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new bedford not about gay marriage

Dear friends,

Unfortunately the leaders of some gay organizations have not spoken to the valid feelings of shock, horror, sadness, and fear we have in light of the devastating news from New Bedford.

I am deeply disturbed that many of the gay activists of our community are using the linguistic framing of the fight for gay marriage to respond to this bloody crime.

There is absolutely no proof or reason to believe that this crime is at all related to gay marriage. Hate crimes have been happening well before the fight for gay marriage, and they will continue to increase unless our community re-evaluates our longterm goals.

Furthermore, this is just one more example of how the queer community needs to realize that having gay marriage does not mean we are free from violence, nor truly equal.

Using gay marriage as a way to respond to this horrific crime marginalizes, once again, the many people of our community, who did not decide and who do not feel, gay marriage is the most important fight for us.

It is a sad day when the gay community is so obsessed with assimilating into the historically discriminatory and repressive, shame-filled cultural norms and institutions of straight society that we use the rhetoric of that twisted obsession to respond to a horrific hate crime.

I urge you to broaden your rhetoric, in the style of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, to include messages about violence against women and trans folks, the fueling of violence by the radical right wing, and the alarming suicide rates amongst queer youth.


Mark D. Snyder


Anonymous said...

I totally agree! We have to start getting the "gay leaders" to represent us!

Steven Keirstead said...

Well, I'm not convinced that gay marriage and gay security are unconnected issues. Anti-gay groups attack gay marriage and use rhetoric (using words like "perverts", "unnatural", "immoral", "culture of death") that may contribute to violence from disturbed individuals by making them think anti-gay violence is OK. We don't know yet what precisely motivated the New Bedford attack.

Just because you don't want to get married does not mean it is not a very important issue for many same sex couples, especially those with children. For those kids, having legally married parents makes their lives much more secure, so that both parents can make legal and medical decisions for them, without being questioned by authorities in the state. Similarly marriage makes it easier to take care of a sick partner, among many other legal protections.

While at first glance the marriage and violence issues might seem to be separate, everything in life is connected, and I want us to advance gay rights and security on all fronts.

Mark D. Snyder said...

I agree that the anti-gay marriage rhetoric, and all anti-gay rhetoric contributes to violence.

I am not against gay people getting married. I am troubled by the fact that gay marriage has become THE issue our community has been forced to unite behind.

I recommend the books Real Family Values and The Trouble With Normal. Both books have hundreds of pages detailing the history of the LGBT rights movement and how gay marriage will ultimately hurt the movement.

Tyler Dawbin said...

I object strongly to the violence that occured in New Bedford. It can, and must, be condemned by all who wish to have a peaceful debate on this matter.

While you may disagree with my position, I must let you know that the prepoderance of evidence shows that conservative Christians do not support, encourage, condone, or otherwise promote this violence against homosexuals.

Thank you.

In Christ,


Mark D. Snyder said...

can you stop calling us homosexuals ew it sounds so clinical

how bout gay people ? how bout LGBT people?

Oh wait you wont because you and you're right wing friends are obsessed with our sex lives so you have to say it homoSEXual.

Brian Rainey said...

As usual, right-wingers are quick to express indignation at the fact that people point out that a climate of hate-filled ideology has something to do with people who commit acts based on hateful ideology. It's as if the right turns on the gas in a room and someone else lights a match and causes an explosion. Then they have the nerve to say, "It's not our fault! We didn't light the match!" That's true, you didn't actually commit the act. But you helped create the context in which these kinds of outbursts happen.

There are a lot of problems in our society. Our economy is not doing well, and despite the recent so-called "recoveries," wages are still stagnant and the cost of living is rising. People will be looking for reasons that these things are happening. The right-wing is telling people that it's not POLICY that is causing this, but "immorality." And they point to LGBT people as special, particular examples of this immorality--turning LGBT people into scapegoats.

Don't tell me that "well, yes, it's ok to blame LGBT people for what's wrong with American society, it's ok to want to make their lives difficult by passing restrictive laws, it's okay to turn a cold shoulder to kids suffering in high schools or partners who have been denied benefits and hospital visits, but when you shoot up a gay bar, you're going 'too far.'"

Tyler Dawbin said...

Doesn't "gay" mean happy?

Are you happy? Then you are gay? Are you a homosexual? Then you are a homosexual. Don't confuse the terms.

Tyler Dawbin said...

How can you rationally equate an attack on a gay bar with a peaceful civic process to allow a vote on marriage?

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