Democrats & Liberals Archives

Eyes On The Prize

I have recently (and rather reluctantly) participated in the ongoing gay marriage debate. In a number of web postings, I have tried to impart what I considered valuable input from the vantage point of an engaged and concerned gay man. I framed gay marriage as a modern day civil rights struggle, yet I endorsed the compromise allowing civil unions. I cautioned against, but knew it was almost certain President Bush would soon endorse the amendment to ban gay marriage.

Since hearing the news, I have run the gamut of emotions: sadness, anger, cynicism and frustration. After taking note of the news accounts, I went to the web to gage the reaction of friends, some insightful weblogger pals,, a few news oriented message boards, etc. Surprisingly, as a result, I am now heartened, emboldened and even more determined to do my part to fight such intolerance and discrimination.

I cannot believe I’m writing this, but Joe Scarborough actually made an interesting observation. On his show, he asked with genuine surprise (and concern), why the people of California have not yet arisen in anger and protest over the law breaking actions of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome. The former mouthpiece to Gov. Ahnold then surmised that the electorate was instead ‘stunned’ by the flaunting of the law, thus unsure as to how to react. Laughable.

The real reason, (and I believe a very important point, so far overlooked), is that the gay marriage issue is not a major concern of American voters. A wedge issue (example: the Confederate Flag) needs to resonate and find genuine grassroots advocacy, on both sides of the controversy, in a detectible sector of the electorate. The Human Rights Campaign and PFLAG fit the mold, but the latest Heritage Foundation funded social Conservative group, which shares the very same mailing lists as it’s previous incarnation, exists only in a parallel world shared with Dick Cheney’s Energy Task Force.

Eager to reverse their ’04 fortunes, the boys at RoveVision forgot to give Tom Delay and the Congressional Republicans a heads up, or at least an email/fax of talking points. A Bush/Cheney ’04 launch was not about to be bogged down by a fickle, weak-kneed and increasingly undisciplined bunch of party subscripts. ‘Steady Leadership And Wedge Issues In A Time Of Change’ is the battle cry!

But, even before Chris Matthews could salivate with Ann Coulter over the quandary facing the Dem Presidential candidates, the Kerry campaign responded in no uncertain terms – a no vote on the Constitutional amendment. No doubt, sensing little or no political fallout (for the reasons I stated?), Kerry’s emphatic stand could resonate through the party’s base similar to that of Howard Dean’s anti-war position and transform him into a truly bold and compassionate image of a future President.

Instead of posting an angry, resentful and cynical response to the President’s announcement, I’ve decided a more positive effort is warranted. I’ve begun research dealing with the subjects of gay marriage, gay unions, relationships and other facts and substantive information. And, in an effort to educate, inform and arm like-minded folks (especially you heterosexuals!), I will be blogging and posting this information online, in hopes of impacting the debate.

I look forward to those future issues polls citing where gay marriage ranks in importance. And, after this fight pulverizes the American public’s psyche and snaps it’s threshold for annoyance (by a media seemingly hyped on steroids and ‘Jesus juice’), this country may finally awaken from the dark days of Bush’s failed presidency.

(Note: I highly recommend a visit to Andrew Sullivan’s website. His thoughts on this subject and emails he’s posted, are an important read.)

Posted by Bert M. Caradine at February 26, 2004 1:39 AM