Civil rights not up to public vote

  • by Christian Matthews
  • Sunday September 11, 2005
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Exactly when did a minority's civil rights ever become up to majority vote? Imagine living in Alabama in 1964 and having the opportunity to vote on whether or not African Americans should have equal rights. Imagine giving Southern Californians a vote on whether or not to create a massive wall along the Mexico border. Do you think Germany's population-at-large would have voted for the ouster of all Jews in 1936? 1946? 1996? When did such a vote become okay?
Given the opportunity, of course any majority is going to want to give themselves special rights - and this is what the marriage equality battle is really all about (besides general hatred and fear of gays and lesbians, I mean). For years we had to listen to hetero Bible-thumping sickos chant "No special rights!" in their drive to disenfranchise us in past initiative elections, as if this principle - no special rights - was their guiding force and overarching passion. What liars. Because now they want to codify absolutely special rights for themselves only into the very constitutional fabric of our society. I guess the proverbial shoe is on the other foot, hmm? Why do conservatives abandon every principle they claim to deeply hold the moment that principle is tested? They are Constitution-haters and the enemies of freedom itself, at every turn.
Listen, people, we are going to lose this fight unless we begin to adopt the vicious war tactics that conservatives use every day in their political strategies. We must become heartless pit bulls and show America that gays bash back. Pleading nicely - as we did in the (losing) drive to defeat Proposition 22 - will not change the public mindset. Put on your steel thinking caps, read up, find your rage, give money to Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund or the Marriage Equality group, join the Pink Pistols - whatever. Just don't sit there.