Thursday, October 15, 2009


In an article entitled, Solmonese Responds to Calls He Resign that appears in The Advocate, one commentator, Lonnie Lopez stated the case for aggressive grassroots activism very clearly:

As Howard Zinn put it: We are citizens. We must not put ourselves in the position of looking at the world from their eyes [meaning the politicians] and say, "Well, we have to compromise, we have to do this for political reasons." We have to speak our minds. This is the position that the abolitionists were in before the Civil War, and people said, "Well, you have to look at it from Lincoln's point of view." Lincoln didn't believe that his first priority was abolishing slavery. But the anti-slavery movement did, and the abolitionists said, "We're not going to put ourselves in Lincoln's position. We are going to express our own position, and we are going to express it so powerfully that Lincoln will have to listen to us." And the anti-slavery movement grew large enough and powerful enough that Lincoln had to listen. That's how we got the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th and 14th and 15th Amendments.

Some people want to believe that there is inherent justice in the world; some people believe that politicians have their constituents' best interests at heart; some people believe that administrators of Gay rights organizations are being as aggressive as they can in this civil rights struggle; some people believe that "the milk of human kindness" will eventually win out without aggressive grassroots and organizational activism to achieve equal rights; some people leave the fight to achieve equal rights for LGBT people to others; some people believe that Obama has too much on his plate to issue an Executive Order removing DADT and aggressively deal with Congress to remove DOMA.

There is to be no room for the allowance of second-class citizenship in any society, let alone the U.S. that boasts itself to be "the land of the free," and where "separate is not equal."

There is no "freedom" in any civil society when a minority group is deprived of civil rights that accrue to the dominant group!

If heterosexuals are allowed to marry, same-sex couples must be allowed to marry!

Heterosexual love is in no way superior to same-sex love, and that reality must be codified into law and, eventually, it will thereby be codified in the hearts of most people in society!

And without aggressive grassroots and organizational activism, there will never be federal recognition of same-sex marriage (and all of the other civil rights that are likely to ride on its coattails).

Had it not been for the organizational and activist skills of Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, A Philip Randolph, Fannie Lou Hamer, Thurgood Marshall, and others, we would still have segregation and Jim Crow laws!

And the fight for LGBT civil rights is no different, and no less important, than the struggle for African-American civil rights that occurred not all that long ago in the U.S.!
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