The Dangers of Conformity


Before the netIt’s nearly impossible for most people to remember the world before ‘the net’ and social media. It’s made things possible for the majority of the LGBT community to feel like they’re being activists by simply signing some online petition (and there are virtually thousands of them relating our community) and commenting, “That’s horrible” to news pieces others post on Facebook or other social media sites.

It’s because of these quick fix influences that so many of our community have, pardon my bluntness, turned into a generation of sheep.

Not just ordinary sheep, mind you. The sheepherder(s) is/are leading us into the social ills of conformity and we’re buying it when 15 years ago we never would have considered it.

More than half of the LGBT community thinks that total equality equals marriage equality and that couldn’t be further from the truth than the Andromeda galaxy is from the Milky Way via row boat.

When the gay civil rights movement ignited in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, the goal was always complete equality. Everyone from coast-to-coast was fighting for our equality and marriage rights were almost never discussed. They were of little consequence to most homosexual and transgender people and should be of little consequence now considering that if we achieve total equality that if you really want to get married that comes with the package.

I come from that ‘in between’ generation. You know; the generation that was just after the notable gay civil rights leaders like Dr. Frank Kameny and Harvey Milk but too old to think like a ‘sheeple’ like most younger andsheeple approaching mid-life people think now. I can hardly believe that we can just go along with the frame of mind that marriage for gay people is the end-all, be-all of equality. It signals a dangerous mind-set to our community that can ultimately be used by the opposition to destroy us once and for all.

By going state-to-state in trying to gain marriage equality by statute, has it occurred to anyone that in almost every instance the fundamentalist Christians, Mormons or homophobic persons immediately get signatures together to get a referendum put on the ballot to the next general election to repeal it. It succeeded in California even though after a very long and arduous fight, the upper courts have declared the rights of a minority superior to the attempted suppression of the rights by the majority. California still does not have their right to marry, however, and it appears certain that the case is heading to the United States Supreme Court where the chances are better than 70% that the Justices will rule in favor of supporting Proposition 8.

Meanwhile, in both the states of Washington and Maryland where marriage laws have recently passed, the opposition is certain to have enough signatures to put a referendum on the ballot for the November general election where, in all probability, marriage equality will be defeated.

Millions of dollars in legal wrangling will have been wasted and most certainly more will be wasted in overthrowing the referendums. A moral high will be followed by a crashing low that will last for years and the only winners are the lawyers and Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force who are raising money from us to pay for them.

What a wonderful scam and you follow them up the chute with your wallets and checkbooks extended and dream of homes with white picket fences and rooms filled with children. All the neighbors will accept you as equal simply because of that piece of paper that says you’re legally married. You’ll attend adopted children’s PTA meetings and all the other parents will accept both of you. Your children will be perfectly happy and the other children won’t mind that they have two moms or two dads, right?

Dream on, like the song from the 1970s says.

I Have a DreamEven after African-Americans gained full equality through the Civil Rights Act of 1964 they encountered and still encounter prejudice about living in certain neighborhoods and their children are bullied for being black. It’s been close to 50 years since that amendment to the Constitution was passed and they’re still fighting bigotry.

Did the African-American community ask for bits and pieces of equality or did they ask for complete equality back in the 1950s and 1960s? Was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking of just marriage rights when he stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and gave his, “I Have Dream” speech?

Is everyone taking some sort of pill that dumbs them down to the point where common sense to understand that marriage is just a red herring and we should be concentrating on the big picture. We should be worrying about much larger issues than middle-class life in the burbs, don’t you think?

The Evil Monkey who doesn't believe marriage rights are first on the People ask me whether I support marriage equality and I have to answer that at this time I don’t. For one thing; a piece of paper is worthless in telling me whether or not I love my spouse. That’s an instrument of the government and not written of my heart. Is it truly worth so much to everyone that they would waste so much time, energy and heartache on such impermanent solutions that are just about guaranteed to be repealed almost as soon as you get the right?

We should be focusing on total equality which doesn’t mean just marriage equality but the federal guarantee of equality for everything; jobs, housing, healthcare, senior citizen homes, Internal Revenue Service, health insurance, dignity and finally marriage equality.

The present plan to attack marriage equality state-by-state might feel good when you live in that state but cross the state line and suddenly you aren’t married any longer.

I recently had the honor of talking with Dr. Lilli Vincenz who was the Secretary and Editor of the newsletter of the Washington D.C. Mattachine Society back in the 1960s with Dr. Frank Kameny and Jack Nichols. She finally was able to marry her longtime partner in Washington D.C. when they passed marriage equality but she lives in Virginia where gay marriage isn’t legal. The minute they crossed the line into Virginia they weren’t married any longer. Is that a fair and equitable arrangement? Does that make some of you happy?


Stephanie Donald, Editor-LGBT-TodayI realize that finding even a moment of happiness is a hard thing to find these days but doesn’t it seem more satisfying to work for a life full of happiness rather than the satisfaction of one brief moment?

Have we become just like the rest of the heterosexual community and driven by the thrill of instant gratification?

I believe we’re better than that and our potential is limitless if we simply want total equality badly enough.

By Stephanie Donald
© LGBT-Today

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