From yet another awesome article by Leonard Pitts Jr. a couple of days ago:
I just find myself intrigued by the idea that if you're not gay, you shouldn't care about gay rights.
I know also that some folks are touchy about anything seeming to equate the black civil rights movement with the gay one. And no, gay people were not kidnapped from Gay Land and sold into slavery, nor lynched by the thousands. On the other hand, they do know something about housing discrimination, they do know job discrimination, they do know murder for the sin of existence, they do know the denial of civil rights and they do know what it is like to be used as scapegoat and bogeyman by demagogues and political opportunists.
And then Leonard Pitts, a black man, goes on to make the point that I believe is lost on so many people today:
It seems to me if I abhor intolerance, discrimination and hatred when they affect people who look like me, I must also abhor them when they affect people who do not. For that matter, I must abhor them even when they benefit me. Otherwise, what I claim as moral authority is really just self-interest in disguise.
Among the things we seem to have lost in the years … is the ability, the imagination, the willingness to put ourselves into the skin of those who are not like us. I find it telling that Vice President Dick Cheney hews to the hard conservative line on virtually every social issue, except gay marriage. It is, of course, no coincidence that Cheney has a daughter who is a lesbian. Which tells me his position is based not on principle but, rather, on loving his daughter.
It is a fine thing to love your daughter. I would argue, however, that it is also a fine thing and in some ways, a finer thing, to love your neighbor's daughter, no matter her sexual orientation, religion, race, creed or economic status -- and to want her freedom as eagerly as you want your own.
I believe in moral coherence. And Rule No. 1 is, you cannot assert your own humanity, then turn right around and deny someone else's.
Sadly, loving the neighbor’s daughter or son, no matter their sexual orientation, religion, race, creed or economic status would spell financial and political ruin for today’s politicians and hate-preaching religious leaders. I don’t anticipate we will see any moral coherence from that crowd any time soon --- there’s just no personal, political, or financial benefit in doing so --- disguising self-interest as moral authority has been a boon for them.