Monday, January 18, 2010

This Gay Rights Tango- Our Dance Towards Full Equality



On December 28th, 2009 Evita Peron's smile beamed down on her country from her Presidential Palace in the heavens above. Always an ardent fighter for the repressed and poor, Latin America's first gay marriage would've brought tears of joy to this goddess of Argentina's history. Evita has said "A decent woman is one who rides roughshod over machos."

This national icon and eternal fag-hag would be proud knowing that in her country, the "gay's" had finally overcome the bully that is the powerful Roman Catholic Church to finally witness the marriage of Latin America's first gay couple. Latin America, like the Middle East has a strong male dominant society where tolerance of sexual diversity is non-existent and violence against gays is a common occurrence. This marriage highlights the cracks in the system that has kept gay communities silent and fearful and that it is indeed crumbling.

A little less free but a lot more gay and happy

This whole marriage thing is a hallmark that we finally have the self-esteem to believe that another man is worth loving for the rest of your life. That we ourselves are good enough to marry another and have a chance at something as sparkling clean as a true love that may last a lifetime. It is a coming of age for a generation of gay men, forging a free and truly gay life for future generations of our gay brethren. In the words of Latin America's first groom, "Because "our" family is worth it.".

Worldwide, the advances have been peppered with setbacks in a strange 1-2 step tango. 3 steps forward, 2 steps back, 1 step sideways, cha cha cha.


Back to America, I wait for my partner of a year and a half to return from our local grocery store to fetch Almond milk when suddenly my 8 year old nephew blurts out, "Tio, I dont want you to be gay anymore!". A pregnant moment of silence later, I whip my head to the back seat and see my nephew avoiding my gaze, visibly upset and looking out the window. This is a boy that has been an integral part of my life for 8 years, and the son of a single mom whom is my sister. He has always accepted me and my life and my partner as normally as anyone would of a normal heterosexual couple. He has simply never known hate and is as pure as the day he was born, which is partly why he can make friends with anyone of any age, color or social class within seconds of meeting them. It is one of his greatest qualities and he's as magnaminous as Obama in that respect. At a loss for words, I ask him, "Why would you say that to me? Who did you talk to about this?". He replied back still looking out the window, "These boys at school said that gays shouldn't be in this country and need to go away.". Black and white images of civil rights protests where policemen spray down black protesters in the middle of the street came to mind. I was being talked about the way the racists in the 60's talked about blacks. They wished they would just all go away. The irony of the account was blaringly obvious. I replied to him "Well, honey you know that is what you call "hate"and when your grandma came to this country from Cuba there were signs posted on buildings saying "No Cubans". It was very hard for her to get a job or to find a place to live because the people in Miami didn't want Cubans in this country either. Since your father is a black man living in Venezuela, he also has to deal with people hating him because of his color. I can't stop being gay any more than your grandmother can stop being Latino or your father being black. The next time you hear those boys saying things like that you stand up to them and tell them that's not right and tell your teacher.". My nephew finally turned away from the window and looks at me with doeful and watery eyes, "Ok Tio, I love you.". I reply, "I love you too."

I recount this incident because there is no greater hypocrisy than when a group that has survived marginalization to go and downplay another marginalized group's struggle. They should be the first one's running to the plate to help fight the battle. When Black religious leaders stand at their podiums and preach that their civil rights movement has nothing in common with ours or that we are "pimping their movement", I call "bullshit" because it IS the same. The same hatred, the same narrow mindedness, the same ignorance, the same rhetoric and the same limitations and dangers to my life. So much so, that the team fighting to overturn Proposition 8 as I write this blog has used the example that our President Obama would never have been born if the laws prohibiting blacks from marrying whites were never overturned in this country.

We are witnessing one of the most crucial battles in American history that may not go in our favor due to an overly conservative Supreme Court but we will keep fighting because it is our right to do so and the limits to our rights are constitutionally wrong.

The growing worldwide tide for our cause may be the only thing to finally wrestle the medieval chokehold the religious right has on this country and it's politics and push our courts to finally overturn this legislated discrimination.

As we look forward to (2010) twenty-ten (doesn't that sound positive?), we see a world wrangling together to help a devastated Haitian country with thousands dead and we are pushed to begin a year with a thoughtful focus on humanity and unity. Hopefully this focus will carry on throughout the year and years to come as we will eventually break through and gain our full equality in this great country where anything is possible. Maybe then we can stop doing this Gay Rights back and forth Tango and finally waltz our asses to our nearest city hall and finally get married.

Gay right's milestones 2009

*Mexico City is first Latin American city to legalize full, gay marriage.
*Uganda plans a bill that would serve a death penalty to homosexuals in that country.
*Obama promises to end Dont Ask Dont Tell to a crowd of gay activists at a fundraiser.
*Argentina passes full gay marriage rights.
*An Argentinian judge puts a hold on Argentina's first gay marriage in order to "review" the ruling then approves after their home province backs the marriage.
*Washington D.C. passes gay marriage.
*New York votes defeats gay marriage bill.
*Portugal passes full gay marriage rights with adoption rights granted by April 2010.
*Voters in Maine vote against gay marriage rejecting the measure.
*The biggest city in America, Houston, Texas elects the first openly gay mayor of any U.S. city.
*California's Supreme Court upholds the discriminatory Proposition 8.
*Sweden approves same sex marriage.
*Iowa and Vermont sign legislation to allow gay marriage.
*Obama signs into law the Matthew Shepard hate crimes act and extends federal benefits to partners of same sex couples.


Milestones to look forward to for 2010

*Hawaii will review legislature to revive civil unions for gays in that state.
*Senator Carl Levin will schedule a hearing to discuss ending the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy.
*The Supreme Court will vote on whether or not Proposition 8 should be overturned.

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Time magazine's gay right's timeline:
http://www.time.com/time/interactive/0,31813,1904681,00.html

To get up to date info on the Supreme Court trial go to:
http://www.couragecampaign.org/GetTheTruthOut

Hawaii will vote for Gay Civil Unions this year:
http://www.gayvantage.com/gay-news/hawaii-legislators-to-vote-on-civil-unions-3748291780/

Repeal of the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell to be debated on Capitol Hill 2010:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/14/gay-military-ban-military_n_422893.html

The United States elects it's first openly gay mayor:
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1947648,00.html

The debbie-downer-Pope at it again-calling gay marriage an "attack"
http://advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/01/11/Pope_Calls_Gay_Marriage_an_Attack/

Latin America weds it's first gay couple:
http://news.yahoo.com/video/world-15749633/argentina-hosts-first-gay-marriage-in-latin-america-17352907

11 comments:

Crazygirl said...

This is great Eric!!!!!
Thanks do much for the information.
Unfortunately, not many countries...but it's a start!!!

Eduardo Guize said...

Every time I see you've posted something, I grab a Kleenex. I don't know if it's going to be the first, the second or the third paragraph, but I know you're going to make me drop a tear, amigo.

I've never been so proud of being a Spaniard as the day we gave our Catholic conservative tradition a middle finger and same-sex marriage was legalized.

Wade Macmorrighan said...

LOVE your Jan. Blog, bro. (and I mean that in the sense that we are "brothers" in a deeper sense in being Gay), but as a resident of Iowa you made only one TINY mistake: our gov't passed no legislation to allow marriage Equality. Instead the State was sued and our GEO-nominated Supreme Court justice ruled that, due to Iowa's "equal protection" clause we were not only a "suspect class" (in his determination), but that we could not be prohibited from civil marriage.

So, we have to defend our new rights every year, and at every step of the way, because--regardless that we are officially a "suspect class"--the Republicans are trying to pass an Amendment to ban marriage Equality and limit it only to heteros. However, it is before such a law would come to the ballot that we would have to sue them to protect ourselves. You see, being a "suspect class" (as the Judge in California also ruled) means that NO ONE gets the "right" to vote on issues that might target me for marginalization! And, this was the tactical mistake the Cali. made. Indeed, Iowa's own mistake might be that no one is trying to "sell" to the citizens and Republican legislators that the Supreme Court of Iowa has ruled that we are a PROTECTED MINORITY, despite what such hate groups like LUV Iowa are clamoring for as they scream (literally!), "LET US VOTE!!! LET US VOTE!!!" That animus is terrifying to me!

Wade Macmorrighan said...

BtW, I also adore Evita, and have LONG-since wished that we had a political leader and president as loving, caring, and duty-driven as she to be very, very good to the poor. Sadly, the US now operates as a Plutonomy and the wealthy and large banks have had memos leaked declaring that their greatest fear is a peasant revolt!

JOHNNY DIAZ said...

You're a great Tio! :) You have a lucky nephew.

Eduardo Guize said...

You just got a Kreativ Blogger Award:

http://pearlsofbs.blogspot.com/2010/01/kreativ-blogger-award.html

性感的我 said...

Good mind, good find...................................................

EricInMiami said...

Thanks guys! Last thursday the first gay marriages occurred making history and making America look increasingly backwards!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100311/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_mexico_gay_marriage

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Viagra said...

This was a wonderful dance!

Elliott Broidy said...

Yes I know