We Have to Talk

In and amongst my Christmas shopping I managed to see the film Milk this week. Aside from it being a brilliant piece of work it did a good job of reminding me about the Briggs Initiative, also known as Proposition 6, which was the first Gay Rights battle that I was aware of while it was happening.

Prop 6 was designed to make it expressly legal to fire teachers, and other public school workers, for being gay or even for being overtly supportive of homosexual rights. In a lot of ways the fight over Prop 6 was very similar to the fight over the recently passed Prop 8. So why did 6 fail but thirty years later 8 passed? Did we really go back, as a people, in our support for Queers over the last three decades? Of course not.

God and I talked about it for a little bit and if I got it right, it’s the difference between reward and punishment. Society is comfortable enough with homosexuality that it’s willing to let us be, but it’s not so comfortable, yet, that it is willing to reward us, and somehow, people see firing us from our jobs as punishment, but allowing us legal recognition of our relationships as a reward.

So apparently, and God didn’t actually tell me this, but I think I could read it in between the lines of what he did say, the trick to fighting for equal marriage rights for Gay and Lesbian couples is not to show that we’re loving, caring, couples in committed relationships. The trick is to show that our relationships are just as flawed and screwed up as everyone else’s.

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