Our Fight

I’ve got a post up over at Ezra Klein’s place which dissects a recent speech given by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, in which he links gay marriage and US prestige, specifically that legalizing gay marriage would undermine our prestige. Although in that post I was specifically debunking Romney’s bullshit, there’s another troubling aspect to his assertion that I wanted to mention. Something very wrong, very dark and insidious, is happening when the party in power begins to connect denying the rights of a scapegoated group with national identity.

The increasingly vitriolic and frequent attacks on the LGBT community is this country is not unlike what happened to the Jews in Germany before WWII, including the use of their images in propaganda pieces. We must loudly defend the rights of gays and lesbians every time something like this happens. The fence-sitting bullshit we’ve seen from our elected officials is not good enough, and we need to make our voices heard that it is unacceptable to meet the hostility of the Right toward the LGBT community with weak and timid waffling.

My straight liberal friends, if you cannot be motivated to get active in this fight simply because it’s appalling that there are citizens of this country who are not afforded the same rights you are, then let’s revisit once again the words of Pastor Martin Niemöller, a Protestant minister in Germany during WWII:

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

This isn’t “their” fight. It’s our fight, and we need to get our asses on the battlefield.

(Crossposted at The Seventh Cross.)

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