Gil Bailie: Same-Sex Marriage is NOT a Civil Rights Issue.

Bernice King, My Father Did not...

[Note: The following article was posted on The Cornerstone Forum site on 3/13/13 and then removed two days later following responses from Tim Brock and Jim Swenson, below.]

Gil Bailie of The Cornerstone Forum writes:

The attempt on the part of those insisting on the redefinition of marriage to wrap their cause in the mantle of civil rights—claiming to represent “the civil rights issue of our time”—is ludicrous on many levels. (Today the civil rights of those wanting to express their sexuality in novel ways is [sic] perfectly protected already.) The real analogy is with the Supreme Court’s invention of the “right” to abortion—which really IS the civil rights issue of our time. Regardless of how many get swept up into the hazy logic of the sexual revolutionaries, over time people will begin to clear their heads—as has happened with the abortion question. Thirty years ago, and even ten years ago, pro-abortion advocates really believed that they were achieving what the Supreme Court claimed to be doing in Roe v. Wade: that is, settling the issue and ending the controversy. Regardless of how much damage is done in the meantime, the reality of marriage—just as the reality of racial justice and the reality of human life in the womb—will prevail. To steal from Francis Scott Key’s “Star Spangled Banner,” someday the morning will break, the smoke and haze of obfuscation will clear, and we or those who come after us will see that Western civilization is still there. Or we won’t, and it won’t be. For that is what is at stake in all three of these debates: racial justice, the life of the unborn child, and the cultural uniqueness and indispensability [of] marriage as it has been understood until the day before yesterday. (Again: go read Snyder’s book “Bloodlands,” and see what happens when the fundamental structures of cultural life are compromised or—in our case—cavalierly dismantled. “Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…”)

Same-sex marriage is NOT a civil rights issue.

Tim Brock responds:

Gil, what you say about the civil rights of LGBTs being already protected is far from the truth. Forty-one states still do not allow gays to marry the person of their choice. In the nine states that do allow same-sex marriage, the couples are denied 1134 federal benefits that opposite-sex couples enjoy. Twenty-nine states allow discrimination based on sexual orientation. This means bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, housing, conjugal visits, immigration, and access to medical services. Adoption by same-sex couples is banned in many states. This information is available all over the Internet.

I agree that the reality of marriage will prevail, and I think we’ve heard more than enough doom-saying. In those jurisdictions where same-sex marriage has been legalized, straight marriages have not been adversely affected. Western civilization is still there, and anarchy is not loosed upon the world.

I believe marriage is good for people, and I want my gay son to marry the person he loves. I want him to have loving companionship and the stability that marriage provides. And I want him to be able to talk about his “marriage,” not his “relationship.”

Jim Swenson responds:

Bernice King made the quoted statement in 2004. Since that time, she has joined her mother and her sister in supporting LGBT rights. She gave a very gay-inclusive speech not long ago.

[end of thread]

Dean Hansen writes:

Martin Luther King took his first bullet from rival black leader and congressman Adam Clayton Powell, who threatened to expose Bayard Rustin as a homosexual in a blackmail threat to derail the civil rights movement. Powell was prepared to lie and say that Rustin and King were having a sexual affair.   Rustin was King’s right-hand man, and the one who would later be responsible for organizing the March on Washington in 1963. Without him, it most likely wouldn’t have happened, and much of the civil rights legislation that followed would have been delayed. Before Stonewall, one “exposed” homosexuality; one didn’t deal with it or acknowledge it, and one certainly didn’t accept it publicly. King was worried that the movement would be derailed by such a controversy, and when Rustin volunteered to resign from the organization early on, King let him go temporarily. Rustin was devastated by King’s decision, because he fully expected him to call Powell’s bluff.

Post hoc generalizations and assessments about King’s stand on political and moral issues that were not yet even active in the public imagination are unfair to his memory and accomplishments, especially when they come from his own offspring, who are equally divided on the issue. King never said anything about homosexuality pro or con, public or private. It might be fitting to remind ourselves that he bears that in common with the founder of his faith.
The March on Washington demanded that the government put an end to officially sanctioned forms of racism. It doesn’t seem that difficult to imagine that Martin Luther King, whose movement for civil justice based on non-violence was largely implemented and sustained by the organizational skills of a homosexual black man, would be any less passionate about ending officially sanctioned forms of sexual bigotry that seek to keep one group of citizens at arm’s length over issues of marital equality.

Asking 3% of the population to live in perpetual sexual limbo in order to be pleasing to an imaginary conception of God is not that much different from asking Blacks in Mississippi to drink from a separate water fountain, when they are both drinking the exact same water. If “living water” is more divisive than its liquid version, who would want it, much less endure it?

 

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