Thursday, February 17, 2011

I'm Sorry...I Can't Agree

Blogger Bil Browning of the Bilerico Project is threatening to out the dirty laundry of politicians who voted for House Joint Resolution 6 or might vote for it at its next stage.

Not that anyone listens to me, but I would caution Browning on pushing this course of action. The entire thing could backfire. I only think this kind of dirt-collecting only leads to tit-for-tat and not progress. It further alienates people that are turned off by this kind of thing. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think it's more fit for the tabloids and TMZ than it is for political discourse.

Why alienate those same people that LGBT activists will need to push a possible Constitutional Amendment to the trashcan? Independents, who typically say they don't like this kind of negativity, may be pushed over to the side of those on the other side. I think there are powerful arguments and personal testimonies that will change the conversation over the next few years while the Indiana General Assembly's view on the subject is proven to be far outside the mainstream.

Yes, it's an emotional time. People are angry, and I'm mad as hell! The LGBT community was somewhat abandoned by the Democratic Party and some of its activists.

Today, I received an e-mail from John Spears, the state director of Organizing for America (formerly Obama for America), and that e-mail asked me to contact my legislators on labor issues. I wholeheartedly understand the plight of the working men and women in this state whose wages and livelihoods are at stake while this Republican-led General Assembly launches a full-on assault on them. I agree that we should be talking to our legislators about this, but where was OFA when the critical LGBT issue was on the table?

I also received an e-mail from the Indiana Democratic Party Chair, Dan Parker, that was written on behalf of state employees, public servants, and teachers. Again, there is a worthy cause, and we should all stand up to defend their rights. Yet again, there was no mass e-mail on HJR-6 asking Democrats stand with their LGBT brothers and sisters.

Yes, I'm maddest at Pat Bauer. Bauer plunged a knife into the back of the LGBT community with his yes vote on HJR-6. If the community were Caesar, he would be Brutus. It was an awful thing for him to have done, and it borders on unforgivable.

That said, I don't think two wrongs make a right. I don't believe in the kinds of tactics Browning is implementing. I just can't agree. Sorry.

I know that Bil's been out there for a long time and has been fighting this fight longer than me, and I respect him for that. I have only had this blog for a little under three years, and I haven't been nearly as active in the LGBT community as he has. I don't expect him or anyone to listen to me on this, but I felt I'd be remiss if I didn't express my opinion.

Besides, the skeletons in the closet of a politician seem to get out anyway. Just ask Larry Craig, Eric Massa, Christopher Lee, Bill Clinton, Mark Sanford, Elliott Spitzer, or any other politician that's been the subject of an embarrassing scandal.

So, Bil...I wish you the best, as always. Keep fighting the good fight. I just wish you could find a way to do it differently.

(photo courtesy of the Bilerico Project)


J.E.P. said...

One pragmatic approach is to pick battles, but then I am reminded: "When they came for . . . I said nothing."

Paul K. Ogden said...

I am pro-life. There are times when I see some pro-lifers resort to extreme tactics. They feel very passionate about an issue that they see as a life or death issue, but those extreme tactics backfire and undermine the cause. So too will this strategy.

You eloquently outline the frustration that the pro-same sex marriage side feels, but these kind of tactics don't move the ball forward. It's a battle that the same sex marriage side is going to eventually win anyway. Win it with class and dignity. Emulate the tactics of Martin Luther King not the tactics of Larry Flynt.

In the meantime, they need to look at incremental victories. Here's an idea. If the federal Defense of Marriage Act is repealed, which is very possibly in the not too distant future, then same sex Hoosier couples can go to another state get married and return to Indiana with Indiana required under the U.S. Constitution to recognize that marriage as valid regardless of any state law or state constitutional provision against same sex marrage. That Full Faith and Creidt Clause is a might handy thing.

Anonymous said...

I think when people are hypocrites and preaching that something is a sin and then quietly participating in private that they deserve to be outed. I wonder where we can send names of 'suspect' people.

Anonymous said...

Well, as discussing as Bauer's vote for discrimination was, at least we now know his true character.

Anonymous said...

that is, "disgusting"

Anonymous said...

While I agree that outing closeted elected officials or revealing the affairs and corruption of those who aren't in the closet is not a good idea for a multitude of reasons, I do not believe that everyone's secrets always come out. I've been waiting for about five years for Gov. Daniels' true nature (and I don't mean that he's a jerk) to come to light, but so far, he's been able to keep a lid on it.