Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-09-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

VIEWS: Prop 8, The battle in California
by Judy Wieder
2009-03-11

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


My favorite sight during the protests of California's passage of Proposition 8 ( eliminating the right of same-sex couples to marry ) was a youthful looking guy wearing his nastiest face and carrying a sign that said, "No More Mr. Nice Gay!"

Suddenly California's streets were full of "kids" who felt entitled, a whole new population of beautiful faces who just assumed the right to marry was or would be theirs. After all, protesting and rallies, marches and demonstrations were "old." All that was for another generation. It wasn't sexy and it didn't sell. In fact, several advertising surveys I was presented with at the national news magazine I used to head, purported data that suggested younger readers/browsers ( the "target audience" for advertisers ) did not identify with "the struggle." It wasn't fun. Or at least advertisers trying to sell them fun things like drinks and cars and gadgets, didn't think struggling was a good match. Since advertising became the only road to staying in business at all ( with newsstand, subscriptions, and the old model of charging a fee for Web site content, all failing ) , advertisers became not-so-invisible editorial advisers. I mean, God forbid, you should lose or offend one over something you wrote.

In general, advertisers prefer the blander lifestyle Web sites and print magazines. In gay media, they'd prefer not to be there at all. Anything about sexuality is controversial, and anything about our sexuality is, well,...run! Granted, it's much easier if the media niche involves fashion, food, nesting, tips, and travel. But, please, don't have issues. Don't scare the horses. How can they put a liquor ad on a page next to a news item about a gay bashing? Who can party with that going on?

And yet, there he was: the younger generation, Mr. No More Nice Gay pissed off because he suddenly gets it. He may be young, but he is struggling. And worse than that, his struggle is old: He's still not equal.

Most agree that the initial reaction to the passage of Prop 8 in California was very hopeful. If only we'd made ourselves visible like that before Nov. 4! For weeks the feeling was, this is the biggest community response since ACT UP. But when the announcement came ten days later that the California Supreme Court would review the validity of Prop 8 ( beginning March 5 ) , things quieted back down and all protests stopped. Even President Obama's so-called "misstep" with Rev. Rick Warren didn't cancel any trips to D.C. for the inauguration. You see, protesting is still bad sportsmanship. It's rude. It's withholding. It's bad behavior during festivities. And who wants to be seen raining on a parade?

Well, you might not want to be seen raining on it, but it is your parade too. And even though I could be having fun, ( and I'd love to—with a gadget and a drink and a car ) , or I could be spending my time ringing my hands over more important things like the world's financial crisis, I'm still hopelessly stuck on the fact that a few percentage points worth of California voters—and way more in Florida and Arkansas—took time out of their busy day to make sure I don't have all my civil rights. And if it's that important to them, I feel it should be equally important to me.

So I sure hope they all were watching the Academy Awards Feb. 23 when Milk screenwriter Lance Black won not only Best Screenplay but more importantly, the chance to deliver the most graceful and heartfelt message possible to 36.3 million viewers around the world. The openly gay Black thanked Harvey Milk for saving his life by giving him hope that someday he might grow up, fall in love, and get married. Honestly, we could never have come up with enough money to have purchased ad time during such a humongous event, let alone paid a more spectacular and talented new superstar to deliver it with such authenticity.

And, trust me, Lance appeared at a bulls'-eye moment:

The California Supreme Court heard a lawyer named Kenneth Starr tell them to annul 18,000 gay and lesbian marriages. Yes, that Kenneth Starr, the one who's already demonstrated that he can whip up quite the obsession for other people's sex lives ( Monica Lewinsky, anyone? ) . And please, what's wrong with us? Why didn't we predict Starr's inevitable comeback as lead counsel on behalf of Prop 8's official proponents—really was he not destined to cast himself as some sort of Straight-Marriage Nazi?

I wonder, is there a polite way to get all our rights? To be well behaved, must we wait for everything else to be taken care of first, like the economic crisis, the war ( s ) , and for all homophobic people to be educated? I think you know the answer to this. Whatever the California Supreme court decides this time, all hell is gonna break loose. If the court overturns Prop 8, supporters will claim they weren't heard, forgetting that a majority cannot dictate the civil rights of a minority. African Americans would still be sitting in the back of buses and drinking from separate drinking fountains. Sadly, history demonstrates that the courts lead the way while the hearts of some Americans must drag behind.

But if the Supreme Court lets Prop 8 stand, we need to stomp up to the proverbial plate. Personally I think rallies and marches have a purpose because they show our numbers to the media. But they're not enough. And, yes, it's true, times have changed. Lying down in the streets and being hauled off in paddy wagons is yesterday. It's a new world. Today it's all about finances. I say use what is on everyone's minds. Besides, it's perfect for what is being taken from us.

The battle cry is very old ( 1763 ) : "No taxation without representation." It's also very American. The phrase was first used to voice the grievances of the British colonies ( that would be us ) . Just like back then, it means we are not being represented fairly, that we too do not have all the rights other citizens have, so therefore taxing us equally is unconstitutional. If we don't have the "right to get married," or the "the right to be in the military," or "the right to keep our jobs" or "the right to keep our children," etc., then we shouldn't give them all our taxes. Any questions?

Now when Joan Baez withheld her taxes to protest the Vietnam War in the '60s, she made headlines and she made her point. But ultimately she had to pay her taxes because she had no legal grounds for withholding the money. Unlike us, she had all her rights. She just didn't like how the government was spending her money: on the war.

Initially, when Prop 8 passed, Melissa Etheridge announced she would do exactly what I'm proposing. Then she changed her mind. It won't work if only a few people do it. It should be obvious that the government will just make them pay. But a huge, well-organized group of people doing it? That's different. That's a movement saying something loud and clear.

Oh, but one thing: it's still rude. And a lot of folks think in light of this wonderful new president, we shouldn't be rude. He's got enough to think about. I'm not one of them, as you've figured out by now. I think we can do two things at once. We can support the president and our country. But we can also support ourselves.

Sometimes we just have to be Ms. or Mr. No Longer Nice Gay. But who knows, maybe if we're seen and heard today, the Supreme Court will consider how much we care about what they're going to do. They did the right thing once. Maybe what we do in the next days can keep us from a ruder destiny. So think about it. If you got married, send them a jpeg of your marriage license or your wedding pictures. Make yourselves real.

But do something! Kenneth Starr is very, very real and quite busy.

Judy Wieder, former editor-in-chief of The Advocate, is currently preparing a book for future publication with a remarkable celebrity and working on a new Web site.

This article previously ran on HuffingtonPost.com .


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

LETTER Bi the way 2017-09-20
GUEST COLUMN Missing Millett: Her role in a coming-out 2017-09-13
VIEWS Hurricane Harvey's gay problem? 2017-09-13
GUEST COLUMN What can happen when a state goes to pot? 2017-09-06
VIEWPOINTS Illinois takes a big step forward with new vital records law 2017-09-06
LETTERS Trump attacks marginalized communities 2017-09-06
VIEWPOINT Was the Resist March the 'All Lives Matter' movement of 2017? 2017-09-05
GUEST COLUMN Expanding our definition of Pride? 2017-08-30
MOMBIAN Back-to-school time in the Trump era 2017-08-30
LETTERS Banning the ban 2017-08-30
GUEST COLUMN Standing Up 2017-08-23
MOMBIAN In the wake of Charlottesville 2017-08-23
TEEN SPEAK Sad truth about suicide rates 2017-08-16
VIEWPOINTS Who was intended to see 'Detroit?' 2017-08-15
Driver who plowed into Charlottesville crowd reported to have held Nazi views 2017-08-13
GUEST COLUMN A tribute to Mariann Mayberry 2017-08-09
LETTERS Loving church; gun violence and legal assistance 2017-08-09
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Slutwalk and symbols 2017-08-07
GUEST COLUMN Taboo Sex, Racism, and Gay Men: A Chat in Black and White 2017-08-02
VIEWPOINT Black and Pink in Chicago on Aug. 4 2017-08-02
LETTERS Tweet has a silver lining 2017-08-02
VIEWPOINTS DignityUSA moving toward radical inclusion 2017-07-26
OP-ED Families Are Everywhere 2017-07-25
GUEST COLUMN Supporting Black & Pink 2017-07-19
MOMBIAN Harry Potter and the LGBTQ family 2017-07-19
VIEWPOINTS I am a bad homosexual 2017-07-18
GUEST COLUMN School: Still not so safe 2017-07-12
VIEWPOINTS Will the Court let business refuse the LGBTQ community? 2017-07-12
Paragraph 175 revisited: Genocide in Chechnya 2017-07-11
VIEWPOINTS If you're not Black, use the N-word at your own risk 2017-07-04
VIEWPOINTS The enduring use of the N-word 2017-06-28
GUEST COLUMN From the Inside Out 2017-06-21
VIEWS LGBTQ pride events display disparities 2017-06-21
VIEWPOINT, THE AMAZON TRAIL A 10th anniversary at sea 2017-06-21
VIEWS A sadder Pride because of Washington inaction 2017-06-21
Caitlyn Jenner's growing pains 2017-06-14
HRC reviews workplace index at presentation 2017-06-11
RELATIONSHIPS & THE LAW TODAY Know your workplace rights after Hively v. Ivy Tech 2017-06-07
MOMBIAN LGBTQ parents: Resistance, persistence, pride 2017-06-07
VIEWPOINTS Cambridge mayor's call to action 2017-05-24
 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.