Sunday, December 16, 2012
Beg, Don't Demand, It's The Only Way We Win
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Beg, Don't Demand, It's The Only Way We Win
A post-election analysis of why LGBT won in several states this time around
Storified by Richard Watson · Sun, Dec 16 2012 09:30:04
The day after election day, I collected several posts from around the Web proclaiming the victories the LGBT community achieved in marriage equality and finally receiving LGBT representation in the U.S. Senate
Maine Approves Marriage EqualityMaine Approves Marriage Equality We have finally won marriage equality at the ballot box. Just in from Yes on 1 campaign manager Matt McT...
Maryland Approves Marriage EqualityMinutes after Maine's historic win for marriage equality at the ballot box, Politico has called another win for our community in Maryland.
Minnesota Rejects Marriage AmendmentMinnesota Rejects Marriage Amendment In a win that's especially dear to my heart, Minnesota, a state in the midwest, has rejected a const...
Washington State Passes Marriage EqualityWashington State Passes Marriage Equality Continuing an unprecedented string of ballot box wins, Washington has passed marriage equality ...
Tammy Baldwin Wins in Wisconsin, is First Out Gay U.S. Senator |News | Towleroadbr> Representative Tammy Baldwin is the projected winner in the Wisconsin race for U.S. Senate, defeating Republican Tommy Thompson. Bald...
And the general sentiment of the commenters along the way was all pretty much the same
Think of all the money NOM wasted trying to block this ballot measure. Too bad they couldn't use all the money they spent against this for something that actually benefited society. Congrats ME and MD. I hope the other states go the same way. I wish I knew how to thank our straight friends statewide for this. Thank you to Maryland Equality, too. 2 down-48 to go. POSTED BY: JHM | NOV 7, 2012 12:54:03 AMMarriage Equality Wins in Maryland| News | Towleroad
Now that the election has had time to pass and sink in, and the political polling organizations have had time to gather data about the elections, we can finally start to see why votes when the way they did. Of course, we could and can generalize the election as the general public finally swinging toward support of marriage equality. But, as is often the case, that's not the full, complete story.
The most interesting perspective I've seen so far is from Frank Bruni over at the
. In this article, Bruni takes a look at the most recent analysis of the election by one think tank.
Examining the Support for Same-Sex MarriageUpdated | 11:15 a.m. Third Way, the centrist Democratic think thank, is about to release a report based on polling from Washington State,...
It's a great and enlightening article, with some very interesting things that LGBT community needs to think about moving forward, but there's one section that I found both interesting and disturbing:
That’s a fascinating microcosm of, and window into, broader political dynamics. When an initiative in this country is framed or understood largely as an attempt by a given constituency to get more, the opposition to it is frequently bolstered, the resistance strengthened. Even if the constituency is trying to right a wrong or rectify a disadvantage. “Give me” can be a risky approach. “Let me” is often a better one, and when voters hear gays and lesbians asking to participate in a hallowed institution for the most personal and heartfelt of reasons, voters may have a more positive reaction. At least that’s the suggestion of the research and the interviews that Third Way has done.Examining the Support for Same-Sex Marriage - NYTimes.com
In essence, if gays demand the rights that we are constitutionally allowed, we're not likely to win. But if we plead to the mighty masters of our fate, then the voters will deign to allow us to have our rights.
It's a subtle difference. It's about the power dynamic. In one case, the LGBT community assumes the power role, in the other the average voter assumes the power role. And it's pretty damn pathetic.
What this is saying is that the average voter sees the LGBT community like the bratty kid running around the store demanding to have a new toy purchased for him. No one likes that kid. But if we can change tactic and instead beg and plead with earnest tears in our eyes, then people will like us. Then we get out new toy. Then we can be allowed to have marriage equality.
That infuriates me! To get our equal rights, we must submit to being treated like and act like we are somehow less than the average voter, or are somehow subservient to them. Only then will they grant us our rights. But it really doesn't surprise me.
Hopefully the Supreme Court does the right thing next year when they take up Prop 8 and DOMA cases. Hopefully that will shift the power dynamic for us. Until then, I suppose we should all run around and profusely thank and praise our straight friends for voting for us. Worship them and show them that they are doing us the grandest of favors by even acknowledging we are here.
By all means, don't thank them for doing the only right thing. That might sound too demanding, and we'll be set back another decade...
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