Michael Crawford

No Way. No How. No McCain/Palin.

Filed By Michael Crawford | October 09, 2008 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, Democrats, election 2008, John McCain, LGBT Rights, Republicans, Sarah Palin, voting

A couple of days ago I wrote that gays won't let their friends vote McCain and with less than four weeks before election day that message has taken on an increased urgency. This post the second is a series that I am writing urging LGBT people to talk to our family, friends and co-workers about why a vote for John McCain is a vote for discrimination against LGBT Americans.

John McCain and Sarah Palin have unleash a wave of negative attacks in speeches and ads against Barack Obama and our fight to change our country for the better. They have, as a New York Times editorial stated, moved "into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia."

What makes you think that if elected they will not turn that same mean-spiritedness and willingness to engage in divisive politics against us?

As LGBT people we have the responsibility to ourselves and to our friends and family to make clear to them just how much a McCain/Palin administration would hurt us and our families. We have to make them understand that McCain is in no way a "maverick" especially when it comes to LGBT civil rights and that Palin, despite the "folksy charm" that appeals to some, is even worse on LGBT issues. Palin has close ties to an anti-gay church that believes that LGBT people can be cured of our sexual orientation and gender identity through prayer and Palin believes that being gay is a choice.

McCain is already on record has strongly supporting the proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot in Arizona, California and Florida that would ban marriage for same-sex couples. In California, passage of Prop. 8 would nullify the marriages of more than 11,000 couples.

Speaking at the HRC National Dinner in Washington, DC on October 4th, Terry Bean, co-founder of HRC and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, said:

It is time that we demanded that our family, our friends, the people closet to us consider our equality as they cast their votes. It is unacceptable that the people who say the love us vote for those that would demean us and consistently block our path to justice.

Some of that is our own fault. We cannot keep them for voting for our enemies. It is, at least for them, still a free country. But they most be told that doing so is an act of betrayal and will harm our relationships

.

That is where you come in.

By speaking to our families, friends and co-workers about how harmful a McCain presidency would be for us, we can give the people who love us an opportunity to support us.

This video gives examples of how young people are standing up for what they believe and speaking to friends and family about why it is so to elect Barack Obama as our next president. The video is not LGBT-specific, but if these kids have the courage to have "the talk" with their families, why can't we?


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Any queer even remotely thinking of voting for McCain should be sent to the nearest shrink for evaluation for being so self-loathing...

I know that this is the most important election ever, and that the other side has frequently targeted elderly folks in the cheapest, most demeaning ways. And I'm a 100% gay, 100% PRO-gay, 100% Barack Obama supporter, but asking kids to sneakily manipulate the elderly for their votes -- to manipulate their own grandmother, for heaven sake -- just crosses a line. I would rather the Obama campaign had aired a hundred slime-filled commercials against John McCain than stoop to this creepiness. The Republicans may always have an advantage in their willingness to prey on elderly voters, but you know what? They're Republicans. I'm a Democrat, and I say we're better than this.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | October 11, 2008 6:22 AM

Jacob,

I don't think that asking people to talk to friends and family about the election is "asking kids to sneakily manipulate the elderly." It is explaining to people that care about us how the choices that the next president makes will impact our lives. And, the choices that Obama and McCain will make are vastly different and those differences are something that it is important to talk about particularly when it comes to LGBT civil rights.

In many cases our loves do not take into account how their votes will impact us as LGBT people. It is up to us to help them understand that voting for McCain would be a vote to continue discrimination against us. We may not be able to change their votes, but it is important that we educate them and give them and opportunity to support us when they vote.

As LGBT people, we have been sometimes unwilling to see our fight for equality as being worthy enough to ask the people who love us to stand with us. We are a minority of about 10% of the population. We need the support of fair-minded allies to move our movement forward and we should not be afraid or feel guilty about asking for them to stand with us.

Michael,

Thanks for a thoughtful response to my rather off-the-cuff rant. I agree that LGBT young people should be talking to their families about voting for progressive candidates. What struck me as "creepy" -- and I should have clarified this -- was really just one moment in the video where the interviewee threatens to withhold favors, like fixing the TiVo, as a means of coercing his grandmother to vote for Obama. That to me is the complete opposite of having a meaningful conversation about politics. However small a matter it may be, fixing the TiVo for one's grandmother is part of being a good grandchild; it's not something that should be conditionalized. When progressives allow politics to trump family obligation, we undermine the very values of respect and social responsibility that (extended from the family to society at large, I would argue) drive the progressive movement.

That said, if it gets us a vote...