OK

I first posted this after Marriage Equality passed in New York.  Given our major victory in New Hampshire yesterday, I thought it was worth sharing again --julie
Hi homophobes.  

We need to talk.

You've been kind of busy lately, and you've had a few victories.

But I'm here to tell you something:  

It. Gets. Worse.

I'm in my 40's.  

When I was growing up, there was one obviously gay kid in my high school.  Almost everyone mocked and teased him.  I came out in college, and I received personal threats on a routine basis; nasty phone calls in the middle of the night, hostile and vicious notes left on my door.  

You know the drill.  Some of you probably even made those calls, with your buddies, up late drinking, thinking "hey, that will be fun!"

Friends of mine have had it worse.  Some of have actually been gay bashed or threatened with violence.

And then there was Matthew Shepard.  

And I think that may have been where things started to change; this image, frozen in time, of a kid beaten so brutally, so badly, but still taking almost a week to die.  And the picture of him, just suspended there, so public and open in the brutality that people recoiled at it.

And things have been changing, faster than you'd ever imagined.  Just over a decade ago, we had a bitter, brutal, fight in Vermont over civil unions, the 2nd class citizen version of marriage equality.  We won that fight, and it cost some good members of the house and senate their seats.

And then, in Massachusetts, over the course of days, civil unions became something else-- they shifted from this horrible, terrible, idea, and transformed into the conservative alternative to marriage.  It started with "protect marriage at all costs" and shortly veered into "...but of course everyone deserves equal rights..."

And you lost, then.  And you tried to enact a constitutional amendment (in a state where frankly it's not that hard to do) and you lost then, too.

I know the numbers for us are small, but that's how things like this work.  We've won in other states since then.   Vermont now has full marriage rights.  You tried to run primaries against one of the Republicans who supported them, in an extremely conservative district.  

You failed.   Again.

New Hampshire is [was] teetering, but even with an extremely conservative legislature, you're not making headway with [just got your asses handed to you with respect to] same sex marriage.  You know why?

Because they're a lot more scared of us than they are of you.  

They feel this way with good reason.  You go from state to state, finding small crowds of bigots to come complain about us and testify in your own vicious and bitter fashion.  We talk about hope, and family and the future, and we do it without bitterness, with clarity, with love.

And all you really have is "this will destroy marriage."

But it won't.  And I think you know this: the desperation in your voice, the laughable testimony in California during the trials over proposition 8 (not to mention some of the problems with your witnesses).  

You know about trials, right?  They're the places where you actually have to support your ideas with evidence.  And fact.  

But you don't have that.  You've got "the sky is falling."  You're telling people that same sex marriage will destroy things.  

We've got Vermont.  

And New Hampshire.

And Massachusetts.  

And Connecticut.

And Iowa.  

(Yes, Iowa).

And New York.

And we've got those states as examples of places where same-sex marriage is not only legal, but where it's just there, and soon enough will fade into the background.  No one seems to be confused these days when I fill out forms indicating my status as "married" and have a woman's name listed as my spouse.  

In other words, it's becoming normal.

And yes, I know that scares you.  Hell, my whole life I've been told I'm abnormal, and suddenly no one seems to feel that way, and even I'm confused some of the time.

But there it is.  

And last night, a New York sate senator who ran in opposition to same sex marriage, released a statement and voted "yes" for marriage equality.  

Saland, a long-standing senator, who previously voted against same sex marriage had his own statement, explaining how important it was that he vote his conscience.

And these two senators?  They're in very conservative districts.  They know what they're doing.  They may lose their chances at reelection because of this.  

They don't care about this, because they're doing what's right not what's politically expedient.

So you lost.

Again.  

So you've got a choice here.  You can, of course, hold onto your ideas.  You can keep fighting for your right to be afraid of gay people, and you can cloak it in such terms as "protect marriage" or use words like "sanctity" and other catch phrases that are, over time, going to just lose their meaning.  

You can waste time and energy with your bigotry and hostility.

But before you decide... just take a deep breath for a moment and think about this:

You know those people in their 70's who talk about interracial marriage with that sneer in their voice that everyone else rolls their eyes at?  The ones who people just kind of forgive for their hideous prejudices because they're too old to learn to be any better?  

That's you.

Maybe not today.  Maybe not in five years.  But in ten years?  Possibly.  In 20, almost definitely.

You've got a limited window here to be on the right side of history.  It's your choice to decide where you want to be here, but that chance won't last forever.  And I'm telling you now, that if you don't get it soon, you're going to be left in the dustbin of history, without any real opportunity for redemption.

Because for you, from this point on?  

It. Gets. Worse.

Originally posted to Where the Waters Run Free on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 02:40 AM PDT.

Also republished by LGBT Kos Community and These Green Mountains.

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