Monday, February 25, 2013

The Persuadable Middle - Seeking Proponency over Capitulation or Contrition

While marriage equality is a proxy, in some respects, for gay rights and gay equality, we still have much work to do. For example, even with the President's advocacy, another US legislative session is likely to conclude  without passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). And that's just at the federal level. How about all of the state laws that are needed to protect gay people from all kinds of discrimination?

To accomplish full LGBT equality (and let's not forget the "T" part), we need all of the allies that we can get.

While the population is moving in our direction due to age demographics, that's not nearly fast enough for an LGBT child growing up in some awful place like Jackson, Mississippi or Norman, Oklahoma. The more progress we make, the more tolerable their difficult lives might become.

There are other people like David Blankenhorn who can be persuaded to our point of view. First they become allies and some become advocates. When people like Blankenhorn become advocates, their voices are weighty and provocative in that they may cause others to evaluate their positions. If David is a template, his opinions and convictions evolved over time. We need to be patient. We need to encourage and accept.

The other thing that is important is not demanding that former adversaries apologize for their past transgressions. It makes no sense to make it more difficult for people to change their minds. If anything, they deserve our support. Keep in mind that they might be paying a steep price for "switching sides."

So yes, we are making remarkable progress. People like Chad Griffin and Evan Wolfson (to name just two) are not only working hard     they are working smart. People like me make noise. People like Chad and Evan are building coalitions.The least we could do is to try to make things easier for them.
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