Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Refute Column by Ginger Rutland in Sacramento Bee

In her column “Moral Majority” (Sacramento Bee 11/7/04) editor Ginger Rutland used some very loose facts and opinions regarding the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered (GLBT) communities that borders on a vicious attack to arrive at her point as to why John Kerry and the Democrats lost the election.

First her use of the terms “militant” and “aggressive” is pejorative.

In the last thirty years or so we have passed laws and had court decisions at both state and federal levels which have strengthened the fact that government will not discriminate against its citizens because of their gender. This has to include marriage.

Even though she qualifies it as “some” why does she label as “aggressive” or “militant” those people who want to claim their full rights of citizenship?

Were the 4000 couples standing in the rain in those long lines in San Francisco “militants?”

In California until 1977, as noted in the Bee by Marjorie Lunstrom, same sex couples were entitled to apply for and receive a confidential marriage license but in that year the legislature took that right away.

What is militant or aggressive about demanding that right be reinstated and Prop 22 be declared unconstitutional?

In the 1960s if the question had been put on the ballot as to whether or not Negroes should be allowed to sit anywhere they wanted at the 5 and 10 lunch counter or sit anywhere they please on a bus it would have been voted down six to one just as ban on same sex marriage was affirmed by that figure on election day in Mississippi.

Dr. Martin Luther King did not crusade for half a loaf. He demanded full civil rights and equality for African-Americans and all citizens. Many at that time thought his demands and tactics were “militant” and “aggressive.”

Ms. Rutland’s examples of an “aggressive agenda” are so weak they are an insult to one’s intelligence. She should, as a trained reporter and editor, be ashamed to have cited them.

If she is referring to the annual AIDS march it should be no surprise that it would resemble a gay rights parade since from its beginning it was organized by the glbt communities. If parents object to their children participating in it they should have made more inquiries about it and excused their child.

How many parents objected? One or thirty?
And the cite of the teacher spending two weeks on the Stonewall Riots, if indeed it actually happened, is an isolated incident and certainly is not part of ANY “aggressive agenda pushed by some in the gay community.”

While Ms. Rutland magnanimously says she doesn’t believe homosexuality is a sin she is obviously “troubled” by the fact that GLBT people are demanding their rights and demanding them now.

She should read the poem Democracy by African-American poet Langston Hughes which I cite in part in closing.

I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I'm dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow's bread.


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