It's almost here, and if you're like
me, it's not a day too soon. Election Day that is.
For gay and lesbian Americans, a season
for change and hope has been tarnished with divisive anti-gay ballot
amendments and a lack of serious consideration for gay and lesbian
issues by the presidential campaigns.
The four major anti-gay ballot measures
throughout the United States share one thing in common: They seek to
diminish the lives of gay people. In Arizona, California and
Florida, constitutional bans on gay marriage would limit marriage to
one man and one woman. And
an Arkansas measure looks to override an Arkansas Supreme Court ruling
allowing gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt and foster children
in the state.
Early on in the campaign season,
political pundits held the notion that social-conservative wedge
issues like abortion and gay marriage would play only minor roles in
this year's elections. Tell that to California, where the hate
machine has broken all financial records to re-ban gay marriage in
the state – a bank-busting $70 million is being spent to decide gay
marriage in the state.
Supporters of gay marriage bans appear likely to win in Arizona , where a similar issue failed in 2006. But in Arkansas, California and Florida, the measures remain too-close-to-call.
Proponents of Proposition 8, as the gay
marriage ban is called in California, amped up their anti-gay rhetoric this week; Rev. Jim Garlow, who has taken a leadership
position in organizing the anti-gay marriage religious forces, said
it would result in the “destruction of Western civilization,”
Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based Family Research
Council, said America would “not survive” it, and Brad Dacus,
president of the Pacific Justice Institute, likened gay marriage to the
reign of Hitler. Afterwards, they decided to pray away gay marriage.
On Saturday, TheCall gathered thousands of evangelical Christians to San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium for a day-long event of praying and fasting in support of social
conservative issues including gay marriage bans and limits on
But while organizers describe the event
as non-political – “We're not there to make a political
statement,” said TheCall Founder Lou Engle – proponents of gay
marriage say it's clearly an anti-gay political rally.
“Clearly the focus is on taking away
this right [to gay marriage],” said Dale Kelly Bankhead, a No-On-8
spokeswoman. “It seems political to us.”
But worse, The Southern Poverty Law
Center (SPLC), a group that tracks hate groups in America, has linked
TheCall Founder Lou Engle to Joel's Army, a militant Christian
fundamentalist group that advocates for the replacement of the
American government with pro-Christian leaders that observe strict
The outrageous and clearly hate-fueled
rhetoric of the past week is likely to bolster gay marriage backers,
as it reveals what gay marriage ban supporters had attempted to hide:
Gay marriage bans have more to do with homophobia than protecting
It might just be the reason why so many
political leaders have urged voters to reject the gay marriage bans –
Illinois Senator Barack Obama, Delaware Senator Joe Biden, California Senator Diane Feinstein and Republican California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger included.
Finally, if you're ready to ditch all
this election mayhem like I am – but love being jolted – be sure
to check out the campy horror five gay couples face in The Gay Bed & Breakfast Of Terror, now playing in New York, Los
Angeles, San Francisco and Denver.
The Gay Slant pops in most Saturdays at
On Top Magazine. Walter Weeks is a writer for On Top and can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.