This commentary is the opinion of its author and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin.
August 17th, 2008
And far too often activists within our community have fallen victim to such a mindset.
I understand why. It’s far easier to apply a label and assign enmity than it is to listen, consider, and reason why someone may differ with you on some issues. Besides if we pick a side we get to view ourselves as heroes and the “others” as the evil enemy.
It’s the exact same motivation that drives anti-gays.
But it isn’t particularly effective in winning debates or effecting change. And when the outcome is important, we don’t have the luxury of making enemies. We have to build our arguments around shared values, compelling evidence, and an appeal to decency rather than messages of enmity and war.
Which is why I am so very pleased with the approach that Fred Karger and Californians Against Hate took towards a fundraiser organized by the San Diego Republican Party Central Committee for the anti-gay marriage amendment, Proposition 8.
Surely it must have been tempting to stage a protest that would villianize the evil Republicans. And most assuredly some gay activists when planning such a protest would come bearing signs that said ‘Republicans are Haters’ or with a big red circle and a line through the letters GOP.
But Fred recognized that many Republicans in California are open to a message of inclusion and decency and an appeal to vote “No” can be received positively… if they have not already been made the enemy. So he took another approach.
He and his protest team presented signs that spoke of the amendment and of marriage, but not of party affiliation. And he presented those attending the event with a list of quotes from notable individuals who have spoken out against bigotry – all Republicans: Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Barry Goldwater, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Congressman Clair Burgener, and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.
When Karger spoke to San Diego 6 he emphasized that the amendment is not something that should be supported by rank and file Republicans but that rejecting discrimination and bigotry is a value that Republicans can proudly share.
“This is truly the fringe element of the Republican Party,” said Californians Against Hate Founder Fred Karger. “These people are out of step with the Republican Party.”
“We hope to inform those attending about the rich history and philosophies of so many Republican leaders who fought for equality and against discrimination and hate,” said Karger
This is, I believe, a very smart approach. It may not change the opinions of any attendees but it does establish that opposition to this amendment is welcome from all voters of any party.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.