Παρασκευή, 7 Νοεμβρίου 2008

LGBT Writers Respond to Prop 8


Μία από τις λίστες newsletter που είμαι γραμμένος είναι αυτή του Lambda Literary Foundation. Μέσω αυτής της λίστας πήρα την ακόλουθη επιστολή με τίτλο "LGBT Writers Respond to Prop 8" και την αναδημοσιεύω:

LGBT Writers Respond to Prop 8
by WENDY WERRIS

California's Proposition 8, the controversial anti-gay-marriage measure that was fought furiously on both sides for several months and included Tricycle Press's children's book King & King as a negative spin in supporters' TV commercials, won a stunning victory on November 4 in the state's election. Gay writers responded to the win with outrage, concern and heartbreak.

John Rechy, the Los Angeles-based PEN International Award-winning gay author expressed a sense of outrage and betrayal by the passing of Prop. 8. Noting what he called fear tactics used by its backers in their ads, Rechy said, "Of course it helped Prop. 8 to use a harmless children's book (King & King) about gay marriage in its campaign of minority intolerance. My fear now is that all of gay literature will be more closely scrutinized, and that free speech will become even more endangered." Rechy and his partner of more than 30 years were recently married.

Although the head of the California Teacher's Association stated on many occasions during the campaign that marriage is not taught in schools, Prop. 8's supporters seemed to state otherwise in their ads that used King as an example of what information children would be privy to if gay marriage was not banned in California. Charles Flowers, executive director of the LAMBDA Literary Foundation that supports the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender book communities, noted the complexities that lie ahead because of this misinformation. "The use of a children's book definitely worked in Prop. 8's favor," he said. "Now that it's passed, these people have instilled a lot of fear in the minds of parents about text adoptions and gay-themed books in schools. This will put gay teachers under much more scrutiny as well." Flowers is also concerned about the legal limbo the passing of Proposition 8 has put California's 22,000 married gay couples in.

Novelist Christopher Rice, president of the board of the LAMBDA Literary Foundation, is well aware of the power of the written word. "The image of a kid holding a book (about gay marriage) is profound. Unfortunately, the backers of Prop. 8 used King as an example of how a young mind can be corrupted, rather than how it can be opened." Rice also blames the measure's backers for using the book in a dishonest way, saying it's opened a "psychic wound" in gay writers everywhere who are on the frontlines of unfiltered and candid information about the way they live their lives.

Only children who are signed up for Comprehensive Sex Education in California schools are taught about gay relationships and sex. "This decision is entirely up to the parents," Rice continued. "The backers of Prop. 8 distorted the truth about this."

Another gay California writer, novelist Dorothy Allison, married her longtime partner on November 1. "My heart is breaking," she said. "The way the pro-8 spokespeople concentrated on how gay marriage could be a threat to kids... that was the big thing. They propagandized the loving theme of King by turning it into a fearful message to parents."

An Open Letter from Katherine V. Forrest

Yesterday was just a very difficult day. Such gladness over Obama and all he symbolizes, watching the national euphoria. And yet the sharp slap in the face that none of it includes us. Yet again the line is drawn through us, we're left to peer in the window. This time it seems a much worse feeling, at least for me, because I'd let down my guard and stopped steeling myself, for the first time I'd let myself hope.

We will win this of course. We actually won it in 2003 with the most important civil rights decision of my lifetime, the Supreme Court's 6-3 Lawrence vs Texas decision that struck down sodomy laws under the equal protection clause. I've always known that the continuing hodge podge of discriminatory state laws and the opposition by the single most legitimizing agent for the prejudice against us -- the churches -- would eventually land us back at the Court. Where we will then be accorded--under the same clause--the final and definitive decision that will end the practice of putting our lives on a ballot for a majority to decide.

I'm getting over the personal stuff, I feel a little better today and have more perspective. In order to get this thing passed in California, they had to argue that we already had rights as Domestic Partners. How big a concession is THAT, given where we were a decade ago? The fact is, except for our losses, the right wing got their heads handed to them on Tuesday. Gay people were voted into office all across the country. All the abortion crap got voted down, it's no longer a viable political issue, it's dead dead dead, folks. Assisted suicide was passed in Washington State, stem cell research will happen, the Supreme Court appointments are ours for hopefully the next eight years. Their right wing VP candidate became a figure of national scorn, the religious right as a political power has been left where it belongs, on the margins..

So good things are happening. We are the great unfinished business of this nation, and it will indeed get finished. I trust it will hurry along because I ain't gettin' any younger. Now that I've lived to see a black president, I want to see it all. As a friend of ours in Australia emailed yesterday, "Whilst a black President is certainly a good thing, let me know when the President is a black lesbian...."

Here's to the bright future.

Katherine
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Melissa Etheridge - Piece Of My Heart

From: Gikah