As Kathy Hochul defeats the NOM backed Republican Jane Corwin in New York’s special election, we might look at this as a spot of light in the struggle for civil rights for the LGBT community. Could Hochul’s win be a sign that America has had enough of the hate and scapegoating of LGBT people? Might Americans really be more interested in real issues like the cost of war, the budget, and jobs, rather than a bunch of gay people who love each other?
I would like to say yes. Yes, this is a great sign that the tide is turning and that bigots like Corwin and her ilk will no longer have the stage or power to set the parameters of national discussions. Sadly, there are more than a few items that chip away at my optimism. Joakim Noah’s behavior last week, along with the gay bashing that took place right here in Portland, Oregon are two painful reminders that we have a long way to go. While I am truly heartened by Hochul’s win in New York and her dedication to civil rights:
I don’t think the federal government should involve itself on issues of who can marry whom, that needs to be determined by the states. I believe everyone should be afforded equal rights under federal law. I do support the civil institution of marriage for gay couples, with absolutely no requirements placed on religious institutions. Gay men and women, who want to fight to defend our freedom, should be allowed to serve openly in the U.S. military.
I am painfully aware that even here in the purported progressive and accepting city of Portland, I have to worry about my physical safety as a gay man. Click here to see the full story on Hochul’s win.
This past Sunday, a gay male couple was walking along the Hawthorne Bridge holding hands. Three men followed them and beat them severely. What is more disturbing is that there were eyewitnesses that stood by and did nothing! Click here to see the full article. I will try to look at the incident here in Portland as an isolated incident and keep hopeful that on the national level the tide is, indeed, turning.