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?