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Commentary :: Gender
With “friends” like these . . . who needs enemies?
20 Jun 2004
Can you imagine the NAACP endorsing a candidate who OPPOSED legal equality for African-Americans? Can you imagine NOW endorsing a candidate who OPPOSED legal equality for women?
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For several months the Human Rights Campaign has used the “gay marriage” issue as a lure to stuff its coffers with money. Yet earlier this week, the HRC endorsed John Kerry for President, a man who loudly pronounced his opposition to equal marriage rights after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court granted the right.

Kerry says that while he opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment, he also OPPOSES gay marriage. He says he SUPPORTS a proposed anti-gay marriage amendment to the Massachusetts State Constitution. In other words, he calls for DESTROYING equal marriage rights in the one state where they have been secured!! His fellow Democratic office holders in Massachusetts are in the forefront of a move that could once again ban gay marriage there as early as 2006.

Here in Illinois, Democrat Barack Obama, running for the U.S. Senate against the avowedly anti-gay Republican Jack Ryan, mimics Kerry’s gamesmanship over Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered rights. Obama says he opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment, but ALSO opposes gay marriage, contending that “civil unions” should be good enough for gays. In other words, Obama says Lesbians and Gays should be willing to settle for a “separate but equal,” back-of-the-bus, marriage-like institution. This is not mere ignorance talking. Obama is a constitutional scholar and University of Chicago professor, and so he certainly knows the games he is playing with our rights.

Some will say that with the threat of George W. Bush and Jack Ryan, we should take a pass on protesting the backstabbing by Kerry and Obama. This is the same approach used when, early on in the first Clinton administration, conservative Republicans led the charge against gays in the military. Our movement’s failure to confront Clinton, even when it became clear he was going to sell us out, meant that we were saddled with his “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which led to far greater numbers of anti-gay purges from the military than under the previous policy.

By contrast, when ACT-UP Philadelphia and other east coast anti-AIDS groups continually confronted Presidential candidate Al Gore over his siding with the pharmaceutical industry to prevent low-cost AIDS drugs for Africa, their repeated protests and pickets led him to greatly change his backwards policies on the issue.

Our movement can either decide to follow the failed strategies of the Clinton years, which gave us the Defense of Marriage Act and “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” or we can confront those who oppose our equal rights, regardless of their party affiliations.

We can either allow our movement to be the political plaything of Democratic Party opportunists, or we can stand up and demand our equal rights.

Chicago Anti-Bashing Network
CABNstopthehate (at)

A downloadable flyer with this text is attached.
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