Thursday, June 27, 2019

Political Notebook – 2019 Pride Edition

Four years ago today (US time), the US Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land in throughout the USA. Since then, the Radical Right has been working hard to reverse that and all other gains made by LGBT+ people over the past 50 years. Every single day we something in the news about (mostly) political attacks on LGBT+ people. The current regime controlling the White House has been waging a war against trans* people, and theocratic extremists in the Republican Party are working hard to turn the clock back on the human and civil rights of LGBT+ people. These are not all good days.

So today, as an important anniversary, is the perfect time to summarise just a small sample of all the bad currently going on in the USA—and some good things, too.

The enemies in government

The longterm plan of the Radical Right in the USA is to abolish marriage equality and to end protections of the civil and human rights of LGBT+ people. They have some “creative” solutions: “Alabama lawmakers pass bill to end marriage licenses” so that they don’t have to issue any to same-gender couples. That’ll show ‘em who’s boss! The main way Republicans are working to end LGBT+ equality is appointing extremist radicals to federal courts. This takes time, but it’s easy enough to do with Republicans constrolling the US Senate: “Senate confirms Trump nominee with anti-LGBTQ rights
record for lifetime federal judgeship”
. This is their way to undo marriage equality and other advances for LGBT+ people because that happened afater positive rulings from federal courts. Meanwhile, there’s a detective with a sherrif’s office in Tennessee “called for the execution of LGBT+ people”. He didn’t have any reason other than his peculiar religious beliefs, and “on no more grounds than a cell phone photo of a person participating in a Pride event.” That went too far even for Cracker Barrel, something that may have surprised some LGBT+ activists.

Political and religious extremists are enemies, too

The current regime is controlled in many areas by extremist, far-right “Christians”, and that affects much of their domestic policy [see: “‘Brought to Jesus’: the evangelical grip on the Trump administration”). One of the strongest radical, extremist “Christian” supporters of the current occupant of the White House defended the regime of his Temporal Lord when they banned the Gay Pride Flag flying at US embassies. The charming guy declared it was “offensive to Christians and millions of people of other faiths”, which is pretty hilarious, really: The only time that those radical extremists ever care about“people of other faiths”is when they try to use them as props in their propaganda. That’s not just silly, it’s also yawn-inducingly boring, since religious crackpots attack the Gay Pride Flag all the time; in fact, I blogged about it way back in 2010. Still, it’s not all smooth walking across the water for them: “Mike Pence: Why his role as Trump's evangelical ambassador is facing new pushback”. Good news, indeed.

A bunch of fake “pastors” took part in a “death to gays” stunt in Orlando, Florida, chosen and timed deliberately to mock the anniversary of the Pulse massacre. Outside the event, one of the evil hoards declared, “Pray that if they do any protests, that it gets violent. They have Stand Your Ground in Florida. So we’re allowed to fight back.” A loving Christian, huh? A Missouri man threatened to "kill every gay person I can" at St. Louis’ PrideFest.

The Roman Catholic leadership cut ties with a school that refused to fire a married gay teacher, which is pretty awesome. But another school in the same archdiocese followed its orders and fired a gay teacher.

Community without unity?

The LGBT+ communities aren’t a monolith and more than Christians are. There are good Christians who stand up to the bigoted hate mongers on the Right, which means there are two sides even among Christians. So, it should be no surprise that there are divisions among the LGBT+ communities, too. “In Praise of Identity Politics and the Long History of Desire” looks at a different focus for Pride. “A match made in heaven” talks about the struggle between the two factions. The “corporatisation” of Pride events has long been a flash point in the LGBT+ communities. “These rainbow flag-waving corporations donated millions to anti-gay members of Congress”, which is a common enough criticism, though—in my opinion—unfair: Plenty of corporations give to both parties.

Despite it all, there is good news

Appropriate for today’s anniversary, Gallup reported that ” U.S. Support for Gay Marriage Stable, at 63%” . Sure, it should be higher by now, but a minority will still oppose it decades from now—after all, some still oppose interracial marriage. Meanwhile, as smaller majority, 53%, told Gallup that new anti-discrimination laws are needed to protect LGBT+ people. Gallup also found that “In U.S., 71% Support Transgender People Serving in Military”, which is stark contrast to the actions of the current regime controlling the White House. On gthe other hand, they also reported that "Americans Still Greatly Overestimate U.S. Gay Population".

Gallup also reported on the change over time: “Gallup First Polled on Gay Issues in '77. What Has Changed?”. Overall, things are much better now—but there are dangers looming. Finally, for a geeky take on it all, their Methodology Blog Blog answered the question, "How Do You Measure the LGBT Population in the U.S.?"

A couple last related pieces

There were a couple more things worth checking out, starting with "Stonewall at 50: stories from a gay rights revolution". An article that was unusual and targeted also answered a question more people ought to consider: "Here’s what a good LGBTQ ally looks like".

• • •

This is only a small sampling of the sort of stuff about LGBT+ people and our rights that I see all the time. On this special anniversary, and as we get closer to the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall, it’s worth the Notebook and putting in a page just about these issues.


rogerogreen said...

On my EOM post, I gave up trying to link to your individual pieces and told people just to read all your June posts.

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

That's brilliant! I wish I'd thought of that!