This post isn't going to make me any friends. And yes I'm delighted that the president spoke at HRC. I'm pleased that folks got off their butts to do anything at all and going out to march for equality is a good thing to do. A very good thing indeed.
But here's what I'm wondering..... where is all our organizational skill and fire and chutzpah when it comes to equal rights for women, health care for the poor, regulations to do SOMETHING about the ridiculous interest rates institutions are allowed (by the government) to charge on credit cards, the obscene profits made on prescriptions that keep people alive or greatly enhance their quality of life? What about HIV infection rates in African American populations in Jackson, MI and Washington DC? What about the epidemic of youth violence?
Every single person deserves the same level of protection under the law that is true. And equal rights for LGBT people is important. But should it be the ONLY thing that actually motivates us to put together a rally? How many of us are middle classed, well educated, people who live in a LOT of privilege in society and do NOTHING (except perhaps make a donation here and there) to help those less fortunate than ourselves? Guilty.
So look, let's work for equal rights for queers. But let's set that beside a public option for health care, HIV prevention in target populations, usury interest rates that keep people locked in a cycle of poverty, homelessness, youth violence, etc. Our issues are important and there are other equally pressing justice issues.
Sen. Barney Frank said that what we ought to be doing is lobbying our politicians. He was eloquent in his evaluation that the only thing that was going to get pressure put on it today was the grass. Harsh? Yes. Unnecessary? Probably. But I get his frustration. Someday we have to grow up spiritually and learn what it means to work for justice by using our privilige wherever we can. Single issue identity politics is a disease of privilege. I want better for us.