There have been a couple of things this past week that have happened that have driven home the points that gay rights have a long way to still go in this country and abroad.
I was extremely disappointed and appalled that Pastor Rick Warren was selected to give the Presidential Inaugural Invocation. He was an avid proponent of proposition 8 and is a bigot.
President Elect Obama’s reasoning that he is trying to bring to the table all the diverse sides of America is commendable but it is inappropriate to put Warren as part of the Presidential program. Dialogue should occur in a conference room.
The symbolic impact of Warren’s participation in the historic Presidential ceremony will not engender a spirit of cooperation but will only send a message to the LGBT community and their supporters that this Presidency truly devalues or marginalizes our cause for equality. We have taken notice of that and we will not stay quiet. Not anymore.
I am an Obama supporter…a fierce one. I now proceed with caution. I used to believe wholeheartedly in the Change so talked about in the campaign. I am wondering about that now.
When bigots are allowed to pray in front of the nation that has worked to take away the rights of thousands of people, I am not okay with it. It is like if someone who advocated slavery, anti- woman votes, openly anti –Jewish etc. were allowed to pray in front of a nation for a new President who represents change. I am not okay with it.
The other thing that happened this week was that United States joined other nations to defeat a proclamation that would have decriminalized homosexuality in the world. I know there are many countries where being gay means punishment or worse. However, our nation did not have to join the fray and could have stood up and made a statement. Its vote reflected the true state of affairs for the LGBT community here in our country.
I recently saw the movie, Milk, which depicts the life of San Francisco City Supervisor and gay activist, Harvey Milk. It reminded me that for true change to happen for our community that we cannot rely on anyone else. We also cannot remain quiet. I hope we are in a new era of civil rights activism. The time is now.