That agenda thing, again
(I’m posting so much gay-related stuff because it’s Pride Week, a.k.a. the 43rd anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, often considered the beginning of the modern gay/lesbian/bi/queer/transgender rights movement. I’ll get back to my usual observations on more trivial topics next week, promise)
Some years ago I wrote an essay, “What agenda?” in which, among other things, I listed my own agenda, not feeling I could speak for anyone else. I still think that’s a pretty good list of goals. Especially the part about making pie for people. Pie makes just about everything better, after all.
Lately certain people have been reading in public a document which they claim is the actual gay agenda, and it’s pretty horrid stuff. The thing is, the list originated as a joke–a joke on the very sorts of people misinformed enough or paranoid enough (or both) to believe that such a document exists. The original article identifies itself explicitly as satire, though the people quoting it now always leave that part out.
In short, they are lying.
So, while I’m still trying to achieve those 10 points I listed back in 2003, that was just the personal agenda of one single homosexual, not the rest of us. And that’s not what people are looking for. So I will tell you what the real agenda of the lgbt rights movement is, just to clear up the misinformation out there:
- Full legal equality.
- And nothing less.
That’s it! Absolutely full equality before the law. Which, among many other things, means I can marry the man I want and get all the legal rights (protections) and responsibilities (obligations) thereof.
And we’re not giving up until we have full equality before the law. Each time society deigns to give us another crumb, hoping we’ll go away and shut up about it, already, we’re going to come back and demand the rest.
So, you want to know how to get us to shut up? Give us full legal equality. It’s that simple.
And for the folks who cry about how doing this oppresses your freedom of religion? I offer this illustration my paternal grandfather was fond of: “My right to move my arm ends just before I hit you. If I cross that line, I’m not exercising my right to move, I’m committing assault.”
So, the moment your religious beliefs prevent me from living my own life as I want, you’re no longer exercising a right. You’re committing assault. And just as laws that punish assault are not oppressing people’s freedom of movement, laws that protect my right to not be fired just because I’m gay, or my right not to be evicted just because I’m gay, or the right of myself and the man I love to enter into the legal bonds of matrimony are not oppressing your freedom.
You’re still free to disapprove. You’re free to believe I’m going to hell. You’re free to not invite me to your Christmas party. You’re free to exclude me from your church. And just as you would scream bloody murder (and seek legal redress) if I was a property manager who refused to rent to you because I don’t approve of your religion because it disagrees with mine, I’m free to object (and seek legal redress) if you refuse to rent to me because you don’t approve of who I decided to marry.
And before anyone trots out the tired saw, “But freedom of religion is mentioned in the Constitution, while homosexuality is not,” let me explain something: my belief that my love for another man is not a sin? That’s a religious belief. Another way to look at it, my decision not to subscribe to your religion should have the same legal standing as your decision to believe. So, as a matter of fact, I’m covered there, too.
If you’re having trouble choking that down, may I suggest washing it down with a nice slice of homemade pie?