Same-gender marriage is not a “gay issue.” “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is not a “gay issue.” Parity in child custody decisions is not a “gay issue.”
These aren’t “gay issues” because compromising the civil equality of any group in America compromises everyone’s civil rights. A government that can discriminate against a parent just because he’s gay can (and of course does) discriminate against a parent just because she’s a stripper or she’s into bondage. A government that criminalizes the consensual sex acts of gays can (and of course does) criminalize other private consenting sex acts, such as the use of vibrators and teens’ right to have sex with other teens.
The more that legal questions about gay rights are in the news, the more we’re told to fear the monstrous Gay Agenda. So it’s time for those pushing the Gay Agenda to stand up and make it clear who most of its supporters are: non-gays. Heterosexuals.
Yes, the vast majority of Americans who support the full civil equality of gay people are straight. True enough, much of the passion, the money, the time, and the creative political will is coming from gay men and women. But tens of millions of straight Americans are spending their money and their time supporting the legislative, corporate, and cultural changes so neatly summarized by terrified, angry people as the Gay Agenda.
Because gays are a numerical minority in the U.S., more straight people celebrated the end of laws criminalizing gay sex than gays did. More straight than gay people celebrated the California court decision legalizing same-gender marriage. More straight than gay people are working hard to change county bureaucracies across America that currently discriminate against gay parents.
When you hear Focus on The Family or Concerned Women for America or Morality in Media decrying “those” people pushing “their” Gay Agenda, stand up and make it clear: the problem isn’t “those” people and “their” goals—it’s “me” and “my” goals. It’s “us” and “our” goals.
You don’t have to be Black to promote racial equality. You don’t need to be a woman to demand total access to Emergency Contraception. And you don’t need to be gay to support gay rights.
You just need to appreciate the urgency of guaranteeing that all Americans enjoy the same civil rights. And you need to appreciate that your rights are best protected in a country that protects everyone’s rights.
So the next time Jerry Falwell—or your neighbor—goes off about the Gay Agenda, smile and say “Yes, our Gay Agenda. Isn’t it wonderful!”