Sunday, June 30, 2013

How about BOTH marriage AND the right to vote? *gasp*

I know it's important to defeat DOMA and Prop 8. But a huge percentage of the gay community are racially or ethnically not white, meaning that when the VRA was shot the other day, what basically happened was rights were traded. Some people both gained the right to marry AND found their right to vote jeopardized. This is a patently ridiculous situation - but also makes me wonder, because a big part of the Tea Party Agenda has been to create situations forcing their opponents against each other - such as the National Organization for Marriage, which sought "to drive a wedge between gays and blacks" by promoting "African American spokespeople for marriage", and to "interrupt the assimilation" of Latinos by making the stance against same-sex marriage "a key badge of Latino identity."

But some of us are both or all or many of these things. Quite a few of us, in fact. I wonder how many people are concerned we've just traded one right for another. We ought to be fighting for BOTH marriage and the protection of the right to vote. The one doesn't make sense without the other, and in many ways right-wing proponents have created this subtext of "robbing Patricia to pay Pilar"–but there are not a finite amount of "rights" out there, that we have to portion them out bit by bit. Deaf rights and gay rights and Latino rights and women's rights aren't pieces of a limited pie and don't need to come at the expense of each other–unless we allow that narrative to drive us.

All of which isn't a shout out to make anyone feel guilty: but it's a reminder the fight isn't yet done, and while we may be winning on one front we can easily lose on another. The worst thing we can do is to allow ourselves to forget where the real fronts are. That kind of misdirection is deadly.

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