The Gay Agenda after Marriage

Some of my friends have been discussing what should be the "gay agenda"-or even if there needs to be such a thing-after we obtain marriage and military access. Well, yes, there are a number of concerns that will still need to be addressed, but I think the whole discussion is a little premature.

Nationwide marriage will be a long time coming. It is still not permitted in 45 states, and expressly forbidden in a majority. So obtaining marriage will be a long, hard slog through the courts and legislatures, and probably several public referendums. States with sizable evangelical populations, especially in the South, will be resistant. And the U. S. Supreme Court is not likely to rule on the issue until a substantial majority of states have already approved gay marriage-just as it ruled against sodomy laws only after most states had already struck down their own sodomy laws.

And while I hope I am wrong, I fear that any change from Don't Ask, Don't Tell will not be a clean rejection of the anti-gay policy but some sort of compromise measure that doesn't allow complete freedom for gays. Even if there is a clean rejection of the policy, there are plenty of pockets of anti-gay sentiment in the military that will need to be addressed. The evangelical dominance at the U.S. Air Force Academy is only one example.

But putting those issues aside, are there other issues of concern to gays that our community should address? One obvious one is second-parent adoption for gay couples. It is absurd and simply discriminatory to say that one parent can adopt a child but not the other if the adopting couple are gay or lesbian. The main person who would benefit from such a policy change would be the child who would be guaranteed a loving parent with legal rights to the child if the adopting parent dies.

Another issue is the decent treatment of aging gays in nursing homes and elder care facilities. All of us, if we are lucky, will live into ripe old age and want to be treated with dignity and respect. But not everyone will share my own positive experience in a nursing home. The elderly are the least gay-accepting demographic in the country, and while that may slowly change, it is not changing very fast. Aging gays will need patient advocates to make sure they are getting treated as they deserve, and visitors to keep up their sprits and do occasional small favors. In addition, many aging gays have a need to feel useful and relevant in some way, not just feel that they are being put out to pasture. We as a community need to find ways to make use of that desire.

A third candidate issue is the treatment of gay and lesbian youth in and around schools. We all know plenty of stories of young gays and lesbians who are bullied and harassed in schools but whose schools do little or nothing to correct the situation. The youths need mentors, and people willing to take their concerns to school administrators and counselors. We also need to press for the inclusion of gay materials in school curriculums-history, literature, social studies, etc., to help inhibit the development of anti-gay attitudes.

Even assuming that every gay person who is in prison or jail is there for a good reason, no prison sentence should carry the additional penalty of sexual assault. Several studies have attested to the presence of sexual assault of gays and other vulnerable prisoners-assault by other prisoners and sometimes even by guards and prison staff. This is a situation that needs to be monitored and addressed.

And finally, we need to find ways to address the homophobia in evangelical and Pentecostal churches in the black and Latino communities. This is not something white gays can do. It is something that African American and Latino gays themselves can do most effectively. But we can help (when asked) with financial contributions, advice, etc.

7 Comments for “The Gay Agenda after Marriage”

  1. posted by Anthony Venn-Brown on

    hey Paul….it might be good for people from evangelical and pentecostal churches to know we have growing network called Freedom 2 b[e].

    people can read some stories and connect with us on our forum

  2. posted by S Vlaykov on

    Hi Paul,

    i was thinking if another to get a wider acceptance of same-sex marriage and the other goals you mention, is to have some clear data on the benefits which the society as a whole reaps from gay and lesbian parents, military personnel or church goers.

    I have been struggling to find any decent studies regarding how for example gay and lesbian parents compare to their “mainstream” peers in terms of raising and educating their children (school marks, attendance rates, etc). Or how do gay and lesbian people compare to the mainstream in terms of charity work and donations to various causes? Maybe it is still early for such research to be comprehensive but it seems to me that it is badly necessary.

  3. posted by Throbert McGee on

    Might I suggest, as an additional item on the agenda:

    Making some kind of SERIOUS effort to combat the steadily increasing “vanilla-ness” of goddamn bareback buttfucking?!

    Because while high-school bullying is a bad thing, taking some dude’s HAWT creamy load in your rectum (as long as you trust him) can mess up a young gay man’s life a lot worse than being shoved into a locker by an asshole jock.

    I’m not saying that bareback pr0n should be made illegal, of course, because that would be censorship, and the Web interprets censorship as a form of damage and routes around it, yada-yada.

    I’m just saying: Maybe ostracize these bottomfeeders just a bit? And maybe occasionally taking time away from boycotts of small-business owners who donated money in support Prop H8, in order to boycott and/or burn to the muthafuckin’ ground Treasure Island Media?

    (Props to the dude who runs International Mr. Leather for banning any bareback-related merchandise from this year’s IML event. But more, obviously, could be done.)

  4. posted by mattymatt on

    Um. I think what Throbert means is educating people about unsafe sexual practices that put the gay community at risk; and also speaking out against the unrealistic portrayal of dangerous habits as safe. So, yes, I do think that’s a worthy goal.

  5. posted by Throbert McGee on

    Thank you, mattymatt, for translating my rage-speak into English. I’m more ticked off about this than usual because during a recent Yahoo IM exchange with an old friend (and occasional J/O buddy), he giddily revealed that he’d been bareback-bottoming with a “buddy” of his (“but we’ve both tested HIV- and I trust him”), and exulted about how much better it feels than when the top uses a condom. My reaction was: “Dude… I don’t know what to say. I’m kind of disappointed because I thought you were smarter than that.” At which point he immediately logged off from our Yahoo chat and I haven’t heard from him since.

    The thing is, I know this guy well enough to suspect that he “trusts” the other dude based on “he’s a str8-acting Top.” And I’ve read approximately a kazillion “How I became HIV+” accounts from guys who basically say, “It’s not my fault — I’m only guilty of trusting a liar!” And having bareback-bottomed myself exactly once, with a guy whom I knew beyond a doubt to be extremely hetero-married and non-reckless in his homo dalliances, I knew quite well that my friend’s perception that “getting fucked bareback feels so much better” was entirely psychological — a figment of the imagination created by reading too much text porn in which spurt after spurt of scalding hot cum explodes into a man-pussy, etc.

    So it just outrages me that my friend is most likely gonna sero-convert within the next couple years, because he’s been fed a steady diet of porno lies compounded by the airheaded non-judgmentalism of Safer Sex Educators. (I wish I had a dollar for every “safer sex” article that starts out with nonsense like: We all know that barebacking feels SOOOO much more intimate, but c’mon, guys — the brutal reality is that staying safe means negotiating condom use every time!)

    And this bullshit has to stop, because every year in America alone, another 20,000-30,000 “MSM” guys turn up HIV+, and 95% (if not more) of these infections happen because HIV- men made the idiotic decision to let another man ejaculate into their rectums on the assumption that he was also HIV-.

  6. posted by Bobby on

    “I’m just saying: Maybe ostracize these bottomfeeders just a bit?”

    —Our community ostracizes the old, the ugly, the fat and the politically incorrect among us, they will not ostracize barebackers nor they should. Barebacking is seen as a lifestyle-choice, like leather or s/m.

    Why blame our community for something they do all the time? How many women allow themselves to be penetrated without a condom? How many men beg and plead their women to receive them au naturel?

    “the brutal reality is that staying safe means negotiating condom use every time”

    —Yes and no. A condom everytime is the ideal, but if a non-slut meets another non-slut who has used condoms in the past, what are the chances of either one of them having HIV?

    Look, everything in life involves risks. I’m not advocating stupid risks like getting high in a bathhouse and having unsafe sex with everyone there, but going raw with a boyfriend or someone who has protected himself with everyone else isn’t the end of the world.

    Personally, I think it’s time we stop talking about HIV as a gay disease. HIV is not a gay problem, it’s a world problem, it’s an individual problem. We need the scientific community to focus on eradicating it just like they did with polio. That’s the problem wiht medicine today, all they talk about is “prevention.” How ’bout working on “curing” as well?

  7. posted by John on

    And finally, we need to find ways to address the homophobia in evangelical and Pentecostal churches in the black and Latino communities. This is not something white gays can do. It is something that African American and Latino gays themselves can do most effectively. But we can help (when asked) with financial contributions, advice, etc.

    Be very, VERY careful with this one. These folks have the same freedom of religion as the rest of us do and any effort which undermines or ignores that will cause some unusual allies. I’d glady join hands with the repulsive Fred Phelps if need be to protect freedom of religion from the “well meaning” because MY rights are at stake in such a scenario as well.

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