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Thursday, November 05, 2009


Living in the Age of Irony, and the Rise of Gay Apartheid

Carrie Prejean - Miss California 2009

It's probably unbecoming to admit, but the news today that Carrie Prejean has made a secret sex tape comes with a certain sense of ironic satisfaction for LGBT people, especially those of us who believe the evangelical Christian movement is riddled with hypocrisy. She is, after all, the movement's media darling, the dethroned Miss America who became a strident family-values activist, attacking gay people viciously on every talk show in the country for their lurid desires. (The budding porn princess of Jesusworld is soon releasing a memoir to capitalize on her stardom, but with no mention of her own lurid activity, surprise surprise.) It'll be interesting to see how the Christian Media, church pastors, or even the mainstream media will decide to cover Prejean's pornographic past -- or whether it will be swept under the carpet everywhere but Towleroad.

Prejean's duplicity lands a day after LGBT causes took a beating across the nation at the ballot booth. Voters explicitly rejected gay equality in Maine, and in New Jersey, voters replaced a pro-gay Governor (Corzine) with an explicity anti-gay one (Christie, a fine addition to the history of corrupt leadership in Trenton). What good news there was came in smaller jurisdictions...not that I'm not thrilled at protections in Kalamazoo and a gay mayor in Chapel Hill, but it's hard to get excited in the face of the Maine vote.

The fact is that, a year after Prop 8, we are still short of the votes needed to secure the equality our heterosexual counterparts automatically receive. And maybe hatred will always win out...after all, no other minority group in American history has had to prove their worth to bigots at the ballot box. For African-Americans in the 60's, Asian interment camp victims in the 40's, and interracial couples in the 70's, they all found their freedom from oppression of the majority by going through the court system. Perhaps it is time for us to give up on the idea that bigots will ever see reason...they mistakenly believe our demise is a religious crusade, and it might be impossible to convince them otherwise.

David Mixner sums it up well today (read the full article here):
Call this campaign against us what it is - Gay Apartheid. All over the place, this nation is creating one set of laws for LGBT Americans and another set for all other Americans. That is the classic definition of Apartheid. We have been fighting these ballot box bigots for over three decades. Enough.

Finally, yes, as a community we have every reason to be proud. We raised the money, we made the calls, we came not in anger and we made the case. My hats off to the brave people, gay and straight, of Maine and Washington who fought in the trenches. We all are so proud of you and to be part of your community. You have no idea how much we love you for your work, dignity and honor. However, it is no longer acceptable to be viewed as brave, patient warriors in defeat. I don't want to be a brave warrior, I want to be a free one. Enough!

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