By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
There is similar bad news in that November 11 Pew Poll, which — when it asked voters what had motivated them — found that "a plurality of 27 percent selected moral values, followed by 22 percent who chose Iraq and 21 percent who selected the economy and jobs. Terrorism was chosen by 14 percent; education and health care were chosen by 4 percent each and taxes by 3 percent." That "moral values" number is a full five points higher than in the much-disputed National Election Pool exit polls taken for the TV networks on November 2.
More so than any other Americans, gay people have reason to fear both the election results and this description of our current political topography. The Republicans scapegoated gays to win the election. Now, the dominant Democratic Leadership Council’s Democratic right wing — and the Gitlinesque and Tomaskyish pseudo-liberal commentators, with their endless crusades against identity politics — are blaming the election loss on gays for, as California’s indigestible Senator Dianne Feinstein put it, wanting "too much, too fast, too soon." These scapegoatings come just as a new FBI report, released November 22, shows that violent anti-gay crimes have now become the second-highest category of hate crimes, right after race — and the FBI doesn’t even track crimes against the transgendered, 21 of whom have been murdered in the past year.
Of course, the Democrats harvested gay dollars this year in the multimillions — and gave nothing in return. In not a single referendum state did the party or its leaders lift a finger to help defeat the vicious, hate-building referenda, nor try to educate its own base about these blatant electoral manipulations of bigotry and fear. Is it any wonder we got creamed — or that a part of the Democrats’ working-class base was lured into voting for the gay-baiting Republican president when more gut-grabbing, bread-and-butter issues were off the table?
And now, as the Democratic establishment tries to shove gays asking for fairness not just to the back of the bus but to the back of the closet, we face a theocratic rollback agenda of frightening dimensions. The GOP hasn’t even waited until the New Year to begin tearing down what remains of the wall separating church and state — that essential dike against new tsunamis of primitive religious bigotry. On November 17, the lame-duck Republican House passed the California Missions Preservation Act, which provides $10 million to "restore and repair" 21 mission churches, 19 of which have active congregations, and all of which are owned by the Roman Catholic Church — the same church whose bishops this year preached electoral homo-hate from the pulpit. And there’s a lot more to come.
We in the gay community will have few national allies as the Democrats squirm even further into the "family values" cocoon, leaving us isolated and blamed for the ’04 defeat. The U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to review the Massachusetts court’s decision on gay marriage means very little: Not only will the composition of the Supremes change during Bush’s second term — making the court even more conservative and anti-gay — but in at least half a dozen states the right is already planning new anti-gay referenda to ban marriage equality, domestic partnerships and the like in the wake of the November 2 success of 11 similar referenda. And for every step forward we win in the courts, under the Republicans’ renewed legislative assault we will be forced two steps back.
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