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I wholeheartedly agree. We have jumped the gun with the issue of gay and lesbian marriage. Now we must backtrack several steps into uncertain times for the queer community as a whole. The fight ahead will be long, and seems to favor those who would like to see our community harmed. We as a community must be more united than ever.

The first action we must take as a community deals with realpolitik:

Victory over the Religious Conservatives. This battle will be drawn out and painful, and most likely counterproductive, but we must fight it anyway. We must show a united front to those who would harm us. Also, we must also show our supporters that we are a force to be reckoned with. Even in loss we must remain united. Whatever disagreements we have internally should be silent.

We must fight this battle politically and economically. We should press pro-equality legislators into action, and remind them who helped put them into office in the first place. Also, we in the community must press those with financial resources to contribute to fight this fear-mongering campaign. Cash flow combined with grassroots energy may be helpful, and at least give us the visibility we need. Also, we must write letters to the mainstream papers, since this seems to be a mainstream issue now. Writing to Bay Windows or InNewsweekly will be preaching to the choir. Boston Globe, the Metro, and even the Boston Herald need to be flooded with letters to help sway public opinion our way.

There are two possibilities:

Number One: Rejection of a Gay Marriage Ban
1.) The people of Massachusetts will reject the ban at the ballot.
2.) The legislator will reject the ban if passed.
3.) The Supreme Court of Massachusetts finds the ban unconstitutional.
4.) Deval Patrick vetoes the ban. (This will need some more exploration, for I am admittedly unclear on the matters of Constitutional law as it pertains to Massachusetts.)

In case of victory, organizations such as QueerToday must press the privileged gay and lesbian community to support initiatives to support queer youth in education and health. Also, higher visibility for trans people and other communities within our own.

Number Two: Acceptance of Gay Marriage Ban.

This defeat will be truly devastating politically, economically, physically, and spiritually for us as individuals and a whole. Individuals will find the closet to be a safer space albeit harmful for the individual; anti-queer violence will surely rise, and anybody who supports queer equality is a potential victim. At this point the queer community must begin to regroup and rebuild. This will be a very difficult task for there are many different interests. This is an issue which can be dealt with in the future, and it is best to keep it in the family for the time being.

For the time being we must be vigilant, as well as cautious. We must keep our emotions in check, as well as be passionate. The things that drive to tear us apart, may only unite us!

In Solidarity
Arturo T. Meneses

10 comments:

Ryan Adams said...

Deval Patrick can't veto a constitutional amendment. He has no authority to do so - constitutional law is completely different than a regular bill or law and is not subject to veto.

Furthermore, what we need to do as a movement far extends letters. Few people read letters and even for those who do, they're not all that pursuadable (not that I don't write them anyway!). Even newspaper editorials are next to useless, especially in terms of politics (it's nice to have an endorsement, for example, but rarely a deal breaker for a campaign).

What we need is to start to organize around replacing the schmucks who think its okay to play around with our rights. We need to field candidates starting now, raise money and volunteers and start digging up all sorts of informotion against them. We need to form new Political Action Committees that will spend money on candidates from districts all across the state - and spend money on a media effort for our cause (so we can essentially raise unlimited funds). These are things we can do for the next election.

Mr. M said...

Wonderful suggestions. I think there should be some meetings about this as well to create an organized offensive. (Right now we are on the defensive). Thank you for clarifying the Constitutional issues, as I am new to Massachusetts, coming from Maine, where we have not experianced this sort of trauma. It is good to be optimistic, but we also need to look at the numbers and look beyond the elections, but into our own community.

Mark D. Snyder said...

Art,
Great first post - and great discussion sparker!
My opinions on some of the things you said:
The divide between the queers and the assimilationists is not happening, it has happened and now continues to get deeper and deeper. As a queer I will not keep my disagreements with the mainstream gay rights organizations like HRC silent. We need to press the large organizations to support grassroots work, and support youth, trans, etc. now not "in case" of victory - because our youth are at risk now and at a greater risk because of some of the strategies deployed by such organizations.

Anonymous said...

"higher visibility for trans people" That's a great idea! They make great spokespeople for our community...

This is how you lose support. Also, TRANS issues are not GAY issues.

Mark D. Snyder said...

Yeah, because I got called faggot in the halls for being homosexual, not an effeminate male? Gender identity/expression are a huge part of the reasoning behind the violence and discrimination thrown at the lgbt community. Just being gay in itself breaks societies rigid gender roles. Shame on you anonymous. SHAME.

alex said...

i don't think anonymous needs any more shame s/he already has...

Mr. M said...

Thank you Mark for clarifying the issue. I am also ready to make the case publically and upfront. It would eb very ncie to see some sort of numbers for this nasty battle we will have on our hands. It is unfortunate that the discussion had to diverge into transphobia, but on the other hand it si good to be aware that it exists in our own community.

Art

Laurel said...

Art, please don't assume that the transphobic remarks of Anonymous came from a member of our community. Perhaps they did, but more tham likely they were from a hetero troll.

Mr. M said...

Thank you. I will keep that in mind. Althogh, the context is pretty strong. Hetero troll is not a helpful comment, however. The point is that somebody with fear and loathing for people with differences has posted his or her fear and ignorance.

Laurel said...

yes, someone has posted mean stuff. but you assumed it was someone from our community because they framed the message that way. well, so? i can frame it this way:
"We straights think it sucks that transfolk are discriminated against! Trans issues are ALL OUR ISSUES!!!" I'm not hetero, but that sure sounds like I could be. ANything you read on the internet you need to read with a mountain of salt unless you know the source personally. Just a friendly note from one who's gotten burned by trolls!