Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans are a diverse, extraordinary, resilient, and passionate group of forgiving men and women. I wouldn’t be standing beside them demanding full and equal treatment under the law and speaking out against the harm caused by religion-based bigotry at the National Equality March in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 11 if I thought they were not created in God’s image the same as myself, same as my family, as we all are—we are all God’s children.
Rep. Barney Frank, an openly gay member of Congress, says he’d rather see gay rights supporters lobbying their elected officials than marching in Washington this weekend, calling the demonstration “a waste of time at best.”
Frank said in an interview with The Associated Press that he considers such demonstrations to be “an emotional release” that does little to pressure Congress.
“The only thing they’re going to be putting pressure on is the grass,” the Massachusetts Democrat said Friday.
Stuff like this is why, for me at least, it’s becoming frustrating to be an evangelical these days.
Mr. Childers doubtless feels better about himself for coming out and marching with these people. And they in turn think that they will make some kind of impact with such a demonstration.
But Barney Frank, for all of his faults, is focused on what this is really all about: empowering the LGBT community through the coercive force of law. He knows that the only way to get this done is to get laws passed by Congress and the enforcement power of the state behind it. And he knows what kinds of pressure are most effective; he is, as a Member of Congress, the recipient of that kind of pressure from a wide variety of groups.
Childers, for all of his “progress” on this issue, is making the same fundamental mistake as his right-wing counterparts: he confuses the uplifting of moral standards with the imposition of legal strictures. His agenda, in this respect, is no better than the people he thinks he’s an improvement over. And those he marches with are, in many ways, as uninformed about the realities of what they are doing as Childers.
A more libertarian approach to our current situation–starting with the abolition of civil marriage–would go a long way for making life better for everyone. But, in a country where the government is held up as the be-all and end-all (sadly, by more than liberals,) that’s a hard sell on either side.
Short of that, it’s reasonable to expect that much of the mistreatment that Childers describes in his piece, rather than going away altogether in a society of his liking, will simply reverse direction in a country where the LGBT community has the upper hand. That’s just the way it’s done here, especially in our schools, where socialisation is an obsession. And that can be an ugly process if you’re not in the favoured group.
P.S. I’m not sure who Childers is referring to when he speaks of “forgiving men and women.” Two years ago I got into a debate on this blog with a gay Californian, and that was one of the most brutal experiences I have ever had. That is, until I ran the abolition of civil marriage up the flag pole…