Atlantis Alumni

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Why Obama Will Not Get My Vote November 4th

The lack of an organized gay rights movement spearheaded by a single powerful national leader has crippled progress for gay equality. For decades now gay people have been left with little choice but to grovel for crumbs from politicians who throw us under the bus after we vote for them. Progress toward gay equality has happened in spite of serious setbacks suffered at the hands of politicians that we thought were our friends. However, progress could come quicker if gays and lesbians viewed their struggle for equality as a separate battle, one that is detached from American politics.

Martin Luther King, the greatest civil rights leader that this country has ever known, led a movement that remained largely independent of partisan politics. For example, in the 1960 “change” election, he remained publicly non-partisan, even though privately he was supportive of John Kennedy. King knew that the path to racial equality came through principled insistence on justice, rather than hopeful support for candidates that are unwilling or unable to be fully committed to the goals of the civil rights movement.

Gay men and lesbians would do well to follow King’s example. We should insist on a full commitment to gay equality from candidates who are soliciting our support. If such a commitment is not forthcoming, then we must not support these candidates with our votes. JFK, and later Lyndon B. Johnson came to King for his counsel. Let us wait for politicians to come to us rather than voting for them out of the misplaced hope that they will do the right thing after they are elected. What incentive do they have to make tough decisions on our behalf if we don’t insist upon their commitment to full equality in advance?


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