Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The =

Last week in Tampa, the G-O-TEA doubled down on bigotry with a platform that would have made the Puritans of 1692 Massachusetts awfully proud. This week, we're seeing something completely different in Charlotte.

For the first time, Democrats stated in no uncertain terms that they support “equal treatment under law for same-sex couples,” including a repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman. The Democratic platform also states the party’s opposition to state laws that “deny equal protection under the law” to same-sex couples.

“This is one of the main reasons I wanted to be here this year,” said Chris Miller, chairman of the Clark County Democratic Party and the first openly gay man to occupy the position. Miller is also a delegate to the convention.

“I get to vote for it the first time it happens,” he said. “It’s historic.” [...]

“I started crying when they passed the platform, and I didn’t stop until Michelle Obama,” said Nevada delegation guest Nancy Kuhns, “And I didn’t stop until Michelle Obama.”

By the way, it passed by acclamation. For the first time ever, a major American political party has endorsed civil marriage equality. And for the first time ever, a major American party's convention has placed LGBTQ equality on center stage.

Here's Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) talking about his family and their American life.

And here's DNC Treasurer Andy Tobias sharing his American coming out experience.

And it wasn't just the LGBTQ speakers discussing this. Even Michelle Obama got in on the action!

Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it…and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we’re from, or what we look like, or who we love…If farmers and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire…if immigrants could leave behind everything they knew for a better life on our shores…if women could be dragged to jail for seeking the vote…if a generation could defeat a depression, and define greatness for all time…if a young preacher could lift us to the mountaintop with his righteous dream…and if proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love…then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream.

The contrast between what Republicans did in Tampa last week and what Democrats are doing in Charlotte this week is like that of night and day. Oh, and certain Republicans want to add an exclamation point to this! No really, they're going there.

Believing in civil rights –and calling out true discrimination when it occurs –isn’t the same as squelching religious freedom. And in much the same way that the imaginary Gay Menace isn’t out to make the bishops teach that marriage is a “genderless contract” with no space for biological babies in it, it’s likewise not attempting to make everybody in America dance in the pride parade. Yet in the most poorly acted clip outside of YouPorn, conservative Gary Bauer and his Campaign for American Values PAC recently unleashed a bizarre pro-Romney plea to keep marriage one-man-one-lady.

In it, a forlorn looking wife shakes her head sadly at the newspaper and tells her husband that “Obama is trying to force gay marriage on this country.” Apparently she’s reading the latest edition of the Things So Crazy Even Paul Ryan Wouldn’t Make Them Up Daily. “That’s not the change I voted for,” she adds to her appropriately sexed spouse. (As one of my Twitter friends astutely added, not what she voted for when she voted for McCain.)

“Marriage,” Sad Wife further explains, “is between a man and a woman.” The husband gives a rueful, uh-huh look at her and agrees, “That’s not the change I voted for either.” And then they agree to vote for someone with “values” and quietly sit around nodding in assent with their three no doubt biological children. Yes, it’s true, conservatives. Obama is going to force us into becoming a gay marriage nation. I’m hoping I get Scarlett Johansson. He’s also going to make everybody get an abortion. Even the men.

Here’s a little message to those of you on Planet La La La I Can’t Hear You. You can keep holding your hands over your ears and saying that “marriage is between a man and a woman” till you turn blue, but it won’t magically stop people of the same sex from entering into committed unions and even starting families. Also known as marriages. Marriages that won’t do anything to erode the heterosexual institution. I live in a gay marriage state and not one hetero married couple I know has spontaneously combusted yet.

Let me reassure you, bishops and Bauers of the world. There’s no shortage of marriage, so you don’t have to worry that if all the gays want it, there won’t be enough to go around. And if there’s a big gay lair out there where the gay supervillains are plotting to eradicate man-on-woman love, you’d think we would have heard about it by now. Probably in Dwell. This is not about taking any of your precious straight culture away. It isn’t about forcing anybody to do anything, other than accept the truth that gay people can love each other as fully, as deeply, and as wholeheartedly as straight people. That’s nothing to be scared of. And if you believe that love and family are a threat to your values, maybe it’s time you got some better values.

I don't care what some media pundit tells you about Mitt Romney "not focusing on social issues". Romney wants to strip away our civil rights. Period. If he didn't, then Bigot King Gary Bauer wouldn't be cutting Super PAC ads for Romney.

Yet while Romney, along with his Nevada henchmen Dean Heller & Joe Heck, wants to party like it's 1692, President Obama, Harry Reid, and the rest of the Democratic Party look to be liking things here in 21st Century America. They've pretty much realized that equality actually isn't a scary word. Rather, it's something beautiful to celebrate.

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