Editors' Note: Guest blogger Jim Toevs co-founded the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission in Moscow, Russia, in 1990. In 1992, Jim was the Democratic nominee for Congress against then-closeted Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe. He resides in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.
For the second time in as many weeks, a fundamentalist Baptist minister has called for the death of members of the LBGT Community. Rev. Curtis Knapp, Pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca, Kansas, uses Biblical quotes from Leviticus, Chapter 20, as the basis for his call for the "Government" to put all of us homosexuals to death. These extremist calls for our collective death are part of the reaction to the growing certainty that Marriage Equality will become the law of the land within the next few years. This is an example of the political truism, "the action is in the reaction."
In an attempt to justify these murderous claims, the haters are attempting to ride the wave of fear created by the War on Terror, and proclaim all of us to be "Sexual Terrorists." For the power seekers and the haters, the convenient thing about the War on Terror is that it can be turned against any group of people simply by designating them a "terror threat" to anyone or any thing. Hitler and Nazi Germany provide the proven road map. And lest we forget, the "queers" were among the first to go to the Nazi death camps.
It is time for members of the GLBT Community to get our collective heads out of the sand and realize that these people are serious, and some of us are very likely going to die because of their hateful rants and ravings. Matthew Shepard and James Byrd will be joined by many more victims of young thugs who will use the words of these sick, so-called "men of God" to justify their decision to "kill a queer for Jesus".
So what can we, as individuals, do to fight this growing threat to the life and liberty of LBGT people? One suggestion is for all of us to open an "Equality Time Account" in our lives, and to each day make a deposit to that account in the form of time spent educating our families, friends, neighbors, and associates at work about the stakes involved in this war on sexual terrorists. It goes without saying that we need to encourage all members of our community to come out of the closet. It is long past time for any of us to attempt to "pass." Our closeted friends need to understand that not only will they slowly suffocate in that closet, but they could be murdered there, as well.
It is time to sound the alarm! The internet is tailor made for being out and proud. Use your Facebook page as a tool and a weapon against these haters. Exposure is a way of isolating them from the mainstream of the American body politic.
Have a heart-to-heart talk with all of your GLBT friends who don't "do politics". Let them know that this battle is "personal", and it is time for them to start doing their fair share.
At the very least, get them to subscribe to Bilerico.
In addition, encourage them to join and support, with time and money, at least one GLBT
organization at the local, state, or national level. Be absolutely positive they are registered to vote, and if not, get the proper forms and register them yourself.
If you haven't already done so, come out on Facebook, and encourage every LBGT person you know to do the same. Post these hateful, murderous, diatribes on your page so people can see who these monsters are and what they have in mind for all of us.
This is an ELECTION year! Get involved in supporting pro-equality candidates at the local, state, and national levels. As the old saying goes, "Vote early and often." In most states, you can cast your ballot long before Election Day. DO SO! Then you know your vote will be counted even if you are sick on November 6, and it also frees you to help get others to the polls, which is one way that you can vote "often".
Make sure that everyone in your family and everyone you know who is supportive of our equality, are registered, and check with each one on Election Day to be sure they vote. Be prepared to take people to the polls, if necessary, or to work phone banks encouraging supporters of equality to get to the polls.
At the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin is reported to have said, "Gentlemen, we must all hang together, or we will most assuredly all hang separately." Today we can say, "Sisters and Brothers, we must all hang together, or we will most assuredly all hang separately." If we isolate the haters, we will live to see full legal LBGT equality in our lifetime.