Bil Browning

Wish in One Hand

Filed By Bil Browning | January 22, 2011 7:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Quote of the Day
Tags: marriage equality, Richard Socarides, same-sex marriage

"In order to be the kind of transformational leader he can be, he should show the country the way forth on dismantling the so-called Defense of Marriage Act so that the law no longer robs the states of their right to decide the question of marriage, nor deprives lawfully married gay Americans of their federal benefits. That's the advice I'm giving to all the people I know who might actually influence the speech. If you want to be a leader, this is the speech in which to do it."

-- Equality Matters President Richard Socarides to the New York Times in an article about what the President should address during the upcoming State of the Union address. Yet another rich white gay guy thrusting marriage equality up like a holy grail at the expense of protections our entire community could enjoy.


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Banquo's Ghost | January 22, 2011 10:37 AM

I'd be careful, Bil. You might get called a "crazy trannie" if you let yourself be associated with such sentiments.

I personally think that Employment and Housing Equality are a far higher priority as far as human rights and human dignity but apparently our Butch Sisters and our Brothers and Sisters in the Trans-Community are not wholly human.

Gay Inc is sooooo in the pocket of wealthy gays..

I'm also dismayed by marriage equality being held up as the ultimate prize, but I don't understand the harsh tone of the response to his remark.

Socarides is the head of an organization focused on marriage equality, so of course that's what he's going to mention -- given his position, that's what he's supposed to do. If they asked Ingrid Newkirk of PETA what Obama should say, she wouldn't talk about the war in Afghanistan or abortion rights; her reply would be about animal rights, since her job is to bring attention to that subject. If Socarides had mentioned anything else as a top priority, donors to Equality Matters would have good reason to be angry with him.

Also, what's with the tired "rich white guy" meme? Rich white guys aren't allowed to have opinions, too? Although I agree that there are other pressing concerns, the lack of marriage equality does hurt all kinds of LGBT people, and gaining the right to marry won't just help rich white guys.

I don't understand why all LGBT blogs seem to end up living down to the bitchy queen stereotype by indulging in snippy, judgmental snark. If I were just coming out, that kind of thing would make me want to avoid getting involved in the community. Why not thoughtful, well-considered analysis instead -- and saving the snark for those who really deserve it?

I hate the smell of Greek choruses in the morning.

Socarides is the head of an organization focused on marriage equality....
Do you know something we don't know?
EqualityMatters.org is a new media and communications initiative in support of gay equality. Through strategic communications, research, training and media monitoring we strengthen efforts for full LGBT rights and correct anti-gay misinformation. Our goal is to enhance advocacy and activism across all platforms and to leverage our expertise in support of others who are working to make full equality a national imperative.
Are you telling us that the "full LGBT rights" really does just mean "gay marriage" and nothing but "gay marriage"?

If so, then you for your honesty - and rest assured that I'll be quoting you.

I am not a bitchy queen, thank you. I am an Angry Sapphist.

We have people on the streets hungry, ill, suffering and we are worried about MARRIAGE?
It is a question, in the end, about decency and moral imperative. Our moral imperative should be to save the lives of the most endangered amongst us, not this endless pursuit of federal marriage credits and avoidance of inheritance taxes that go with marriage.

Do you honestly believe that the homeless and unemployed LGBTs on the streets would benefit from the ability to marry? Will death in wedded bliss make them less dead?

In our priorities, heve we no decency left?

I understand that Socarides will lobby for marriage rights because it's his job. However, I've had my fill of chatter about Don't Ask, Don't Tell and marriage equality.

DOMA is a non-issue for me because I've never been in the military and never will. I've never understood why anyone would want to be in the military, much less queers. Why take a job where you're not wanted?

Marriage equality is another non-issue for me. I was married once and learned my lesson. Never again.

In our American society, marriage is held up as the be all and end all of life. As an adult, one's adulthood and legitimacy as a "useful member of society" is confirmed with marriage.

Marriage is not everyone's goal in life or relationships, though, whether gay or straight.

I feel that the Employment Non Discrimination Act is far more important and impacts far greater numbers of GLBTs than marriage and the military combined.

Everyone has to work to eat and survive and the truth is that seeking and keeping employment is the single most important issue GBLTs face in their daily lives.

Ignoring employment discrimination won't make it go away, and I feel that continuing to confer importance upon marriage and military service is classist and elitist, doing nothing to help the community as a whole.

Thank you, Maura, you're quite right. Forgive my lack of inclusion. Some women are also living down to the "angry, strident, humorless lesbian" stereotype, as well.

As I said -- twice -- in my posting, I agree that other issues facing LGBT America are more urgent. That said, a few things should be noted:

1) Real lives are being torn apart because couples can't marry, whether it's being unable to obtain residency for a foreign-born spouse, losing custody of a child born to a partner, or being forced into bankruptcy because of lacking inheritance rights -- something that could lead to more homelessness.

2) The notion that "more important" issues must be completely resolved befre we can address DOMA, DADT is specious. If you see an injured child, you wouldn't walk away just because bigger problems like war and genocide are also happening.

3) Marriage advocates aren't the enemy. I don't imagine you yell at people coming out of movie theaters that they should be ashamed of wasting their time watching movies while people are starving. Why, then, attack people for making some attempt to improve the lives of LGBT people?

4) For all of us (myself included), it's important to remember that time spent arguing and bickering is time that could be more profitably spent actually doing something useful. If we're really concerned about homelessness and unemployment, let's stop bitching and start acting. So I'm out of here.

See you on the barricades...

A las barricadas...haven't heard that since my university days. Real barricades back then.

I think with so many of our brothers and sisters unprotected and suffering, that I have a right to be angry. If by strident you mean determined, yes, I am.

Banquo's Ghost | January 22, 2011 3:04 PM

" If you see an injured child, you wouldn't walk away just because bigger problems like war and genocide are also happening."

You should bring that message to those who walked away from entire states of injured people to pass employment nondiscrim laws and are pushing for marriage while stifling including those same disenfranchised people.

Delaware? Hawaii? NH? Marriage advocates have actively stifled processes to address those inequities while passing more rights for themselves.

You can say that doesn't make them enemies - but it hardly makes them friends either.

What dismissive stereotype do you have stashed in the bottom of your purse for them?

I wonder if JMacPrime is Inside? 'Er Out?

I came out in 1972 and got involved with gay liberation, back when "gay" was an umbrella term now better articulated as LGBTQI, and back when gay activist meant Left radical. We were against marriage because we saw it as imitating heterosexual society. I still prefer to create queer rituals and traditions instead of trying to assimilate to heterosexual society. I am not nor do I wish to BE a heterosexual. Same-sex marriage needs to be recognized as part of the larger equal rights fight, not as an ultimate queer goal. Unless it happens at the federal level, it's pretty meaningless anyway. (My partner retired this year, but I do not qualify for his Soc Sec or Medicare benefits.)
A radical gay white feminist male, who has lived most of his 58 years in poverty. Rich fags are on the side of rich people, NOt queer people.

Just chiming in to agree that things like an inclusive ENDA should be prioritized over marriage equality. Doesn't mean marriage equality should be dropped, but I agree that the real oomph should be behind more basic necessities that have far-reaching benefits for more than just the monied cis binary people.

And lol at JMacPrime -- his 3rd and 4th points really contradict each other:

"I don't imagine you yell at people coming out of movie theaters that they should be ashamed of wasting their time watching movies while people are starving. Why, then, attack people for making some attempt to improve the lives of LGBT people?"
....it's important to remember that time spent arguing and bickering is time that could be more profitably spent actually doing something useful."