Friday, November 07, 2008

America, gay marriage, pragmatism, and racism

I've recently been drawn to a blog I sometimes visit - Mad Priest's Of course, I Could Be Wrong -

There has recently been some controversy over the use of the 'N' word in discussion about the rejection of gay marriage in California and the fact that black voters opposed it. I found it amusing that homophobic, gay-baiting sites such as Stand Firm, run by Gauleiter Matt Kennedy, far-right by anyone's reckoning, has come over all moral and anti-racist (I think he rather likes blacks because so many are anti-gay - doesn't seem so keen on those who aren't, such as Barack Obama!) Anyway, being criticised by that bunch of religionist swivel-eyed loons can only be seen as something to be congratulated well done, Mad Priest! They banned me years ago - poor things can't cope with anything outside their rather pathetic little world-view.

Anyway, I'm not going to get drawn in to the race issue with regard to this question but I think its primarily about religion, not race per se. And I think this is the problem. The US gay movement appears to be determined to get religion on their side and so works for things which are unlikely to be fulfilled until that country is considerably more secular. The gay marriage issue is the classic example.

In the UK, we have civil partnership. It brings all the benefits, rights and responsibilities of civil marriage, but its got an official different name, and the church aren't involved. And thats because the church is homophobic. Parts of it are trying not to be, but essentially, Christianity is a homophobic religion, and the sooner gay people abandon it to its own fate, the better. That's the conclusion I have reached, in any case. So, what makes sense is to let them get on with it and to work for what is possible. And it seems to me that the US gay movement has lost a sense of pragmatism. Had we said 'nothing but marriage is good enough', then we may not have made any progress at all. But civil partnership is here, here to stay, and now relatively uncontroversial. Tie it up with religion and then wonder why it causes so much angst.

Barack Obama has made it clear that he supports civil unions, but not marriage. Fair enough. Work with him to bring forth legal equality at a federal level but don't get tied up with the unattainable. Will they do this, or will they continue to reject pragmatism - and get nowhere??

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