Milwaukee demonstration. Unpixilized image here (NSFW). Yup, “kill”.