Just thirty years ago, being gay meant you were happy; a cigarette was called a fag. Grass was mowed and coke was something you drank. Pot was something you cooked in, rock music was a grandmother's lullaby and AIDS were helpers in the Principal's office… Penny Parker
Is The Gay Movement The New Civil Rights Cause In America?
Have gays finally realized that it’s OK to be open about their lifestyle? Probably not, but at least in America, last month’s decision by the military to lift its “don’t ask don’t tell” policy on gays serving in the armed forces is a sign the government is either coming into age for their rights or afraid of being dethroned in upcoming elections because of the multitudes of gay men and women who vote. Either way, supporters of the recent military repeal applauded the historic change as a victory for equal rights.
But can we really compare the overall prejudices and violence against Gays into the same category as the Black Civil Rights movement?
Yes and no depending on who your talking to... According to one source for this story, “gays are attempting to make their plight the new civil rights and discrimination cause. Quite simply, discrimination is not allowing one group to have a particular right while allowing another group to have that same right. This is not what is happening at all, I have the same rights as a gay person and they have the same rights as me. The same things that are illegal for me are illegal for them.
One of the most despicable tactics I have seen some people pull is trying to compare gay marriage with the black civil rights movement. Its apples and oranges, blacks in the 50’s did not have equal rights with whites, they were forced to sit in the back of the bus, use the back door while whites could sit in the front of the bus, and use the front door. The same is not true with homosexuals; they have the exact same rights as heterosexuals, everything that is illegal for them (gays) is illegal for everyone??”
On the other hand, gays not only face the same discrimination practices that blacks have been subjected to for centuries, they are still facing ongoing prejudice around the world that includes laws that make it illegal to even be homosexual. In fact, if you think its bad in the US, here is a list of some countries that not only outlaw gays; but will put people to death for homosexual acts. (Countries listed in RED have death penalties for homosexual acts)
Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, Namibia, Gambia, Guinea, Mauritania, Senegal, Togo, Sao, Tome & Principe, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Lesotho, Swaziland, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Caribbean Islands, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, ST Vincent & Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobaggranda, Jamaica, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucie, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Bahrain, Palestine, Territories (GAZA), Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Papua, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Brunei, Burma ,Malaysia, Western Samoa, Uzbekistan, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Cook Islands, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Singapore, Guyana, Belize, Chechen Republic, India.
Striving For Equality In Americas Civil Rights
Gay men and women have been subjected to the same types of harassment as blacks. This includes physical and mental abuse up to and including hate crimes, lynchings and other forms of human torture just because of who they are. Gays don’t have the same equal rights as the rest of society in the workplace and in their personal lives either. So, yes, this plight by gays to be treated equally does mirror the same types of civil rights violations faced by blacks in America. Agree with it or not, it’s true.
Coincidentally, it appears on the surface that over the past twenty years the gay movement has followed similar paths that blacks did in becoming more visible and recognized as strong independent contributors to society while strengthening their own men, women and children as a group. Becoming visible to the entire world as everyday people and successful members of society has probably been the best avenue to bring their message and plight to light.
How is this being accomplished?
Through mainstream media utilizing newsprint, radio and TV with well-known gay celebrity personalities, actors, producers and ongoing news stories of their plight. Like the black movement, gays are now making major contributions into education of all people while independently creating higher education for themselves through specific targeted grants, foundations and scholarships.
There are a record growing number of highly successful business executives and CEO’s in the corporate world that are finally defining their role in America that includes being gay.
Right now, the two most powerful men in the world are great examples that both blacks and gays have made significant progress in equal rights and opportunities in society as a whole. We have a black President of the United States, Barack Obama, a black man who is the most powerful politician and leader in the world today. Recently, Tim Cook, the new CEO for APPLE is gay and is considered the most powerful man in the business world. Even though mainstream media has steered away from the fact Cook is gay, it is believed that he is destined to become an icon for gay advancement.
Many states are finally passing laws to allow same sex marriages and or Civil Unions, stopping discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and in strengthen gay’s rights to privacy.
What Percent Of Americans Are Gay?
The findings from a Gallup poll conducted May, 2011, estimate as high as 25% of Americans are gay. This marks the second time Gallup has surveyed people to estimate the gay population in the US. In 2002, Gallup used two separate questions to ask Americans to estimate the percentage of gay men and lesbians. At that time, Americans estimated that 21% of men were gay and that 22% of women were lesbian. Twice as many did not offer an opinion as do now.
There actually is little reliable evidence about what percentage of the U.S. population is in reality gay or lesbian, due to few representative surveys asking about sexual orientation, complexities surrounding the groups and definitions involved, and the probability that some gay and lesbian individuals may not choose to identify themselves as such.
So, if the 25% estimate is nearly correct, than out of approximately 225 million adult people in the US, 56 million are gay. Which is also about the number of Catholics in America?
The Moral Question Still Exists
According to one report in October 2009, nearly half of the public (49%) says homosexual behavior is morally wrong, while 9% say it is morally acceptable and 35% say it is not a moral issue. A similar number says abortion is morally wrong (52%), while far fewer see moral impropriety in divorce (29%) or drinking alcohol (15%).
Blacks are much more likely to think that homosexuality is morally wrong (64%) than whites (48%) or Hispanics (43%). At least half of those ages 30 and older say homosexuality is wrong, compared with fewer than four-in-ten (38%) among those under age 30. And a slim majority of Americans with a high school education or less see homosexual behavior as morally wrong (55%), compared with fewer than half among those with a college degree (40%) or some college education (46%).
Assessments of morality are divided sharply along partisan lines. For example, three-quarters of conservative Republicans say homosexual behavior is wrong. By contrast, nearly as many liberal Democrats (70%) say either that homosexuality is morally acceptable (13%) or that it is not a moral issue (57%).
Among religious groups, 76% of white evangelical Protestants and 65% of black Protestants believe homosexuality is morally wrong; mainline Protestants (40%), Catholics (39%) and the unaffiliated (29%) are much less likely to take this view. Views also differ markedly by level of worship service attendance. Overall, two-thirds of those who attend services at least weekly say homosexual behavior is morally wrong, compared with 43% of those who attend services monthly or yearly and 31% of those who seldom or never attend. The same is true within religious traditions.
For example, among Catholics, a slim majority of weekly Mass attendees (53%) say homosexual behavior is morally wrong, while among those who attend less often, a majority (65%) say it is not a moral issue or is morally acceptable.
In 2005 the 10 largest gay-hate groups raised $400 million to fight gay rights. In 2008, the leadership of the Mormon Church spent $40 million dollars just to show gays status as sinners by helping overturn marriage equality in California. You’d think they could find better things to do with $40 million than promote hate. And, when in history has any group raised 400 million to help feed the hungry, house the homeless and heal the sick?
When all else fails, point to the Bible for the justification against homosexuals. That is like finding a long list of do’s and don’ts that if taken literally will ultimately send everyone to Hell. Most “self-righteous” people use their all-time leading favorite from the King James Bible in Leviticus Chapter 20 verse 13. “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination and they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
But, if you read the entire chapter you will quickly see that most everyone living outside of a Tibetan Buddhist Monks Sanctuary on a secluded hillside in India is doomed to burn in Hell. And, they may be too according to some Christian beliefs.
Being the proud parent of a gay daughter, I have some insight into the plights and struggles she and her friends have had to face an overcome through the years. From being shunned by members of our family to having to hide her lifestyle from the military. Since the age of 13 my daughter says she knew her sexual preferences and that she did not just wake up one morning and decide she wanted to be gay.
If you didn’t know she was, you’d just commend her as being a woman like any other young adult who has made her way through life having the same hopes and dreams as everyone else while making the same mistakes and successes that we all do. Does it really matter what a person’s sexual lifestyle is? Catholics yell the loudest about the condemnations facing gays yet they elude from the fact that a huge majority of priests are not only gay, but sexual predators.
Have they once come out and condemned their own as being hell bound? Uh… No!
Gays have and will continue to receive the same types of harassment, discrimination and prejudices that blacks have endured. Even though neither will want to admit it, or want to be compared to the other, it is true if you really compare their plights.
Just as recently as 2010, at least one favorite night club in Santo Domingo called “Rua’s Bar & Disco” forbids both blacks and gays because, as manager Manuel Tomas Diaz puts it, “Rua's reserves the right to admission, it’s a right which bars have to decide who can and who cannot enter, our public is demanding and elite and decides whom to rub elbows with and whom not,” he said.”
Bottom line, Blacks and Gays just want equal treatment under the laws and the right to enjoy the liberties and freedoms as every other American.
At the end of the day, that’s all that should matter…
End of Story...
WV News 2011