Less than Straights

by Caillean McMahon

We are being openly defined as “less than” heterosexual couples by candidates for office. A “mother and a father” is the ideal family group that ought to be promoted by the state in their view.

In the circumstance where a couple divorces, and the custodial parent enters a same sex relationship, the children can be removed if this policy is pursued. The welfare of the child will be defined by the state’s overriding policy of children needing a father and a mother.

Gay and Lesbian parents will be just one step away from losing their children. This is not a dark fantasy conjured out of fear; it is the logical outcome of the policy and supported by the fact that in past decades this occurred with alarming regularity.

Many of you cannot imagine these things happening. The older members of the community can remember these things all too well. Our opponents in the 1970’s developed a policy and a strategy to take civil rights back to when these things were common, before any gay rights guarantees, before Roe, before Lawrence. They are anti-feminist, anti-gay and anti-dissent.

A mere decade ago anyone who called us diseased, disturbed, or dangerous to society would have been labelled an extremist. Now, even Democrats gingerly support what are reactionary positions tacitly furthering homophobia.

We have become a docile minority. Too many of us expect others to campaign for our rights. We are rapidly becoming inconsequential in politics because so many of us remain silent. We need to be heard; we need to, as gays and lesbians, support those candidates who support us and vocally oppose those candidates who would reduce us to second or third class status. We need to become a force and resource once again.

Gay partnership rights and gay adoptions are the major issues this year. If the reactionaries win the next elections will center around employment rights and protections from violence. How many rights are you willing to lose? Are your prepared to return to the shame and deceit of living in the closet? Unless we, as a community, begin to be heard and loudly, this is the fate that the reactionaries that oppose us intend for us. Read their sermons and literature. As opposed to our community, they have been quite loud and clear about what their idea for Pennsylvania, for America, is.

We are not a part of the future as they see it.