There is no nice way to put this. There are quite a few people who label themselves liberals, progressives and Democrats who are bigots against gay both on this site and others like mydd.com.
They couch this bigotry in many forms. Sometimes, the bigotry is soft in that they will never say "fag" or "Gays go to hell," but they will certainly act that way. Other times, it will come about from clearly distorting and manipulating easily obtainable facts.
Let me give you an example of a bigot's perspective:
First, I'm against so called gay marriage. Why? If I have helped to revolutionize the church (in my own way) and I've contributed to the cause of gay people - why am I against gay marriage. The answer is simple: its because those who were leading the charge were working for social change with no real or tangible benefit to the vast majority of American citizens. And the people of America had other things on their minds - the activists knew this. And ignored it. It was simply the wrong time.
The gay community is productive, creative, generally higher income and by and large a nice thing to happen to your neighborhood if you're lucky enough to have it happen to you. LINK
Some of you may be wondering- what's bigotted about the quoted comment? Well, the biggest problem is the writer is lying about the history of what happened with the gay marriage issue. The second biggest problem is the offensive assumption that all gays are well off white men.
Gay marriage amendments were not something thurst onto the American public by gays. It was something pushed onto the public by right wing activists seeking to use gay rights as a wedge issue. That diarist gets it exactly backwards is one of the common tools of bigotry. The victim of oppression is the oppressor. The opressor is the victim. Gays are harming the majority by not being silent about the denial of our civil rights. The abused wife got in the way of her husband's hand.
If some of you do not know this, Rove & Co. felt they could run gay marriage bans as a wedge issue in the battleground states in 2004 against Kerry. That was one of the primary forces pushing gays to say "No." The more practical reasons are that we were being denied rights that only marriage allows. Thus, taking me to my second point.
The second issue is the assumption that all gays are well off white men, and that the issue of marriage is about well to-do people who gentrify neighborhoods. The reality is far more complicated. There are rich, middle-class and POOR gays. There are black, white, Asian and Latino gays. There are gays who are Christian and those who are not. The issues regarding gay civil rights affect all gays, including the ones you don't see.
It is a statistic surprising even to those it describes: Same-sex couples in the Bronx are more likely to have children than those in any other New York City borough, according to a study released last month, and perhaps more than any county in the country.
Nor, are all gays able to afford the cost of lawyers to address the differences between marriage and civil unions where civil unions are allowed (in NY state they are not allowed):
The civil union law "invites and encourages unequal treatment of same-sex couples and their children," concludes the final report, titled The Economic, Legal, Medical and Social Consequences of New Jersey's Civil Union Act. "In a number of cases, the negative effect of the Civil Union Act on the physical and mental health of same-sex couples and their children is striking, largely because a number of employers and hospitals do not recognize the rights and benefits of marriage for civil union couples."
Thus, we come to one of the first signs of progressive bigotry against gays:
A) The bigotry is based on ignorance that is easily avoidable by a simple google search to correct the argument being made. As progressives, our first duty is to reality. We spent years barkin at the right for its faith based analysis. Yet, right now, the left seems infected by a large number of people uninterested in going beyond their opinion. It's not enough to believe something is the case. One should, as a progressive, research it. The fact that on other people's rights people are not doing basic research is a kind of bigotry. It says its not important enough to know why and how, but it is important enough to deny rights without thought by telling gays to STFU.
This is, by no means, the only variant of bigotry against gays I have seen here and at other blogs. The other form of progressive bigotry comes in the form of the false choice requirement. You know the argument - "If we address gay issues at all, the country will come to a halt regarding other issues."
In other words, if we discuss gay issues, Obama will fall a part.
Here is a list of LBJ's great society accomplishment relatively early in his Administration:
Tell that to LBJ, and his Great Society legislation (including Civil Rights) was any easier to pass:
* Civil Rights Act of 1964
* Voting Rights Act of 1965
* Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965
* Civil Rights Act of 1968
War on Poverty
* Food Stamp Act of 1964
* Upward Bound
* Head Start
* Model Cities Program
* Economic Opportunity Act of 1964-and the programs it spawned, including:
=> Jobs Corp
=> Community Action Program
=> VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America)
=> Community Legal Services
* Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
* Higher Education Act of 1965
* Bilingual Education Act of 1968
I don't endorse everything that Paul Rosenberg or the commetors at OpenLeft say, but clearly, the argument that a President can not do more than one thing at once is crazy on it's face. So crazy , in fact, I am left to ask why even make such an absurd argument? One gets the feeling that the real issue is not whether Obama will prioritize gay civil rights issues, but that he is considering gay civil rights at all.
C) The third type of bigotry (another soft type of bigotry) is the bigotry of not listening to gay activists, but instead, trying to tell them to STFU up often by distorting their comments and/or positions. At first, I thought this was simply a mistake. But the same cast of characters keep making the same mistake. The same arguments are used, and the analysis always really seem to be STFU." I am not listening to you."
In the Warren situation, for example, when someone repeatedly says their issue with Warren is not just gay marriage, but the totality of other issues (his support of a religious leader abroad who wants to jail gays, his calling us pedophiles, etc) it is mind-boggling to read a reply response only about gay marriage. It's as if the reader skims for gay marriage. Sometimes gay marriage is not mentioned at all.The response is to return to gay marriage. If you thinking, "well this is because of the gays," my response is, "no this is because you are rationalizing."
This is the majority not listening to the minority because of the power of the majority over the minority. It's one of the most basic of power dynamics that is classic bigotry. "I don't need to listen to you because I control your reality."
It is one of the core reasons why have equal protection. The founders understood that the majority ignores the minority, and this is part of how it holds power over them. Thus, to see this amongst people who think of themselves as "liberal" and "progressive" is stunning. You can not be progressive when you engage in this behavior. You are enaging in a core conservative approach to politics.
D) The other form of bigotry is using one person or another as a spokesmodel for all gay people everywhere. This is a variant of shut up . I am familar with it from racial situations, but now it has leaked into gay debates.
" Melissa Etherige is okay with Warren. So you should be." If you are not, then you are "whining" and looking for special treatment. One poster coined the term "model gays" or "magic gays" to reflect that thought processes that we are suppose to be limited by the acceptable gays as to how we are suppose to think and act. Its the "how dare you bother me, the majority, or inconvenience me."
When the protests were going on after Prop 8 passed, one woman emailed Andrew Sullivan saying that her right to go to a wine festival was harmed by the fact that gay people made her drive around them. She may as well have said, "let them eat cake." that would have been more honest.
E) A side note to this one is Obama is doing "x,y or z," and, therefore, see, "you were just complaining for no good reason." This bigotry is based on the idea that Obama is not a politicians, and that, again, gays are just whiners and complainers.
"There is nothing really to our concerns." Nevermind, that Marcos specifically made the point that actually the reason why politicians, including Obama, react is precisely because people make the noise to be heard. The irony, of course, is that standing up to be heard is exactly what all progressives should be doing on all issues and not just this one:
This is, incidentally, why it's useful for progressives to criticize the president. Politicians respond to incentives. To noise. To anger. Warren, on some level, was a response to the loud protestations of evangelicals who believed the Democratic Party had no place for them. It's hard to see Robinson is anything but a response to progressive activists who sense that Obama was more willing to risk cross those who supported him than those who opposed him. Erase the anger from either side and it's not worth Obama -- or any president -- taking the risk to placate them. But this is a step in the right direction. This is genuinely inclusive. If it was the plan all along, the Obama administration sure did a good job keeping the secret. And if it wasn't, then equality activists have something to be proud of this morning. They changed the incentives.
I agree with Ezra by the way. This is why we complain. To get Obama to not only bring in a gay bishop, but to also reaffirm with a simply "yes" that he will repeal DADT. Would this have happened without us? Maybe. Do our actions create the pressure for it to happen? If history is our guide- yes. Look to LBJ's response to the civil rights movement.
I am frankly at a point where I no longer trust when people say they are progressive. You are not progressive if you accept these sorts of arguments without question. Part of being progressive is being well-informed. Researching issues and understanding facts to make sure that our views are alligned with reality rather than faith. That's my version of progressivism. I hope it is yours too.
Finally, I want to make something clear- I think Obama has some bigotry regarding the separate but equal approach he takes to marriage, but ultimately I support him. I support him because I think he will be good for moving gay rights forward, for the economy and for Americans in general. This is not about Obama. This is about the arguments that I have seen and my sense that there is some underlying issue with homsexuality that drives them.