Skip to main content

Note:  Not should Pro-life support gay rights, but should gay rights systematically support pro-life.

A few days back, I created a diary regarding a poll result from Winthrop University and ETV that had been published in the June 1st edition of The State Newspaper.  The story and poll reflected how the majority of South Carolina's pro-life leaning voters, were not completely against abortion, especially when it comes to special circumstances.

One reply that I had received asked us to debunk a letter to the editor in the June 1, 2007 Washington Blade.  The letter titled, Abortion issue blurs mission of gay groups, addressed another letter or response to an article written on May 4, 2007, It's not a gay issue.  I looked at the letter and said sure, I'll give it a try, however....

Word of warning, I'm not a professional political analyst.  Also, as a relatively straight, married female, I cannot say that I'm the best qualified to answer issues in aspects of the gay right movement and their stance on abortion.  So Kossacks, I need your help with this one.

In his opinion, James Kirchick, the author of (Washington Blade, 5/8/07) It's not a gay issue, points out that the campaign to keep abortion legal, is not always lockstep with the GLBT community.

I believe abortion should be, as President Clinton said, "safe, legal and rare." But just because one supports the right of women to have the control over their bodies that abortion laws seek to protect does not mean that gay people, ipso facto, believe that the gay rights movement — which has plenty of significant legal battles of its own to win — ought to take a position on abortion.

In response to Kirchick's opinion, Matt Foreman, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, responded in a Washington Blade, May 11, 2007 letter to the editor, Damn right we support a woman's right to choose, argued that abortion issues and the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the partial-birth abortion ban, had a direct effect on the GLBT community.

This is about much more than access to abortion, as important as that is. It is about who controls our bodies and our sexualities. Reproductive freedom and gay rights are inextricably intertwined. Simply put, we would not have Lawrence but for Roe.

On June 1, Stephen Clark, wrote in his letter to the Washington Blade Abortion issues blurs mission of gay groups that

The glaring omission from Foreman’s letter was any explanation as to how the sexual orientation of lesbians is germane to the abortion issue. Indeed, Foreman emphasized the undifferentiated needs of every woman, "no matter her sexual orientation." But if a gay rights group can include abortion in its mission only by resorting to the idea of "equality within a larger social justice framework," as Foreman did, that is a concession that abortion per se is not genuinely a gay issue.

So we're asked to debunk this letter, which supports the opinion of Kirchick, that abortion is not a gay issue and that all gays will not embrace it.  Or is it an important issue to Lesbians?  Honestly, I cannot debunk it. Both sides of the debate have valid arguments.  

  • The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force does support a woman's right to choose.  However, not all GLBT groups do support Roe V Wade.  
  • Although, the basic intent of Roe v Wade is a woman's right to privacy and choice, many in the GLBT community are wary of aligning themselves too closely to pro-choice groups because of concern that it would draw focus to Lawrence v Texas, which overturned the Texas sodomy law.  On the flip side, Foreman argues that it should be supported because if Roe v Wade gets overturn, it's just a matter of time that any ruling regarding privacy and sexuality can be overturned as well.
  • Many GLBT activist believe that by giving support to pro-choice advocates, that the pro-choice groups would turn around and support gay right issues.  This was shown not to be the case when pro-choice advocacies, placed their support behind Innez Tennebaum of South Carolina, who is pro-choice but anti-gay.

Personally I do have to agree with Mr's Kirchick and Clark on this.  The reality is that, the GLBT community are American voters, with their individual views on abortion and their own moral standards,.  Abortion being a woman's issue does not guarantee that every woman, regardless of sexual orientation is going to be behind it.  Nor is the GLBT community guaranteed that pro-choice advocates will support the gay rights fight.

Do the majority of gays support abortion?  Given that the majority of Americans in general are in favor of having abortion as an option, we can assume yes, however, since I am unable to find a searchable poll from the GLBT community on abortion rights, it can only be speculation on my part.

What's your thoughts?

Originally posted to mpwife on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 04:57 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Your thoughts, tips and comments appreciated n/t (9+ / 0-)
  •  Why not? i am not gay but i support (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Nightprowlkitty, slksfca, mpwife

      Gary Rights activities and legislation.  What's right is right, in all human fairness.  

    •  Thanks for your reply (0+ / 0-)

      But it's not about supporting gay rights, but should gay rights groups support abortion.

      •  I don't see... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bensdad, debedb

        ...how the gay community could demand what in reality is a right to control our own bodies, but deny that right to women.  It'd be incredibly hypocritical.

        "No man should advocate a course in private that he's ashamed to admit in public." -George McGovern

        by Arturo52 on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 05:59:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Gay Gene (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          burrow owl

          There's a theory that homosexuality is determined at birth and that the gene is close to being identified.  Here's a question?  Given the fact that we're able to test for Down Syndrome and other genetic "disorders", what's to prevent individuals  from getting abortions because a test identified their baby as being gay?

          Having read some of the "controversy" on this, I can understand why there would be an opposition to abortion from some in the GLBT community.

          •  Well, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            debedb, mpwife

            most of the people willing to have an abortion, or at least most of those who support abortion, probably wouldn't abort a child because of its sexual orientation.  My parents never cared that I was gay, and I'm from a conservative town in upstate NY.  I think most parents are happy to have children born healthy, and the only people who'd be willing to abort a child that's going to be gay are the same people that are so vocally opposed to abortion for any reason.

            "No man should advocate a course in private that he's ashamed to admit in public." -George McGovern

            by Arturo52 on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 06:06:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Understandable (0+ / 0-)

              But it is feasible for a gay individual to be pro-life for that reason as well as others, after all, straight individuals are pro-life also.

              •  I honestly don't think that many gays (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mpwife

                ...spend time worrying about whether we're going to be aborted in the future.  My personal reaction if such science were available would be to attempt to dissuade women from having an abortion for that reason, but I would never attempt to legislate against abortion for that reason.  If someone is determined to have an abortion, they'll have an abortion, the only question is whether it will be safe, or dangerous to the health of the woman.

                "No man should advocate a course in private that he's ashamed to admit in public." -George McGovern

                by Arturo52 on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 06:12:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Bingo, but this (0+ / 0-)

                  takes us back to the overall abortion debate.

                  Regardless of sexual orientation, you'll have facets of people who are for it or against it.  

                  Then why make it a gay issue also?  That's the question posed with the opinions referenced.

                  •  This is getting fun. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    DaleA, mpwife

                    I think that abortion is in many ways a gay issue because it involves the same players as gay civil rights.  A group of people has their personal rights infringed upon by a vocal minority (or at times, majority), the infringers almost always basing their opinions on the Christian Bible.  I can't speak for other gays, but if I'm outside the hetero-normative pale as a gay man, then it's my job to fight not only for gay rights, but for the rights of women (the right to control their body, to have the same rights as men), the rights of racial and religious minorities, the physically and mentally disabled, all of those who don't fit into the mold of white, male, Christian.  If I don't fight for those things, then I haven't earned the rights that I believe myself to deserve as a human being.  Is that grandiose enough?  ;-P

                    "No man should advocate a course in private that he's ashamed to admit in public." -George McGovern

                    by Arturo52 on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 06:23:52 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  LOL...I love a good debate (0+ / 0-)

                      I agree.  I believe in the basic principles that govern Roe v Wade, the right to privacy and that no one should be able to tell a woman what to do with their bodies.

                      I can say that's the reason that I support gay rights legislations, but the fact is, that it's a human issue.  There should be no reason to discriminate on any specific group of people.

                      And that people shouldn't be able to tell two consenting adults what they can and cannot do, even if whips and chains are involved.

                      My belief in the right to abortion goes along the same lines as Washingtons dignity in death law.  I cannot support assisted suicide of terminally ill patients and be against abortion.  Different concepts but same reasoning.

                      Thanks for the debate.

      •  gay groups should support abortion (0+ / 0-)

        if you want support from women's movement groups for gay rights.

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 08:07:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  sorry for using, right. (0+ / 0-)

      such an ill used word by the repubs.  What is true, fair? oh hell, Right.  lets just take it away from those right-misusers. Ha.

  •  I doubt (15+ / 0-)

    You'll find many pro-choicers who are against gay rights.

    Both reproductive rights and gay rights are about privacy, period.  And they are intertwined.

    Rocky Top will always be home sweet home to me, but it will NOT always be Republican.

    by GoldnI on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 05:02:21 PM PDT

    •  Nicely said. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slksfca, GoldnI, mpwife

         right on the money.  

    •  But the question is (0+ / 0-)

      Should gay rights group automatically support pro-choice and the abortion amendment?

    •  I wouldn't be so sanguine (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mpwife

      Human beings have a remarkable capacity for compartmentalized thinking, and most people's views on "hot-button social issues" are driven more by emotion than reason. In particular, one of the strongest findings out of social psychology is that members of minority groups that are the object of prejudice are not automatically less prejudiced themselves. There's no inherent "solidarity of the oppressed" that leads to "natural coalitions"; building coalitions is always hard work that's only moderately successful.

      By the way, the explanation for this is quite simple: prejudice is by definition an irrational thought process, and therefore doesn't behave like rational thought processes.

  •  I agree. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CJB, burrow owl, mpwife

    I'm loathed to demand gay rights activists must automatically support pro-choice issue, it seems like a good way to manufacture some infighting.

    Truth will often set you free, remember though. Freedom is never free, and the costs are often steep depending on the truth.

    by ThinkingAmerican on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 05:03:13 PM PDT

  •  Inez Tennebaum is (0+ / 0-)

    Pro-choice and anti-gay

  •  Scratch a gay anti-choicer, (5+ / 0-)

    and usually you'll find a Log Cabinite.

    I'd say "f*ck 'em"--but I don't think they should be getting any from (wo)men of good will.

    •  The question, though, is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mpwife

      whether that alignment is just an historical reaction to Christianist opposition to both gay rights and women's rights, or whether the two are conceptually tied together.

      FWIW, while I have a deep and abiding love of the kind of post-structuralist analysis that would find a deep link between abortion and gay rights, I'm not entirely convinced of that case, either politically or philosophically.

      IOW, log cabin-ism aside, I don't see why there couldn't be a theoretically self-consistent anti-choice gay person.  And even if that isn't possible, consistency is a minor virtue.

      •  How could that position possibly be consistent? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, mpwife

        If I, as a gay man, believe that I have the right to have sex with other men, in effect declaring that I'll do what I want with my body, then how can I point at a woman who wants an abortion and say "you don't have the right to control your own body?"  The only possible loophole would be to claim that gay sex hurts no one, whereas abortion is murder, but then you could say that to waste sperm on gay sex is in effect preventing the creation of life, and thus a form of murder.  I don't know.  If you're someone who has gay sex on a regular basis, you shouldn't be able to tell a woman what to do with her body, in my opinion.  

        "No man should advocate a course in private that he's ashamed to admit in public." -George McGovern

        by Arturo52 on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 06:03:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But you're talking emotions (0+ / 0-)

          And when has any emotional issue dealt with logic?  :)

          •  Where is the logic in the position? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, debedb, mpwife

            If I want the right to have sex with men in the privacy of my own home, thus the right to control what I do with my body, what gives me the right to turn around and deny the same thing to a woman?

            "No man should advocate a course in private that he's ashamed to admit in public." -George McGovern

            by Arturo52 on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 06:08:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No one said pro-life position is logical (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              debedb

              Look at the many pro-lifers who are for the death penalty.

              You'll have straight couples who do not want you to come into their bedroom and tell them what position they need to be in, however, they're more then happy to tell you that your right to privacy is moot when it comes to the life of another.  

              Why should gays be different?

              •  A higher percentage (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TiaRachel, corvo, mpwife

                of gays are more sensitive on issues of rights than heterosexuals.  Many heterosexuals (not including most Kossacks, I'm sure... ;-) take their rights for granted, unlike most gays I've come into contact with.  Although I have no evidence of this, I'd be willing to bet that if a poll was taken of the entire gay population in the US, a heavy majority would be for abortion rights, the same as the majority would be politically weighted towards the left.

                "No man should advocate a course in private that he's ashamed to admit in public." -George McGovern

                by Arturo52 on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 06:16:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Depends on the underlying principle (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mpwife

          People can agree that being gay is morally acceptable without having to agree that it has to do with a right to do whatever one wants with one's body. (we could differentiate sexual uses as "natural" v other uses, for example)  

          Or, people could differ over whether abortion is a privacy issue.

          I'm certainly not saying either one of those positions is correct, but one could logically hold either.

    •  Ding Ding Ding (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, mpwife

      We have a winner - used to date Judie Brown's right hand man (don't ask, I thought "he's so smart, I know I can show him the light and break him of his fundie ties" - never again will I be that naive - Freepers just don't like to think) - but your observation is true in the case of every Pro-Life gay guy I have ever met - Government is bad, unless its legislating your uterus, as they see it.

      "Doesn't everybody want to play hopscotch, bake cookies and watch the McLaughlin Group?" - Lisa Simpson

      by OneCharmingBastard on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 06:18:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Selective tolerance is tricky. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, slksfca, mpwife

    Especially when a group is demanding rights and tolerance without being willing to extend it to others.  Would the unwillingness of some gay-rights advocates to support a women's right to choose make me less apt to support them?  Probably, whether that's fair or not.  At the very least, it would piss me off.

  •  That was a whacko editorial written by a nut job (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mpwife

    and I don't think that it represents a large percentage of gay voters.

    Unfortunatley we have gay republicans, gay catholics and other soch conflicted people just as there are anti-gay feminists and anti-abortion feminists.

    But the great majority of gays, and feminists, realize that the basic issue of governmental control of our private lives unites us.

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. - Sam J. Ervin, Jr.

    by tiponeill on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 05:11:19 PM PDT

    •  Is there any zero-sum at work? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shane Hensinger, mpwife

      Which is to say, I'd think that my crazy Reactionary Right family would be deeply impressed by a gay anti-choicer.  I hate to put it in such zero-sum terms, but it's possible that greater ideological diversity could more quickly normalize gays.

      •  If so it's pretty sad (0+ / 0-)

        You can't help but notice how blacks are more anti-gay than whites and when a black preacher condemns gays and claims to be insulted that they want equal right, that is considered "more impressive".

        The same thing could easily happen with gays, or any group.

        Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. - Sam J. Ervin, Jr.

        by tiponeill on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 09:19:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I call Bullshit (12+ / 0-)

    I'm a very gay man.  Frankly, abortion has no impact on my life in any way.  However, the principle of Privacy and making one's own choices is important to me as is the concept that the government should impose choices on me.   I will fight for these concepts not just for myself, but for others, including woman and their right to abortion.  

    I'm a big boy and I can support the fight for the rights of more than one group.  To say that abortion "blurs" the mission of gay groups or that it is not a gay issue is ridiculous since the ultimate fight is about Privacy and personal choices.  If we fight for those principles, we all win. . . gays and pro-choicers.    

    "The woman's life is misery; for God's sake, people, at least give her a few good songs". NYT review of The Color Purple

    by arogue7 on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 05:14:50 PM PDT

  •  It depends on what you mean.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mpwife

    Do most gay people support pro-choice rights and vice versa? I would say yes.

    However, by definition abortion is not a gay rights issue, and gay rights are not an abortion issue. Yeah I  agree they can be linked under the privacy umbrella...but so can many many other issues. That does not mean that organizations dedicated to one cause or the other ought to have a position and an active voice in the issue.

    A gay rights groups is not obligated to advocate for abortion rights, or vice versa.

    "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible." --J.R.

    by michael1104 on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 05:19:40 PM PDT

    •  A lot of people would disagree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mpwife

      They'd say that if you push those definitions further into their ideological underpinnings, they're actually pretty connected.  Anti-choice is all about maintaining stable gender identities: keep the women having kids and out of careers; homophobia has the exact same aim of gender role maintenance.  

  •  Interesting diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mpwife

    I personally think the answer to your question should be 'Yes,' under the theory that rights for one group are ultimately rights for all.

    When I was young, this issue frankly didn't register for me: I'm a gay male, and I couldn't imagine a scenario where, one way or another, abortion would affect me personally. What changed things for me was that, over time (and with increasing maturity) I came to realize that if I truly believed no one was entitled to dictate to me how I should conduct my personal life, then that standard should apply equally everywhere.

    To be honest, I am a little uncomfortable with abortion as an abstract concept; but I am absolutely committed to the belief that it's not my decision to make for anyone else, and I unreservedly support the right of any woman to make that important choice for herself.

    There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. -Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

    by slksfca on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 05:25:48 PM PDT

  •  right to contraception, gay rights, abortion, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fiddler crabby, mpwife

    how to raise your own kids, all have same basis in the moral and legal belief in a right to privacy (that is, the right to some private action simply beyond the power of the state).

    I'm not demanding consistency, but they are related, conceptually.

    December is the new September.

    by Inland on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 05:26:59 PM PDT

    •  wait, if it's whether orgs SHOULD (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burrow owl, mudslide, mpwife

      TAKE POSITIONS, no.  Not everyone can do everything.

      December is the new September.

      by Inland on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 05:28:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  true, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mpwife

        I think in this case, the underlying principles are constitutional privacy rights and the government leaving the bedroom which are fundamental to both organizations.  While they may not "actively" take actions on legistation effecting the other, they should still lend moral and vocal support to those principals being fought for by the other since to deny either pro-choice or gay rights legislation set precident against privacy and government interferrance in the bedroom.    

        "The woman's life is misery; for God's sake, people, at least give her a few good songs". NYT review of The Color Purple

        by arogue7 on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 05:35:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm playing devils advocate here (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          burrow owl

          The argument regarding gay rights is basically no one should be able to tell two consenting adults what they're sexual preferences should be and that they should not be denied or discriminated against in any aspect of society.  

          Lawrence v Texas was regarding the privacy of two consenting adults and what they do in their bedroom.  Thus the sodomy laws in Texas and many other states were deemed unconstitutional.

          Although the original intent on abortion and Roe v Wade is the privacy and right of a woman and her body, the abortion debate in itself goes deeper then privacy.  There is a minority in America that believes that abortion is about taking the life of an unborn child and that the right to life has precedence over the right to privacy.

          Given the different sides of the abortion debate, isn't it logical to assume that there's a minority of the GLBT community, that does not view abortion as a privacy issue?

          •  That's spot on (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mpwife

            There's certainly a way of conceptualizing abortion that goes beyond privacy and into the status of the fetus as human being.  

            While I disagree with that position, it doesn't strike me as totally insane, so it would make sense that there are non-crazy gays (and straights) that hold to it.

  •  Lawrence and Roe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mpwife

    Contrary to popular belief, Lawrence was decided on right-to-liberty grounds rather than right-to-privacy grounds, so overturning it wouldn't have much legal effect on efforts to overturn Roe or vice-versa. The two cases rely on different precedents (with Lawrence relying on much older ones).

  •  The issues are linked (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mpwife

    Reproductive choice = sexual choice.

    I use choice broadly as I don't care if someone is gay because they want to be or they were born gay - they still deserve the same protections as anyone else.

    This divides the gay community and while I am pro-choice I believe it should be a factor in deciding who to support, but not the deciding issue.

    I'm sure that pleases no one, but oh well...

  •  Are you kidding.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mpwife

    ...yes gays and lesbians support a woman's right to choose. It is the same principle at stake: The right to live your life any way you want as long as you are not interfering with the rights of another man or woman.

    This is, by the way, a libertarian idea. Ron Paul needs to get with it.

    "I am my brother's keeper. I am a Democrat." -- That's your slogan, Democrats.

    by Bensdad on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 06:17:30 PM PDT

  •  Thanks everyone, heading to bed (0+ / 0-)

    I've done my good deed for the day, thanks for ya'lls input and opinions.

  •  Put it this way... (0+ / 0-)

    If the government wanted to force you to have an abortion against your will, would you want the support of the gay community on your side?

    Wearing a black ribbon since 5/24/07.

    by mudslide on Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 06:30:25 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site