Time to Reset Our Revolution

COMMENTARY: A bold agenda that would provide full equality for all LGBT people is currently gaining ground outside gay organizations and politicians -- Lane Hudson says it might be what our movement needs.

BY Lane Hudson

March 31 2009 11:00 PM ET

In Washington, D.C., we
now have more political support for equality than at any moment
in our nation's history. It should be a time when significant
progress appears not only inevitable but swift. After all,
equal protection under the law is a guiding principle of our
democracy.

While some have long
asserted that the question, "When will you make the law
treat me the same as everyone else?" should be the central
theme of our movement, that idea has gained us little ground.
Our movement has settled for a piecemeal approach that has
yielded barely a crumb of equality in the Congress.

It is likely that the
current political climate is the most pro-equality we
will encounter for years to come. Therefore, there is
movement among some activists and donors to push a
sweeping agenda that would provide full equality. It
would come in the form of an omnibus bill that addresses every
instance in federal law where the United
States excludes LGBT
citizens from the promise of equal protection
under the law guaranteed by the Constitution. It's bold. And
it's happening outside of our organizations and our
politicians.

It also might be
exactly what our movement needs.

For too long we have
allowed ourselves to be engaged in a debate with the antigay
right wing of American politics, which has precluded
rational discussions with mainstream Americans and rational
politicians. Instead of debating the core issue of equal
protection under the law, we have been put on the defensive to
explain whether our very being is a choice or a matter of
biology, and we've been forced to dispel
notions that gay soldiers prey on straight men as they
serve side by side in our nation's military. Such debates are
trivial compared to our ultimate goal, and continuing to engage
in them is ridiculous.

Tags: Politics

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