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Maryland’s Alston proposes ‘no marriages for anyone, civil unions for all’ compromise

Timothy Kincaid

March 3rd, 2011

As surmised, Tiffany Alston’s boycott of the marriage vote on Tuesday had far far less to do with other issues that were not receiving adequate attention and far more to do with pressure she is receiving from religious African-American anti-gay activists.

So Alston is wanting to propose a compromise (myfoxdc.com):

“I believe, as a government, we should issue something that is the same for everybody,” Alston explained in a hallway outside the House Judiciary Committee. “And I think, if we wanted to issue a license to everybody and call it a civil union license. And then everybody in the state – whether heterosexual or homosexual – would get the same exact license.”

Alston said religious groups could then hold their own ceremonies – some would include gay nuptials, some would not.

Ideologically, that argument does make a certain amount of sense. It would get around the “marriage is a sacrament” belief that has been instilled by attending weddings and watching movies and seems to lodge somewhere in the back of our subconscious thinking. And considering the number of churches across the nation (and internet ministers) that would delight in granting same-sex couples “marriage” status, it would not serve as an impediment to the status found in that term.

But pragmatically, it’s impossible. If Maryland’s residents were to separately and solely determine that no one in their state has “marriage” as a legal status, then chaos would result. Federal law does (irrespective of the unconstitutional DOMA) rely on state marriages for its determination of marriage for federal purposes. And as it is abundantly clear that legislators do not see civil unions as the same as marriage (ask New Jersey and Hawaii), there is no way that Maryland’s representatives are going to go back to their constituents and announce that they’ve down-graded their marriages to civil unions.

And, let’s face it, it’s not a compromise that the anti-gay folk would ever accept. They don’t really want to protect their right to define marriage for their own congregation; this is all about forcing their definition of marriage on those who don’t go to their church.

But it does seem clear that Alston ‘gets it’ that laws which provide different treatment based on what group you are in are discriminatory. And let’s hope that, like Maryland Republican Senator Allan Kittleman who proposed the same thing, this will result in a vote for marriage equality.

Meanwhile Jill Carter is back on board the marriage train with a brand new explanation as to why she boycotted Tuesday’s proposed vote. (Investigative Voice)

“I didn’t block the vote “ Jill Carter (D-41st) told Investigative Voice in a telephone interview early Thursday morning. “We didn’t have the votes.”

The leadership “didn’t take a whip count, she explained, and I know we were at least two votes short” of passage.

But Carter is not available for a vote today, either.

Jill Carter is sick.

Comments

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TonyJazz
March 3rd, 2011 | LINK

So, this means that she plans to remove marriage rights for Social Security benefits for Maryland?

Yeah, right…….

enough already
March 3rd, 2011 | LINK

Could we drop the “African-American” comments?
Please.

I don’t do political correctness and I can’t stand the double plus b s of the psychologically correct doublespeak which so often goes on among the gay intellectuals in the US.

There is, however, a persistent tendency in our queer community to make these subtle and not-so-subtle comments regarding African Americans and our queer rights.

It’s racist. We need to stop it.

The problem is conservative Christians, not African-Americans.

Timothy Kincaid
March 3rd, 2011 | LINK

enough already,

Actually, in this case it isn’t generic “conservative Christians”. It’s the “black church”, a collective institution that doesn’t exactly fit in the “conservative Christian” box. On gay issues, yes. On many other social issue, absolutely not.

In this Maryland vote, it absolutely is a race issue. Going against the black church is not only defying God, it’s defying your community and your identity. And this is being couched in terms of race (or other words that are clearly understood) by those who are opposing equality.

In many black communities, the church is not just a house of worship. It’s the center and backbone of the community. These ministers serve the role of patriarch, minister, and political machine. They take care of their flock’s needs in ways that go way beyond just spiritual.

It isn’t quite what it once was, but these ministers wield tremendous influence over politicians and over voters.

Leaving their race out of the picture would distort and confuse the issue. It simply isn’t the same as your white Methodist minister disapproving.

You better believe that Alston is going through agony on this.

enough already
March 3rd, 2011 | LINK

Timothy,
I agree with you that some groups of people in society have different ties to their churches than do others.
I was, in fact, raised in the Methodist church…you got that right.

What troubles me, and this goes back quite a ways, is that I very much remember the Negroes vs. Jews conflicts and the blacks vs. Asian peoples conflicts. The tenor of discussion those many decades back was identical to the discussion ongoing now regarding us queers and the ‘African-Americans’.

We liberals have failed, and failed badly in our attempts to deal with people suffering from victimhood, imagined or real, over the last years.

If we approach the African American community in the same we did after Prop. 8, we will achieve nothing. On the contrary, we will lose, badly.

Frankly, nearly every comment I’ve read in the queer world these last two days has been contra-productive.

Is the African-American relationship to the Christian faith different in many cases than my European Methodist roots? Yes. Obviously.

We need, however, to step back, close our mouths, take our fingers off of our keyboards and learn, first.

The damage we did after Prop.8 shows we don’t understand the dynamics. I see us making the same mistake here.

Mark
March 3rd, 2011 | LINK

I agree completely with E.A.

We need to learn from California that even though on most issues they’re disproportionately liberal Democrats, African-Americans are also disproportionately hostile to marriage equality.

So to win a referendum in a state like Maryland, where African-Americans are a key element of the Democratic constituency, we need to perform better than expected with independent and even Republican voters to compensate for the likely loss of black votes from the pro-equality coalition.

Priya Lynn
March 3rd, 2011 | LINK

Okay, if the LGBT community didn’t handle the situation with blacks correctly what specific steps do you recommend instead?

enough already
March 3rd, 2011 | LINK

Good question, Priya Lynn.

Let’s see. For starters, I suggest we go, in humbleness, to listen to those in this community who will talk to us.

Let’s hear what they have to say.

Dan
March 3rd, 2011 | LINK

The African American vote is different in different parts of the country. In D.C., the African American vote is about the same as the white vote, with a majority of both groups supporting marriage equality.

Chitown Kev
March 3rd, 2011 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid is more or less correect and usually, I find him to be a bit clumsy when discussing the race issue.

@Mark- Anything to avoid dealing with African American voters, right?

You did that in California and you see where it got you.

30% of Maryland’s population is black.

I don’t know what the truth is, that some gays think that they’re entitled to the African American vote (“they should know better”), you don’t think it’s all that important (in California, that may have been a reasonable calculation to make) or you are just flat out scared to do the work.

Please…treat African Americans like you treat any other voter. becuase the other side sure will.

Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it.

Chitown Kev
March 3rd, 2011 | LINK

What is obvious is that the LGBT community doesn’t know a damn thing about working grassroots campaigns with communities of color.

Maybe white LGBTs need to go throw the growing pains. (FTR, I’m black.)

The church networks are the one tool that the other side has and they put it to great use.

The only thing that exists on the LGBT side that’s even remotely compares is black LGBTs.

Problem is, it seems as if many of you don’t even like reaching out to us and if you have little or no regard for me, why should “my mom or dad” have regard for you?

I mean, in a state that’s 30% black, you’re surprised and in shock that this happened?

Mark
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

@Chitown: I would think any referendum campaign should “deal” with all voters, if only to hold down the margin of defeat among hostile voter blocs, while also being realistic about the best- and worst-case scenario of support from each voting bloc. For instance, I would hope that any MD campaign would be able to develop an effective enough micro-message to lose the white evangelical vote by, say, 50 points rather than by 70. And I would hope that any MD referendum campaign would “deal” with African-American voters and perhaps get a 50-50 split. Of course, if we can only get 50% from white, Hispanic, or Asian-American moderate/liberal Dems, it will be a long night.

It’s also my sense that successful campaigns know where their voters are and are not likely to be. The California result (along with the just-released Pew poll showing a major move in favor of equality among independents) suggest that independents are likelier supporters of equality than African-Americans (with younger voters and white/Hispanic/Asian liberals the strongest supporters). Accordingly, I’d be amazed if the equality campaign did a voter mobilization effort among African-Americans; I would hope they’d focus on achieving massive turnouts of younger voters and in Montgomery Co.

Chitown Kev
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

@Mark

15% of Montgomery County is black so…we’re not even talking about black youth (who also show more of a tendency to be independent voters)?

Again, as pointed out above, basing it on the California model may surely make you lose. For example, I suspect (in fact I know) that blacks are far more likely to be socially and upwardly mobile in Maryland than in California (I think that even might be true of Illinois).

You’re basing it on a model where the black population is only a small minority. You think that black people in Maryland are the same as black people in California?

This is why you lose elections.

Chitown Kev
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

For example, Mark…I live in the Chicago area.

There is no way that any type of campaign that LGBTs would conduct here that wouldn’t include attempts to reach out to the black and Latino communities because there is truly political power that lies there (and that may be unlike the situation in California).

mike
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

yeah but see someone should tell her that that argument doesn’t hold up in water either. She’s one of those, no one should be married, or no one should receive government benefits from marriage because i don’t believe in marriage “people”. The fact of the matter is this, marriage is there, people receive benefits from it, not everyone can get married. Get over marriage, give it to everyone. end of line.

Amicus
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

Well, being a lawyer, she’s got the equality-at-law part. She just doesn’t get that “marriage” IS the compromise, yet.

The fight between pulpit and “crown” is as old as the hills, maybe.

Some of the standard notions that apply are (a) correctly identifying what are and are not matters of individual conscience, which, in a way, avoids “legislating morality” and (b) correctly understanding how decision making based on evidence-and-consequences, i.e. “enlightenment”, is different than decision making based on “theory”.

Priya Lynn
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

Chitown Kev, like “enough” and Mark you offer a lot of criticism about how the LGBT community has dealt with black voters but other than your reference to churches no specifics as to how to better deal with them (and your suggestion that we recognize black voters in Maryland are different isn’t specific or helpful).

If you’re so smart then give us some concrete ideas on how to deal with black voters and spare us the empty “you didn’t do it right” complaints.

Chitown Kev
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

@Priya Lynn

My suggestion is very, very simple.

Talk to black voters and make your pitch.

Be sensitive and aware of the cultural differences.

Treat them like citizens who’s views on the issue (any issue) matter

Don’t concede the vote to fundies.

Yes, the church networks give the fundies an advantage but you have black LGBT’s on your side, potentially an equal (if not greater) resource.

Maryland black voters probably have a little more in common with DC black voters than California black voters. I know, that takes rocket science to figure out.

One thing is certain, what LGBT groups have done thus far hasn’t worked.

And that isn’t new news, Urvashi Vaid was warning about that in the 1990’s.

Chitown Kev
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

and one more thing…

Stop whining that “it’s too hard.”

That may be a good thing about the (hopefully) upcoming referendum battle. You won’t have a choice but to engage black voters.

Don’t retreat from it in fear or disgust, take the opportunity to do it

Priya Lynn
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

Chitown Kev, that’s on the vague side. For example when you say “Be sensitive and aware of the cultural differences.” it would be helpful if you could point out what those cultural differences are.

enough already
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

PL, I stopped where I did for a reason.
You can’t listen when you are talking.

That is a concrete suggestion, and a realistic one.

How can it be anything but arrogance when I acknowledge that we have an enormous problem working with many in the African-American community yet am not willing to hear their side of the matter?

Opinions? Oh, my yes – I have lots. But I think it’s best to leave my opinions out of it. What we’ve done up until now, which was driven by our opinons has failed. Let’s get the facts, first, or, at least hear their opinions first and then go forward from there.

It may be that there are no solutions. It may be that the mistakes are all on our side.
It may be that the African-American community is as unwilling to be tolerant of us as many of us are of them.
It may be that what I know of Negroes, living in Europe has no transferable value to dealing with African-Americans.

Just look at how many politically correct folks just got their dander up over that last paragraph – that’s the point. There is no one, single ‘black’ community in this world, just as my gayness makes me part of the queer world but I have 99.99999999999% more in common with straight women than I do with lesbians.

What is wrong with this approach?

Chitown Kev
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

Priya, there’s nothing vague about treating potential voters like potential voters.

You don’t talk to black people on a regular basis or live around them do you? (And that’s a big part of the problem for many).

I should be a smart ass and say get out there and get to know some black people for your own damn self.

customartist
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

My letters:

jill.carter@house.state.md.us
tiffany.alston@house.state.md.us

Dear Del. Carter, Del. Alston,

I am writing with great concern that you may be considering reversing position on Marriage Equality.

Allow me to point out that Gays are not 3/5ths of a Human, as were neither African Americans prior to their Emancipation. Surely you appreciate this.

What if a Powerful Majority of Citizens were to pressure the Legislature to roll back Your Marriage to the classification of a “Civil African American Union”?

Proposing any distinction respecting religious belief is categorically Un-Constitutional.

Please do the Right Thing here and do not cower to religious pressures.

Respectfully,

Chitown Kev
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

I apologize for my rudeness, but as a person who has always been pretty cosmopolitan minded and loves to learn about other people, it really pisses me off when other people aren’t that way.

That insuluar aspect of both the gay communities and the black communities is something that I despise.

What was it that my Mom used to say when I asked her what a word that I read meant…”go look it up!”

But some of you sure know how to cite some black history for your own purposes.

And some of you sure know how anti-gay black people are.

And that’s all many of you want to know, it seems.

Having said that…

a key to working with black communities is to build and maintain relationships. Think about the fact that most black people (including myself, at times) are very distrustful of white people gay or straight (and I feel the same about a lot of straight people for that matter).

Building those relationships take time and if it’s just building a relationship for the sake of getting something then I don’t think that’s going to work.

And frankly, Priya, it seems as if that’s all you’re interested in and that’s when “The Veil” (as WEB Dubois called it) goes up.

Priya Lynn
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

That’s fine Chitown Kev your purpose here is to bitch and complain, not to help – I get it.

Timothy Kincaid
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

Chitown Kev,

Timothy Kincaid is more or less correect and usually, I find him to be a bit clumsy when discussing the race issue.

Thanks. And I don’t disagree that I’m a bit clumsy when discussing the race issue.

Timothy Kincaid
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

Re the discussion on mobilization and communication, I think that the black community may be a bit of an untapped market. Some of our very strongest unequivocal unhesitating supporters who never sell us out are also heroes in the African-American community. And there is magic in the names Coretta Scott King, Mildred Loving, and John Lewis, all of whom have stated support. And lets not forget that Al Sharpton commands respect among certain voters that will never listen to either Ted Olson or Maggie Gallagher.

But how to move forward on finding common cause or building support in the black community? I have no idea.

But the fact that the LGBT community is fractured by race when it comes to socializing, organizing, and public representation should give us a clue that this is not going to be easy.

Chitown Kev
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

I told you something pretty specific actually, the key is to build relationships as opposed to fly by night stuff.

If you don’t want to that for whatever reason (and yes, it’s time consuming and it takes WORK…but what other choices do you have?

The opposition builds the relationships. You can look at what they’re doing wrong or you can look at what they are doing right, your choice.

LGBTs seem to not be interested in building relationships with the black community (gay and straight).

Given that attitude, why should I help you (and that’s a serious question that anyone could answer)?

Chitown Kev
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

@Timothy Kincaid

Exactly. It’s not going to be easy.

And I’m one gay black man who doesn’t live and work in a predomintaely black community, I wouldn’t want anyone to take my word for anything.

And I don’t mind clumsiness when race/ethnicity issues are being discussed (neither do most black people, to be honest).

Chitown Kev
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

“I think that the black community may be a bit of an untapped market.”

I might alter that to say “the unchurched black community”

For some of the reasons that you cite, the public and political face of the black community is church-based.

That’s not the reality that I know.

I know a lot of blacks that don’t like “The Black Church” and think that the church folks are sanctimonious and full of shit.

Myself, I’ve long thought the church has far too much influence of politics in the black community and I wish that there was more secular leadership.

Now how to find and mobilize people like that in the black community (for anything, really, not simply SSM) is a mystery to me.

Priya Lynn
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

Chitown Kev, you’ve offered virtually nothing except a few useless platitudes and anger. If you think the handful of gays and lesbians “building relationships” with a handful of blacks is going to have any significant effect on black voters then you’re naive. Its going to take ad campaigns that reach the majority of the black community and you have nothing to offer to that end.

You go on insulting me, telling me how you distrust white people and then angrily telling me to build relationships with black people and you think that’s going to encourage me to do so?! The last thing I want is to have a relationship with someone like you and it has nothing to do with your skin colour.

You say “Given that attitude, why should I help you (and that’s a serious question that anyone could answer)?”.

Because everyone should want equality for all so they are better ensured of getting it themselves. I don’t like you but I’m sure not going to vote against equality for you for that reason. Its a damn shame that you’re going to use how much you like or dislike someone to determine whether or not you’re going to help them achieve equality – I’d never do that. You criticize the idea that the LGBT community might build relationships for the sake of getting something and then hypocritcally say “Why should I help unless I get something?”. Puuuleeeze.

You say “Priya, there’s nothing vague about treating potential voters like potential voters.”.

That’s nothing BUT vague. And obvious. You don’t want to help that’s fine with me, but then don’t come bitching to me about how we’re doing it wrong.

Timothy Kincaid
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

NPR also has an interesting article discussing the African-American vote on LGBT issues.

Timothy Kincaid
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

Alston voted against equality. She appears to have used race as her reasoning:

“My community does not like this bill and doesn’t want it to pass,” said Ms. Alston, Prince George’s Democrat, whose absence at a committee meeting Tuesday delayed the vote. She said she needed more time to consider the issue.

Chitown Kev
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

Priya, it’s just so EASY to read when a white person has minimal to no contact with black people, I can’t help but to remark on it and in this case it is a VERY big part of the problem.

Marriage equality is not a very significant issue for a lot blacks (and that wold be true of gay OR straight lacks)…part of the problem isn’t ant-gay hostility, per se, but indifference.

So any ad campaign that you do would have to pierce through that veil of indifference.

Look, you don’t have to build a relationship with ME (although that’s what we’re doing now).

It’s not for me to do your homework and to give you all these answers…my black experience is only mine (as are my perceptions).

And I worked on the No On 1 campaign in Maine (a state I had no prior connection to but I do now) and I live in Illinois and I may work on the upcoming campaign in Maryland (since I have family in DC and Maryland)…I have no problem with helping with equality.

Chitown Kev
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

@Timothy Kincaid

Then maybe Delegate Austin should have solicited those opinions from her community prior to agreeing to co-sponsor the bill.

Priya Lynn
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

Chitown Kev, I don’t take homework assignments from jerks. Take your homework and stuff it – I’m done with you.

Jerry
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

“My community does not like this bill and doesn’t want it to pass,” said Ms. Alston
*************************
When I see that attitude, I would never again vote for such a candidate. She has demonstrated that she has no ability to do what’s right but is just a coward protecting her job. That attitude will blow back eventually on the constituents she represents. It’s sad that when it’s time for her to round up supporters for something her constituents want, there won’t be a lot of interest in stepping up.

enough already
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

Timothy,
You asked me several weeks ago to better explain my feeling that this website got mired in politically correct tensions.

(That’s not quite how you put it but that was my understanding.)

This thread is an excellent illustration of what I meant.

We have several things going on here, all relevant, all important and all in conflict with each other.

First, we have my European disgust with PC and double-plus speak. If I don’t have a problem with the African-American community on queer issues, it’s because I know black people from Africa and black people who are Europeans. This inoculates against seeing ‘African-Americans’ as a race, as a monolithic block.

Second, we have Priya Lynn, who is plenty smart but also plenty unwilling to work with anyone who isn’t precisely in line with her worldviews on everything.

Third, we have Chitown Kev, who is making a lot of sense to me, but then, I agree with his basic premise that we can’t expect the African-American communities to be interested in our issues unless they have a personal stake in us as people.

This is a very good example, in miniature, of our very big problem relating to those outside of our queer community who don’t ‘get it’.

I meant it when I said that I had vastly more in common with straight women than with other queers. We’re going to have to drop the LGBTqqA&etc hyphenation and become people united towards the goal of being recognized as fully human if we are to achieve anything.

Chitown Kev
March 4th, 2011 | LINK

@enough already

and of course, there are differences within the black communities (my preferred term) in the United States.

Anyone ever observed the interactions and the tensions between African Americans and Afro Caribbeans or Africans from the the continent?

Hell, I have a white gay male acquaintance of mine that noted the tensions between blacks from the North Side of Chicago and the South/West Side of Chicago while riding the Red Line -el!

If those types of tensions exist within a city, what makes anyone think that the template of a LOSING California marriage equality campaign would work in Maryland…especially as the demographics are quite different?

http://www.theroot.com/buzz/foreclosure-crisis-class-becoming-growing-issue-black-communities

As I stated (and Priya Lynn didn’t note) there are a LOT of non-churched people in black communities and (for the most part) they don’t care about marriage equality one way or the other; they’re indifferent to it.

And they probably wouldn’t vote on the issue one way or another or call a delegate about, etc. (and I corresponded online with at least 10 Californian blacks that didn’t vote Yes OR no on Proposition 8)

The churched black Americans DO care about the issue, they are primarily against, they have a history of much higher levels of civic involvement and they DO vote.

enough already
March 5th, 2011 | LINK

I can do ‘black communities’.

One of the reasons we, as a queer community have so very much trouble pulling together and working with each other is the evil of political correctness.

Instead of modifying our language consciously to unconsciously modify our thoughts and make double-plus good citizens out of us, political correctness, in the hands of the PC-Police has come to be the number one tool to wield when someone wants to prevent any dialogue or common ground from coming to be among the various queer groups.

Our focus must be on achieving human status and the full civil rights. One all homosexuals and transgender have these, we can go our separate ways. Until then, this divisiveness is only hurting us.

That was a few words more than needed to say: It isn’t an African-American problem, it’s a problem explaining the justice of our cause to a group of voters we need.

Timothy Kincaid
March 7th, 2011 | LINK

You asked me several weeks ago to better explain my feeling that this website got mired in politically correct tensions.

I’m confused. Do you think that we are too PC here? If so then what, exactly, is the PC position that we are taking to the exclusion of other positions being heard?

Or are we not PC enough? Are we not adequately uniform in our opinions which need to be put aside for the collective view of our goals?

enough already
March 8th, 2011 | LINK

Timothy,
I wasn’t clear.
I’ll try, again.

First, it is important to note that English is neither my native tongue nor was I living in the US at the time political correctness first began. We don’t ‘do’ PC in Europe, outside of the UK.

I have the impression that you see PC as something normal and, if not as something positive, at least as the standard for communication.

The roots of PC are admirable. At least, the official roots. My firm conviction is that PC was used from the very beginning to stifle creativity and to punish anyone who dared to think outside of the officially permitted box.

Put simply, I do not see PC as a tool to free us of our prejudicial thoughts. I do not see PC as a means of freeing us of the evils of judgmental speech.
I see PC as a weapon used by people to avoid having a serious conversation at a minimum and as a means to destroy potential harmony and cooperation in general.

I won’t single any one person out here, but a typical objection to comments made here is based on the fact that the person making the comment is of the wrong sex. Of the wrong skin color. Of the wrong sexuality. Is cis-gendered, is a Christian. Or is not a Christian. Is an agnostic but not an atheist. Or refuses to redefine established words to fit the PC language of certain sub-groups of our queer world.

Look at this thread again, please. Several of us are arguing that there is no one single problem arising from being African-American. Nor is there a single ‘black church’, not really.

It is not that you are being too PC or too little PC. Perhaps I am blaming bad manners and a passionate dislike and resentment towards pink male cis-gendered people on PC.

Regardless, too much time and energy is wasted on this very useful site fighting over language. If you want another example, take a look at the nastiness about ‘atheist/agnostic’.
How dare I apply proper English when a sub-group of the queer community had determined that their definition was correct because it was their definition.

The problem remains: We need African-American voters to either leave us alone or to support us. Our approach as a queer community to dealing with them has, up until now, failed with broad groupings within the black community.

Chitown Kev
March 8th, 2011 | LINK

“We need African-American voters to either leave us alone or to support us.”

Never mind the fact that I’m a black voter…and that overlap right there (and the failure to recognize it as such, and the same thing happens in black communities too…) is part of the problem.

enough already
March 8th, 2011 | LINK

Well, ChitownKev,
That’s part of our communication problem, isn’t it.
Because they hold the power, nearly all of our enemies are white men.
Which I also happen to be.

I do not, however, identify myself that way in my thoughts because, one I’m not an American and thus am free of your culture’s need to preface every act of individuality with some sort of label and, two, because I genuinely believe that freedom for us queers is more important than all the differences between and among us.

Does that make sense? I hope so.

I remember the furious, angry discussions in the late 1980s in Europe. Many lesbians wanted to cast themselves loose from the diseased gays. They pointed out that there were no known cases of Aids among lesbians. I’ll skip the tired litany, we all know how the story goes. Fortunately, the majority of women who were politically active felt it was more important to stand as a queer community than to dump us evil gay males. The split, of course, remains to this day but the willingness of those women to work within the queer community to achieve freedom was crucial to our success.

We need to have our full human status, our full civil rights restored in the US. Then we can all go our own ways.

Ben in Atlanta
March 8th, 2011 | LINK

First MCC Church in Atlanta is hosting the In The Life Atlanta community meetings on 2nd Mondays.

If your city is large enough to have an African-American or Black Pride, get out and network. No-one seems to mind that I’m not black or explain to me why two pride festivals are needed.

Go read some non-white gay blogs. They may have more experience dealing with church folk.

It never hurts to be proactive instead of reactive.

Chitown Kev
March 8th, 2011 | LINK

“the furious, angry discussions in the late 1980s in Europe. Many lesbians wanted to cast themselves loose from the diseased gays.”

That’s interesting, I think exactly the opposite happened here in the States between gay men and lesbians, for the most part.

Timothy Kincaid
March 8th, 2011 | LINK

enough already,

PC is a pejorative term to describe what is perceived as an attempt to control discussion and thought on certain issues and to take them off the discussion table. It also connotes a nanny-state, micromanaging, obsession with the appearance of things while ignoring the importance.

Basically, political correctness is the attitude or behavior of placing form over function, observing rules of “non-offensiveness” without much attention to their purpose. And, yes, it does present itself in insistence on “the right term.”

However, the issue about who is allowed to speak and who is granted presumed authority due to attributes (ie. a old white heterosexual male is always wrong on every issue due to his privilege) is not PC. That is entitlement.

They are similar and related, but not quite the same or used in the same way or for the same purpose.

Political correctness is more schoolmarmish and prissy and intended to make everyone conform and be good. Entitlement creates a caste system and assigns worth based on things like race and gender.

So I do get confused at your usage of the term. I think perhaps that for a while it would be less confusing to avoid use of PC or politically correct so as to have your point not get lost in the word selection.

enough already
March 8th, 2011 | LINK

Sounds good to me, Timothy.
We call everything which is directed at stifling discussion “PC” or “double-plus Speak” in Europe.

If entitlement butters your muffin, fine with me. The main thing is that we work together as a queer community to end the discrimination against us.

Timothy Kincaid
March 8th, 2011 | LINK

EA,

“double-plus speak” is a term we don’t have at all here. Sometimes these discussions remind me that I really speak American, not English.

enough already
March 8th, 2011 | LINK

I feel your pain. I have less trouble in all other languages than in English.

Newspeak was actually rather well known in the US during my undergraduate days. I guess it’s fallen by the wayside. Pity, I always assumed it was the foundation for political correctness.

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