Guest Blogger

Message to the religious right - this isn't just about marriage, it's about history

Filed By Guest Blogger | December 06, 2008 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living, Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: Alvin McEwen, guest post, marriage equality, Newt Gingrich, religious right

Editor's Note: Alvin McEwen is a blogger who tracks and catalogs religious right distortions about the gay community via two blogs (Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters and Anti-Gay Lies and Liars). He is also a board member of the South Carolina Pride Movement and SC Black Pride.

Alvin McEwen.jpgI keep hearing all of this nonsense about us lgbts attacking people, about us using intimidation and violence to oppress people, about us somehow being ugly aggressors.

Newt Gingrich (who wrote the book on deceptive messaging during his tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives) actually accused us of being "secular fascists."

Gingrich's attack on us seem to be the prevailing theme with those on the other side of the Proposition 8 argument.

And I think there needs to be some historical perspective on this matter.

True, Proposition 8 has galvanized our community. We have become a bit more politically engaged in our anger. That is a good thing.

However, any display of violence on either side of the argument should never be tolerated.

Nor should letting the religious right frame the moment.

I have a few questions to people like Newt Gingrich, Bill O'Reilly, Chuck Norris, Gary Bauer, Peter LaBarbera and the rest who are trying to push this "gay intimidation" image.

Where were you in the late 1970s when Anita Bryant accused us of trying to "recruit" children?

Where were you in 1983 when Paul Cameron accused gay men of stuffing gerbils up our rectums and castrating children? Or afterwards when he went from state to state pushing his phony research papers all designed to make us the boogiemen of American society?

Where were you when Jerry Falwell exploited the AIDS crisis to generate more money for the Moral Majority? Or when those dying of AIDS were cast out of their communities and excommunicated from their churches?

Where were you when Colorado passed that law in 1992 that basically said cities in the state had absolutely no right to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination?

Where were you when over the course of 20 years all of those phony "pro-family" groups told lies in front of federal and congressional state houses in attempts to beat back pro-gay laws or spread discredited research that gave "upstanding, moral" families the perfect excuse to put their gay sons and daughters out on the cold streets?

Where were you when organizations like Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council, the Traditional Values Coalition, and Focus on the Family unconsciously gave reasoning for groups of roaming thugs to bash our heads in, chase us out in heavy traffic, beat us to bloody pulps with nail embedded boards, and hang us from fences on dark and lonely roads?

How is it that you can dare call us aggressive when for over 30 years, you have done everything in your power to make America hate and fear us?

How it is that you can dare infer that we don't have a right to get just a tad angry when for over 30 years, you have done everything in your power to make us hate and fear ourselves?

Every lie, every indignity, every attempt to dehumanize the lgbt community has brought us to this point. The Proposition 8 vote was the last straw in a chain of indignities that stretch as long as Jacob's ladder.

This ain't just about marriage. Nor is this a single moment in time.

We are not the aggressors. We are learning to fight back.

When I was coming out, it wasn't the fact that I was gay that bothered me more than the knowledge that so many had already written my life for me; told me who I was, what I liked, what I didn't like, and even where I was going after I died.

Worst of all, they had the nerve to tell me that I had absolutely no rights to the words "values," "family," "tradition," or "honor."

And you know what the saddest thing about this is? I was not alone. Hundreds of thousands of lgbts went through the same experience. It was our "rite of passage."

So while I may not have a media spin machine behind me and therefore very few will give a damn about what I say, while I may not be a member of a religious think tank who is presently working to use this moment to again dehumanize lgbts, and while I may not be considered as a "leading gay talking head," I am an American, a human being, and a child of God.

Therefore, I will never forget what has brought me to this point of outrage.

And I will do my best to make sure that this country never forgets either.

Lastly, I will do my best to make sure that YOU never forget.

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Alvin, I appreciate your passion and well-written words. You make some wonderful points - the dehumanization that continues to be spread through lies is perhaps one of the most disconcerting. It's a constant uphill battle. I think we need to do a better job of informing the world about who we are - that we are humans who love, feel, and yearn for prosperity. The lies and misconceptions are what keep us down. Those are the things that we must fight.
And yes, we have every right to be a little pissed off.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | December 6, 2008 9:11 PM

Alvan, bravo to your passion and right-on to what you say here!

Can I just add that many in the Religious Right are predisposed to think of themselves as victims. Their world-view, encouraged by many pastors, assumes that secular Americans are out to prevent them from exercising their religious freedom. Thus, it takes little political opposition to tip them into the delusion that we are coming on too strong.

Very little.

While it's true that perhaps a few LGBT people and their allies may have crossed lines into regrettable behavior, most of what these victim-queens have experienced since Prop 8 is simply the rough-and-tumble reality of modern politics.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | December 6, 2008 9:41 PM

(Oh, and great photo!!!)

We should all keep a list of the latest 100 lgbt people murdered so we can provide them to whoever complains that lgbt people are too agressive.

Unfortunately, Mr. McEwen forgot to inform Bilerico readers how he's sold out his online friends and allies because having Peter LaBarbera endorse his book was more important to him than being united.

That's silly, Nelson cause Peter would never endorse my book. He would be admitting to lying all of these years about lgbts.

Let's not use this space for personal beefs.

That would be silly Nelson because Peter would never endorse my book. That would be admitting that he has been lying all of these years about lgbts.

It's not conducive to use this space to settle personal beefs.