Sunday, April 24, 2005

Seen from an ocean away, things look awfully grim for gays and lesbians in the U.S. these days. From Alabama trying to ban books mentioning homosexuality from all public libraries, to Justice Sunday [sic] with its goal of ridding the country of "activist judges" (As Bill Maher said to Jay Leno: "'Activist judges' is a code word for gay."), to the Pentagon reiterating its stance that it will prosecute soldiers engaging in sodomy (despite the Supreme Court having struck down sodomy laws), to the barrage of mean-spirited referenda "protecting" heteosexual marriage passed on top of "Defense of Marriage" laws already existing in many of these states (most links courtesy the excellent Queerday).

It's difficult to interpret this tidal wave of activity seeking to denigrate gays and lesbians as anything but loathing. As Patricia Todd told an Alabama House committee on Wednesday during a public hearing on the above-mentioned bill: "I feel you all hate us."

I've never before believed that homosexuals have had to face anything near the fear, hatred and discrimination that African-Americans have had to face, but I'm beginning to have second thoughts.

Why aren't there any non-gay groups that deplore discrimination - churches above all - rising up against those who are sowing such divisive hatred and spite?

Now is the time for massive demonstrations of civil disobedience.

Yeah, I know, there are already plenty of people doing this; and yeah, it's easy for me to say this living here in Europe, where gay rights trends are moving in the opposite direction; but it seems that things are deteriorating so rapidly, and I feel so utterly helpless in the face of such power aimed at crushing a group of people.

(I was going to write about going to the Spring concert at Danderyd Gymnasium to hear the son of C., the fashion photographer, singing Irish songs in a choir, but I've gotten myself so worked up about this other issue.)

The Swedish word for the day is förtvivlan. It means desperation.

- by Francis S.

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