The anti-gay groups are, of course, not happy with President Barack Obama’s decision to mention LGBT rights in his second inaugural address. Their comments echo the same kinds of comments made by those who opposed equality for women and for Blacks in the past. At one point, those opposed to equality claimed that women did not need the right to vote, and that Blacks had the right to vote and just wanted special rights.
To begin with, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council decries the comparison of Seneca Falls and Semla to Stonewall, and even gets Stonewall incorrect since it started by those who are more part of the transgender portion of the Community and was sparked by heavy handed attempts by the police to repressed the Community that were there.
Seneca Falls was a woman’s suffrage movement, giving women the right to vote. Selma, obviously, a push to ensure that African Americans — black American in this country had full voting rights and civil rights. Stonewall, many people may not be aware of, was a move of New York of homosexuals that were pushing back for special rights. To tie all those together, there is not a single person in this country today that is gay or lesbian that are denied the rights to vote, the right to work, or doing anything else.
What they’re seeking, and it’s a little disingenuous ’cause he doesn’t say it, but it’s code what he’s saying here. He’s going to push to give them the right to redefine marriage. They have every right that you and I have today. This President has a very loaded agenda.
Stonewall was not about voting rights; however, it was about a different First Amendment right- the right to assembly. During the 1960′s, LGBT Americans were denied places to gather, and were often denied service in bars. Those few safe places, such as the Stonewall Inn, were often raided by police and their patrons arrested. In June 1969, the patrons of the Stonewall Inn were fed up with the constant repression and fought back.
While LGB Americans are not denied the right to vote, it should be noted that the current laws pushed by the Republicans to suppress voting rights for African Americans, women, the young voters, the elderly, and anyone who might vote Democratic, trans people are also being denied their right to vote due to these draconian and despotic laws.
Perkins is not the only one, of course. Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage stated:
Gay and lesbian people are already treated equally under the law. They have the same civil rights as anyone else; they have the right to live as they wish and love whom they choose. What they don’t have is the right to redefine marriage for all of society. In fact, six federal courts have rejected the idea that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court in a summary decision in 1972. Furthermore, that vast majority of states have codified the commonsense view held for thousands of years that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. The President is profoundly wrong to imply that those who have acted to protect marriage have denied anyone’s rights by doing so.
A presidential inauguration should be a time for the nation to come together; instead President Obama chose to voice his support for a radical agenda advanced by some of his biggest campaign contributors to redefine marriage for everyone. Marriage brings our nation together. The concept of gay ‘marriage’ would have been totally alien to our founding fathers, and the protection and advancement of marriage between one man and one woman will immeasurably serve the common good of this country and further strengthen our Union. Today the President should have thrown his support behind this beautiful vision of men and women coming together in love to raise the next generation. Nonetheless, we pro-marriage Americans pledge to defend the institution which the President has chosen to undermine once again.
In twenty-nine states, lesbians and gays can be fired without cause. In thirty-four, trans people can. The idea that LGBT Americans are given all their rights- from the right to work, the right to live where they want, to the right to marry whom they want- fulfilled is, of course, idiotic.
With regards to the idea that marriage equality has been decided, the case Baker v. Nelson was not adjudicated fully, and was dismissed on grounds other than Constitutional.
Back during Seneca Falls, the claim was that women had all the rights they needed. Their husbands cast the votes and spoke for them. Of course, the other claims were that women were morally and intelligently incapable of voting. In the era surrounding Selma, the claim was that Blacks had equality. They had education. They could vote. They could work. All they had to do was prove that they were capable of rational, moral thought.
You will notice, of course, the ‘moral’ part of that. These groups rely heavily upon the idea that those who are seeking rights are seeking special rights- a claim used against women and Blacks- and trying to win by claiming that everyone need not worry now. “Nothing to see here, move along.”