By next week this time we should have a better idea whether gay rights will make a big step forward or we will be forced to shuffle. I am referring to the US election taking place this Tuesday, November 6th. We will see if Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will be in the US White House in January and whether the US Congress will be in Democrat or Republican control. Obama and the Democrats will try to promote gay rights (to some extent) but Romney and the Republicans have promised to thwart such things as same-sex marriages.
There is no direct or necessary correlation between what happens in the USA and other countries. But we will be affected anyway. Events in Washington DC are more than mere portents. A big set-back for gay rights in the USA will encourage anti-gay partisans everywhere.
I take it that the right to get married is the current barometer measuring the pressure for the whole range of LGBT rights. Apparently the opponents think so, too. It would be difficult to account for the force of their opposition otherwise. They must think that if gay marriages are allowed to be normal, then gay civil rights in other areas will follow, and soon gay people will be normalized rather than stigmatized, ostracized and otherized. Their rhetoric is panicky and exaggerated, implying that allowing us into the mainstream will undermine stable society and imperil civilization. We retort that we are already everywhere and social order is not crumbling, so just give us a fair slice of the benefits.
I wonder if we aren’t understating the stakes in the gay-marriage movement as much as the hysterical opponents are overstating it.
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Dobson posts his weekly reflections on this blog.