Thursday, December 09, 2004


I wouldn't risk a lot of money on it, but there is a struggle to come to grips with November's setbacks at the ballot box:
Leaders of the gay rights movement are embroiled in a bitter and increasingly public debate over whether they should moderate their goals in the wake of bruising losses in November when 11 states approved constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriages....

The leadership of the Human Rights Campaign, at a meeting last weekend in Las Vegas, concluded that the group must bow to political reality and moderate its message and its goals. One official said the group would consider supporting President Bush's efforts to privatize Social Security partly in exchange for the right of gay partners to receive benefits under the program.

"The feeling this weekend in Las Vegas was that we had to get beyond the political and return to the personal," said Michael Berman, a Democratic lobbyist and consultant who was elected the first non-gay co-chairman of the Human Rights Campaign's board last week. "We need to reintroduce ourselves to America with the stories of our lives."

What November shows us is that the visceral reaction against homosexuality is still there, "Queer Eye" and "Will & Grace" notwithstanding. As I've written before, there is a window of opportunity to push through a constititutional amendment banning homosexual "marriage" but it is closing fast. I don't believe you're going to find many national politicians who sincerely want to lead the charge, the Bush Administration chief among them. They've ridden the campaign issue and will likely be content to let the issue fade into the sunset. I assure you the homosexual activists will not let the issue go away:
But others involved in the drive for gay and lesbian equality say the Human Rights Campaign's approach smacks of pre-emptive surrender and wrong-headed political calculation.

"For a certain segment of the movement, for which I would certainly elect the H.R.C. as poster child, it means that the error was that we were wanting too much too fast," said Jonathan D. Katz, executive coordinator of the Larry Kramer Initiative for Lesbian and Gay Studies at Yale. "It is entirely characteristic for them to believe that what is required is a sort of retrenchment and a return to a more moderate message. They are, of course, completely wrong."

Mr. Katz and other aggressive advocates of gay rights said they believed that marriage rights were the key to winning fundamental equality for gay men and lesbians and that retreat from that struggle was self-defeating.

George Chauncey, director of the Lesbian and Gay Studies Project at the University of Chicago, said the marriage debate had galvanized gays more dramatically than any other issue in recent years.

Those who are supporters of God instituted marriage better be sure that regardless of this past November's results, the homosexual activists aren't going away on this.

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