Tuesday, April 30, 2013

E. J. Graff on Gay Rights and the Courage of Conviction

For The American Prospect, E. J. Graff explains how the determination of grassroots activists has now made the extension of a full range of human rights to LGBT people "eye-rollingly obvious," after powerful media pundits prounounced that it couldn't be done:

Please forgive me, then, if I take this minute to say: nyaah, nyaah, nyaah. In 2004, when Massachusetts became the first state to open marriage to same-sex pairs, a court decision that took effect on the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education, mainstream pundits predicted dire political consequences. Many of the same pundits now trumpet marriage equality as eye-rollingly obvious, just, and inevitable. My side was right: The reaction was just people being startled by a new idea. There was a strong, immediate cultural reaction against same-sex marriage at first, but then people got increasingly used to the idea. By now, the states closest to us have all been able to look over their fences and see that nothing whatsoever has changed. And so will the rest of you.

And that says something about the people who parse reality for us in the media commentariat (and in many of our faith communities). Just as it also says something about the courage and moral prescience of small groups of people who understand that human rights belong to all human beings, and who are determined not to back down on their insistence that this is the case.

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