Apples & Oranges, Barney

Barney FrankImage via WikipediaHere's what Barney Frank had to say to the Advocate about all those troublemakers who are so vocal in the gay community:

"I would prefer people channeled that energy -- whether it’s for marriage equality or employment nondiscrimination -- into mobilizing and trying to persuade those who disagree with them. Notice that the NRA never marches. This is my continual debate with people in the gay community, many of whom want to hold rallies instead of doing political lobbying."

No, Barney the NRA doesn't march. It doesn't need to. It has money and it has most of you guys by the 'nads in Congress. It also has a fairly clear part of the Bill of Rights going for it. Read with a completely straight face they don't need to protest too much because of it. The only time they have to do something is when a gun control bill hits the floor and then, guess what? Yes, Barney, you know. They simply send out a letter to their millions of supporters who then threaten each and every one of you with blocking your re-election. And then what? Yes, Barney, you all cave in because, hey, Congress isn't just an adventure it's a job.

See, Barney, we don't have that same power. We don't have their finances and we don't have their single issue purpose. LGBT people stretch across all political ideals, religions, and nationalities. We all have various opinions on things - even on the best way to achieve marriage. Sure, if we had a clause in the Constitution guaranteeing us marriage and all we had to do was marshal our lobbyists if some errant Congressman introduced legislation we could get it done with some letters and well placed contributions.

Apples to Oranges, there, Barney.

As part of the Barney Frank Plan one of the silliest ideas I have heard yet has been put forward. Why not write to the pastors of all those evangelical churches and just tell them that it really hurt our feelings and, well, we know they just didn't quite understand but now they can read our letters and see just how wrong things are. That way they can get their members to vote to repeal Prop 8 in California.

Hello! Do you really think that has a snowball's chance in Hell of working? If you do, I'd like to sell you this nice beachfront property just outside Tucson.

No, if you want to do something then get these idiotic "propositions" stopped when it comes to matters of civil rights. There should be a law on the books in every state saying that the civil rights of citizens can never be decided by a popular vote. Madison warned us about that 200 years ago in the Federalist Papers and we've turned a deaf ear to the man who drafted our Constitution when it comes to the state level.

Stop with the invitations to tea for the churches and start with getting some laws passed to protect all people from mob rule.

Christ people, am I the only queer in America whose memory of history includes more than who bought the last round?

Finally, I could not sum up my whole take on this ongoing argument better than the good folks at

More than a few well-meaning gays and lesbians seem to think that if only homophobes could see what nice people we are, they would step aside and allow us our rights. Join the Impact's series of increasingly silent and passive protests are a step in the right direction (there's only so many times you can march back and forth and still be effective), but the attitude that by being the best little boy or girl in the world will confer upon you a gold seal of approval is so last century. Stop asking for equal rights and start demanding them. This doesn't mean simply yelling louder than the opposition, but it does mean making the case for equality forcefully, and remembering that there's nothing wrong with you—it's the homophobes who need to change.

Finally, let's resolve to be diverse. The argument over whether we should be "mainstream" or "radical" is tedious. We can be both. We can be Democrat and Republican. We can forcefully advocate change through civil disobedience while also working within the system for change. Of all the groups of people in the world, it seems that ours has the greatest capacity for being able to hold two ideas in our head at the same time. We're a better, stronger and more interesting community when we are both the loud-mouthed flamboyant hairdresser and the buttoned-down country club preppy. We wouldn't be fabulous if we all did it in the exact same way. It's a big community and no one single person or group gets to own it. That's why we all own it.
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