I don't think that AltTRP readers (all five of you) care overly much about the politics surrounding LGBT in the mainstream. It's a fair enough position to take. Most of whats going on right now it hot air that only serves to stir the shit pot. Nothing of actual consequence is taking place. This is particularly true as any RP man worth his salt couldn't give a good god damn about marriage.
That being said, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about the current state of LGBT politic and tie it in to a bigger theme that I think is relevant to us on the individual level.
Quick overview: Mississippi just passed a law that protects business owners' right to reject clients based on "strongly held religious beliefs". This is in response to a few cases of wedding related businesses not wanting to sell cakes or officiate weddings for same sex couples. Now that the Fed has handed the order down from on high that same sex marriages are A-OKay, the people who don't want anything to do with them are poking around for other ways to have nothing to do with them.
In protest of this new law local business owners have put small "we don't discriminate" stickers on their doors, Pepsi co. wrote a stern letter, and Vermont said they wont be taking any road trips to MS any time soon.
The Actual Bill Passed MS HB 1523 or the "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination" act.
The essence of this bill can be summarized by paragraph I Section 2 (i)
In a pluralistic society, in which people of good faith hold more than one view of marriage, it is possible for the government to recognize same-sex marriage without forcing persons with sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions to conform.
The act then goes on to stipulate that it is designed to protect a very specific set of beliefs:
(a) Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman; (b) Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and (c) Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual's immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.
The body of the text is about ensuring that the *government can take no action to cause businesses to perform services contrary to those particular beliefs.
Whats Wrong with this Picture Upon reading, this act is not the discrimination protecting boogie man it seemed. It's not infringing on the consumers' rights in any way. It leaves the issue of best practices up to the industry. If Cathy's cakes want's to tell homos to stay out, they're welcome to lose that business and the homos are welcome to get their cake somewhere else. Free market is best market!
Only there is a real argument to be made that businesses need to abide by the set of laws known as public accommodation. These laws are in place to protect against things like pre-civil rights segregation and handicap-inaccessible storefronts. The reason these were put into place is because market forces were thought insufficient to right the wrongs of social backwardness. Every business has to play by these rules, whether their religion has something about it or not.
Up until now those rules were being used to cause wedding related business owners to provide service to same sex couples. This act creates an exemption but only for a very narrow set of conflicts. This does nothing for any other religion related issues. It's a bandaid over the general misuse of public accommodation law.
Gays Don't See it That Way. The public outcry over this bill is not because of it's poor construction or stop-gap nature. People are angry because it means the gays are not 100% accepted in every way. Just like the feminist movement, they don't understand when they've won. This bill does nothing to invalidate gay marriage. The local businesses putting up their little "we don't discriminate" stickers, trying to make a throwback to the days of actual segregation, are not relevant to this discussion. Businesses outside the wedding industry are still cannot openly refuse customers based on race, gender, or orientation. These stickers are a feel good ploy fighting against a straw man.
Victim-hood is the Concrete Foundation of the Gay Man's Identity. If all this fighting for nothing seems a bit silly to you, that's because it is. There's not that much left to fight for in the gay rights arena, and the prizes are diminishing in value. Still, the fight is perpetuated because it maintains the gay man's status as a victim. Much in the same way women are still being victimized because they're still fighting for stronger rape legislation gays are victimized because they are fighting for stronger marriage legislation.
On the personal level the victim complex runs deep. It's not isolated to gay men of course. All weak people revel in their victimhood. Conflict fuels them like coal in a locomotive. These national spectacles are as imperative as the day to day cattiness that fuel the gossip circle. They give the gay man social capital.
If you find yourself in prolonged relations with another man, as many of us do, you will find a base level of drama at all times. Your first reaction may be to trouble shoot this condition. Of course you've probably already head this cliche. When an S.O. comes to you with his problems you may suggest solutions when what they really want is sympathy. Personally I find that state of affairs dismal but understanding it can go a long way to managing it. When you see that the waters are always choppy you get better at riding the waves.