Their manifesto marks the return of the gay liberationists of yore, whose predecessors since the time of Stonewall (and before) have seen battles over sex and homosexuality, gender and gender identity, as a way of liberating all of society from traditional ways of thinking that are inherently unfair, "-ist" and "-phobic."
Emerging from the Reagan years and countless gay men's funerals, activists were once galvanized by the early-'90s battle over gays in the military. From that point on, the "gay civil rights movement" has been much more narrowly focused as a political fight for equal rights—nowhere better symbolized than by the giant "equals sign" made ubiquitous by the Human Rights Campaign.
This week's manifesto may well mark the revenge of the liberationists, ready to pounce on a series of defeats by equal rights advocates as a sign that we're fighting the wrong battle. - Washington Blade
Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
On July 26, more than 150 prominent LGBT activists and thinkers signed on to and released Beyond Marriage: A New Strategic Vision for All Our Families & Relationships. The document was written by 17 individuals, eight of whom are or have been intimately involved with the Task Force over the years.
We welcome this statement and embrace its fundamental premise that all families deserve respect and that legal recognition and essential protections and benefits should not be limited or flow only through marital status. It rightfully honors those for whom marriage is the most meaningful personal choice while calling for recognition of other forms of family that make up the majority of families in this nation, gay or straight.
The statement also makes the point that the right's "marriage movement" is about much more than denying LGBT people marriage equality, it is part of a much larger reactionary and coercive social and religious agenda that disproportionately harms poor people and people of color.
As a movement for justice and liberation, we can and must advance on many fronts at the same time. While we fight the anti-marriage state constitutional amendments, we must work to pass legislation to protect LGBT people from discrimination. Where we win marriage equality, we must fight to preserve and extend domestic partner benefits that help protect our partners or others who are "family" to us. While we fight to win equal access to Social Security benefits for our families, we must also fight to ensure that the system serves all families.
Our vision is that every one of our families gets the recognition and protections it deserves. Yes marriage, but beyond marriage too.
Bay Windows Coverage 08/03/06:
"Activists Call For A Shift" - Ethan Jacobs
"I will never accept 'genderqueer' as a valid category" - read Richard Rosendall's column of shame and misunderstanding.
It is good to finally see these issues raised in the gay news publications. These are issues QueerToday has been raising since the beginning of the gay marriage boom and we will continue to do so. We've taken a lot of criticism for these opinions but it seems that the tide just might be changing. Now we need to work on networking and joining forces. In the coming weeks I hope to work with anyone who wants to get involved to ad some features to our blog and web site to help us stay connected and networked with the queer community throughout Massachusetts.