Friday, June 08, 2007

Civil Rights

If you think that gay rights are not a civil rights issue (due, perhaps, to someone hitting you very hard on the head as a child causing you to lose a large portion of your cognitive abilities), then perhaps this article on how Don't Ask, Don't Tell is leeching the army of qualified translators (among other valued members of the Armed Forces and intelligence community) will sway you.

As Annie says, "It seems absurd to talk about gay rights because they seem so obvious." Unfortunately, we have to continue to talk about them until everyone has the same rights as everyone else. I can't believe that we're in the 21st Century and still discussing this issue. Nor can I understand why people aren't as outraged as I.

Repeatedly, I've had friends claim to not care because they are not nor do they have any close friends or family members who identify as LGBT, so the issue doesn't pertain to them, doesn't speak to them, doesn't move them to action. A small proportion of the Jewish community is of color, but a large proportion of the Jewish community was active in the Civil Rights movement. Why were they moved and we are not? Will our children judge our inaction as harshly as we judge those in the 60s who were content to sit on the sidelines while injustice prevailed?

No, homosexuals don't have separate lunch counters, but they do have separate rights. Two of the primary rights granted to Black people were the right to marry whom they wanted and the right to serve alongside White people in the military (NB: I capitalize Black and White instead of using African American due to Lisa Delpit's compelling argument for its use in Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom).

I've also heard the argument that Americans have a more visceral reaction to LGBT activity because gay sex is icky (phrased in terms of physical discomfort when thinking about "what they do in their bedrooms"). I won't go into an extensive rant about the evil propaganda from the last several centuries that depicted Black people in precisely the same ignorant terms that considers homosexuality a contagious disease, beyond pointing out that anyone who still considers cooties a viable argument against equal rights should be sent back to the third grade where they belong. Hopefully, pointing out the similarity between this rhetoric and the long since dismissed rhetoric against how icky Black people are (why do you think they were relegated to separate lunch counters in the first place) will be enough to point out the absurdity of resting on the laurels of this argument.

And a quick note to Bush's homophobic proposed Surgeon gGeneral, Dr. James Holsinger, who claims that sodomy leads to "injuries and diseases" because the male and female "pipes" were designed to "fit" a certain way "depending upon which one interlocks within the other."

Dr. Holsinger, I don't mean to be indelicate and surely there are many other aspects of your argument that I could dismantle piece by piece, but I can't get past your contention about the dangers of anal sex. To be honest, I'm worried about you, Dr. Holsinger. May I call you James?

I did some research and concluded that perhaps you're not using enough lube, James. Babeland not only produces an excellent lube for the very purpose of preventing anal injuries, but also has various toys and guides to that end (pun intended). Remember, foreplay is key. If your partner's being too rough, gently hand him or her a copy of Tristan Taormino's Expert Guide to Anal Sex and I assure you that you'll be ready to enjoy the pleasures of anal play! Good luck, honey. We're here for you.