Kate Clinton

Come on, Rogue!

Filed By Kate Clinton | November 08, 2008 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, The Movement
Tags: Barack Obama, California, Dred Scott, election 2008, gay marriage, Obama wins, Prop 8, Prop. 8

While the American family and our extended international family were whooping it up for the historic Obama victory, I banged pans and wept for joy with the best of them. But I also had that dissociated, not-quite-part-of-feeling I had at family gatherings when I was young. Actually, I have never felt gayer.

Make no mistake. Election night 2008 was an amazing reparative night, a triumphant trifecta signaling the end of Nixon's southern strategy, the Reagan Revolution and the Bush Regime. If Bush could have considered his first presidential selection and his second slim election as mandates, then we can certainly call the Obama victory a landslide.

It was a landside and it crushed us, as California, Arizona, Florida and Arkansas passed anti-gay ballot initiatives. It was a bittersweet night.

We learned three lessons.

First, progressive straight people do not, will not, see the moral equality of gay people. Except for the efforts of the ACLU, the rights of gay people are rarely championed by progressives. The moral sanctity of their marriage is inexplicably undermined by gay marriage. In the forty years since Stonewall we have achieved only a hollow, virtual equality. Like Sarah Palin, we too can be thrown under the bus.

Second, religion is the opposite of the people. While Black Churches certainly helped pass Prop Hate, the White Churches can not get off Dred Scott free. In an image-burnishing move, multi-wived Mormons poured millions into Prop Hate. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, with its zero experience of marriage, contributed thousands. Democracy and religion are a bad mix.

Third, gay people cannot win if our own people do not care. If gay people remain partially or fully closeted, and do not openly support gay organizations which train those much maligned but highly effective "community organizers", we will never win full equality. It has been forty years since the Stonewall Riots and we still do not think, yes, we can.

So excuse me, if I seem an ungracious party-pooper, quickly becoming more bitter than sweet. If gay people are not full American citizens, let's stop paying taxes and re-invest in ourselves. It is past time for pro-active strategies, for our own ballot initiative to make divorce illegal and all divorced people disenfranchised felons. It is time for a general strike or a rainbow flu. Until further notice, all gay people should go rogue.

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My partner's been saying the same thing since the day after the election. As much as we're both tired of supporting people and institutions who don't return the favor, a rainbow flu would be short lived. Too much of our multi color income is dependent upon the interaction with hetero ecomony to allow us to live for an extended period of time on just our own three dollar bills.
Still, even a brief gaycott would make a statement. Now if only we could bring the community together long enough to support the rogue idea long enough for anyone to notice.

Reformed Ascetic | November 8, 2008 6:18 PM

I think people often mistake the nature of civil disobedience.

Gandhi and MLK made their gains through organized strategic civil disruptions. Choosing acts that, though peaceful, could be maintained and that would have visible continuing effects.

I sincerely hope the marches in California grow rather than dissipate. I hope our leadership realizes that though there is a time and place to work quietly within the system, there is also a time to show people how disruptive their actions are on others by disrupting their false sense that society is functioning well.

Most people, most of the time will act to maintain the status quo until they realize that it will no longer work.

Going rogue sounds good Kate. Thanks for bringing it out to the open.

A group of us are trying to initiate another big March on Washington for the springtime like the ones held in 1987 and 1993 to show the new administration that we are a considerable faction to be rekoned with and are through being second class citizens. Obama promised revoking DADT, DOMA and gave support for civil unions. Time we put some pressure on the top to get some protections passed nationally before all are chipped away by these individual state intiatives. We could use help getting this off the ground. Is there interest enough to make this happen?

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | November 9, 2008 8:59 AM

It’s about time. Let us know as soon as you issue a call, Jersey.

Mass marches, in particular big ones that include a long route, an awesome but inclusive rally and plans for unsettling and disrespectful mass visits to the denizens of Capitol Hill are a good thing. They can be ongoing if they’re alternated with rounds of rounds of local and regional actions.

The keys to success are independence from the parties of bigotry, broad based, inclusive participation, internal democracy, robust alliance building efforts centered on our program and cutting edge goals such as…

1) We insist that a radical, “as necessary”, expansion of HIV/AID efforts be funded under the joint direction of the CDC, HIV/AIDS care groups, GLBT medical associations and medical workers unions CNA/NNOC.

2) We insist on a crash program to provide safe housing, university education or union affiliated vocational training (their choice) to ‘throw away’ LGBT youths and to all the kids and families living on the streets. It should be under the direction of GLBT advocates and other community groups with "as necessary" open funding as the recession deepens. The alternatives are self destructive addictions, forced prostitution and suicide.

3) We insist on inclusive ENDAs and housing discrimination bills crafted to make it easy to indict, prosecute and win against bigoted business owners, managers and landlords in court. With mandated, harsh penalties including monetary damages and jail sentences.

4) We demand effective hate crimes and hate speech laws that make it easy to indict, prosecute and win against bigoted cults, their leaders, and politicians. With hardnosed penalties including a first offence provision for jail time.

5) We need a federal law that repeals or supersedes all DOMAS, offering a choice of civil unions, marriages and civil partnerships with all the advantages of marriage but adding one-step no-fault divorce. (We could also advocate giving the giving the women in plural marriages all the familial assets and providing life in jail for child abusers, incluing those who abandon children under the age of 21.)

Reformed Ascetic | November 8, 2008 7:16 PM

Actually, I think the bus boycott makes an excellent model.

Everything about it was carefully planned and orchestrated from the selection of Rosa Parks forward.

Choosing not to ride the bus certainly wasn't illegal. They did not have to directly interfere with anyone's plans, except the bus company's plans to make a profit.

And most importantly, it lasted from December 1, 1955, to December 20, 1956. Showing the determination of the people.

It wasn't national or even at the state level, but it had profound effects.

Surely our leadership can be as creative.

Angela Brightfeather | November 8, 2008 6:23 PM

I am so right-on with you about this.

Lets bring rotten eggs to every Pride Parade and start throwing them at those zealots who gather on the street on one corner with loudspeakers and get some egg yolks on those bibles.

Lets all get dressed up like those Mormon wives and attend a Mormon convention in Utah and say we are all married to the same guy.

Lets get organized and go to a few of those huge mega churches in full drag queen regalia and sit in the crowd and pray to be made whole. Perhaps we can get Rudi to come.

Lets get our GLBT Veterans together and march in the NYC Veteran's Day Parade and see how they like us "invading" their hallowed space.

I think I like this idea.

I sure am sick of asking nice.

"In the forty years since Stonewall we have achieved only a hollow, virtual equality."

Once again, another person bases their entire sense of equality on the ability to get married. It really sickens me to hear Califoninans whining about "not having any equality!" When is this pity party going to stop? I hated to see Prop 8 pass, but I really starting to hate seeing Californians complaining and crying about not being equal.

Tell you what. You give me all the rights LGBT people actually DO have in California and I'll give you all the rights we have in Georgia, which is "zero." If you cannot appreciate all that you have, then give it away. Put in bills to eliminate all of those other rights. I'll take 'em. If you can't appreciate them, then you don't deserve them. Then you can cry about "virtual equality."

Live-chat with a Mormon Missionary!


They are boys between 19 and 25 and, some are women at least 21 years old (there are fewer women, and they serve a shorter term. I speculate they are also sent to less hostile postings.) Also some retired couples participate in mission.

Ask them to explain why banning same-sex marriage is not inconsistent with fundamental rights.

Always be VERY polite.

Ask the hard questions, though.

And make use of this golden opportunity now to do our own outreach before the church elders panic and take it down.


Reformed Ascetic | November 9, 2008 2:00 PM

Virtual picketing. I love it.

I just got this e-mail I want to pass along to everyone here...

From: South Florida Church Protests
Date: November 7, 2008 12:09:07 PM EST
To: david@eqfl.org, brian@eqfl.org, wtvjdesk@nbc.com
Subject: Fw: BREAKING NEWS: GAY RIGHTS PROTEST - Sunday Nov. 9, 2008 at Bethel Romanian Baptist Church in Hollywood


Your rights have been taken away!

We are a group of everyday people who believe in equal rights for all and do not believe that there is a place for religious legislation banning the right for homosexuals to marry or any other attempts to further discriminate against gays, lesbians, transgendered and bisexual citizens.

Our first protest will be held Sunday, November 9, 2008 at the Bethel Romanian Baptist Church at 1855 McKinley Street in Hollywood, Florida at 8:30am. We realize this is early, however if the Baptists can wake up early and go to church then we have to do the same. The Bethel Romanian Baptist Church congregation is a significant financial supporter of Amendment No. 2.

We suggest that you car pool or walk to this event as we expect a turnout of over 2,000 members of our community and those who support us. It is your job to get the word out, to show up and to make your voice heard.

We ask that you keep this demonstration peaceful and respectful when confronting the congregation of this church. Please bring bullhorns, megaphones and anything else you can think of to get your point across. The police will most likely have to get involved to control the traffic flow to and from the surrounding area of the church.


Sign Suggestions:

Say NO to Discrimination
Separation of Church and State
Your God is not my God
We Will Fight for Our Rights!
Equal Rights for All
Tax All Churches
Down with Discrimination
HATE is a 4-letter word
We Are Here To Stay
Don't Discriminate

To name a few... and anything else you can think of.

Come out and support us. The more that we are in their face, the more they have to listen to us.

We also have to stop giving money to democratic politicians who turn around and spend it pandering to bigots. (Are you listening Barack)

Exactly how many millions did we give this guy to get "separate but equal"? We can put the money to better use.

We need to put our efforts and money into our pushing for full citizenship not getting double-talking politicians elected.

If you want apathy, try organizing transgender people in Florida. It's like herding cats as they say. We have no rights here. No protections for employment or housing. We can't marry anybody because our gender status is totally up to court interpretation. It took me 30 tries before I got a job with a counseling agency. The City of Tampa held open hearings on Gender Inclusion and only two of us showed up. California is way ahead of Florida by light years. However I fully support any and all social action projects as mentioned. As we use to say in the Sixties: " Bring that sucker down". Let's hit the streets like it was 1964. It's too bad we don't have our own MLK.

We are in the process of setting up a website to get a big march going in the spring. We're thinking something along the lines of "Equality March 2009". I'll let everyone know when it gets set up. In the meantime the disscussion is at the Joe-my-god blog.

i'm wondering about gay apathy. There's a very real chance it means that same sex marriage just isn't what they want.