By Caillean McMahon
Pennsylvania Gay and Lesbian Alliance
On this past Saturday, President Bush gave a radio address to the nation. In it he said that the committment of a husband and a wife promotes the welfare of children, that marriage could not be cut off from “cultural, religious and natural roots” without ending that “good influence upon society.” He called upon Congress to pass what can only truly be called the “Anti-Gay” amendment.
The message to the nation that he proclaimed, coyly concealed, was that we are in essence not fit parents, that our relationships are unnatural, that we are outside of religious beliefs and therefore evil. In saying that heterosexual marriage is the only relationship form that is a good influence upon society he leaves the simultaneous message that we are a danger to society.
Aside from the foolishness of his premises, given that there have been gays and lesbians raising children in America since it’s founding is the chilling import of his sugar coated phrases. He has defined us as outside of the mainstream and dangerous to his antiquated, bigoted and fictional view of America. He has claimed his vision as the only true American one. He has defined American culture as having clear boundaries and with it defined true American citizenship as being inside of those pristine and whitebread walls.
In that moment, he made us strangers in a strange land. He denied our hopes of equality. He made us foreigners in America. He made us targets for frustration and hatred. He said that it is important that all Americans be treated with respect and civility and that all voices ought to be heard, yet the logical outcome of the ideas in his speech is quite the opposite. Our voices will not be heard by him or his political soulmates. He is meeting with religious and community leaders this week deeply opposed to our equality, to our presence in American culture. He has no intention of hearing our voices; his heart is hardened toward us and his hubris in embracing the most radical of theologies in America stops just short of reaching the level of papal infallibility.
We must be seen and heard, and we must do so now. We must object to our demonization by a man who uses us to cover his reckless adventuring and bankrupting our treasure with the financial restraint of an intoxicated gambler and does so by waving the a Bible wrapped in the flag. We must walk proudly and show what we bring to America. We must reclaim the right to American citizenship that by his clever propaganda he has just denied us. We must shout out the demands of the Irish Revolutionary Michael Collins: We want our country back. We want a future that is a future for all Americans, not one shaped by those who, like our president, subvert constitutional democracy in the name of making a new Israel and Chosen People. Like the Founding Fathers, we have had enough of their past.