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02/28/2008

Our strategy? It's wholly (gay/les/bi/)transparent!

by Jeremy Hooper

200802280926One aspect of our oppositions' PR campaigns that we've never quite understood is why they act as if they've somehow found us out when making claims about our organized goals.  Check out this blip from Focus on the Family's CitizenLink for an example of what we mean.  The subject being discussed is the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute's initiative to recruit LGBT people who might be interested and qualified to serve in the next president's administration: 

Caleb H. Price, research analyst for Focus on the Family, said that although this group claims to be nonpartisan, its commitment to promote homosexual and transgender "voices" throughout government demonstrates otherwise.

“They know that these strategic appointments will advance their pro-gay agenda with little or no interference by elected officials in the legislative branch,” he said. “They're expecting a Democrat to win the presidency. And given the homosexual community's overwhelming financial support of the Democratic Party, they expect payback for their support.”

Wow, Caleb, you sure have our number, buddy!  You've come up with the shocking idea that an LGBT group wants to recruit LGBT candidates who will help LGBT people achieve the equality they deserve.  What next, dude, gonna let us in on some shocking revelations about the NRA's love for guns?  Did your investigative work turn up some suspicions that PETA is anti-fur?  Or maybe you've discovered the NAACP's secret anti-KKK agenda?  We simply cant wait for you to thoroughly blow our minds with your next political revelation.

Here's what we think: Our opposition uses these sorts of lines because making it seem like we gays are hiding our desires or that our rights are "payback" rather than "error correction" plays right into our their strategy.  Both directly and indirectly, their M.O. is to cultivate the idea that underneath all of our calls for equality and respect, there is a secret undercover level where all of our true ideas lie.  But honestly -- how can we possibly be more clear about our goals?!  Look, we want hate crimes protections.  We want employment non-discrimination (FOR ALL!).  We want marriage.  We want to be respected as part of the spectrum of society.  We want to make heterosexist society fully inclusive.  And yes, that means we more readily go Democratic, because that party more readily supports this same vision.  So why are we being strategic when we say we want to be represented within the next administration?  While we found it annoying when anti-gay conservatives were given a seat in the current administration's table, we didn't think it was part of some hidden strategy that afforded "payback" to those who helped defeat Gore/Kerry.  We simply thought it was a fulfillment of the non-inclusive, queer-hostile vision that we knew or at least feared would be fostered under a Bush White House!   

So lest there be any more confusion, we just want to say right now to the whole of society: YES, WE LGBT PEOPLE WANT FULL AND EQUAL RIGHTS FOR OUR TAX-PAYING EXISTENCES!!  AND YES, WE WILL RESIST ANY ATTEMPTS TO MARGINALIZE THOSE EXISTENCES!  Call that "strategic" if you wish.  We'll continue to call it a reasoned push to achieve our deservedly full and equal citizenship!

Gay Activists Line Up Potential Presidential Nominees [CitizenLink]

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