Ben Buchwalter

Gay Rights for the 21st Century
November 26, 2008, 4:55 pm
Filed under: Civil Rights | Tags:

Jonathan Rauch of The Advocate writes about the gay rights agenda in an Obama-Biden world, which is more accepting of minorities and oppressed populations than, well, the Bush-Cheney world.

He cites Hillary Clinton’s concession speech as an example of the United State’s new accepting stance towards gay rights. Each mention of extending equity to gays and lesbians was met with thunderous applause, and mostly from young people. The gay cause is now a rallying-cry for the Democratic Party’s liberal base, not an ashamed aside. And when my generation is in charge, the right wing’s homophobic agenda will be a fringe issue, not the norm for the Republican Party.

(Clearly we aren’t yet an entirely accepting nation, which is proven by the anti-gay marriage amendments passed this month in California, Arizona and Florida. But we are definitely moving that way.)

So Rauch presents the necessity to alter gay advocacy for our more accepting times. He writes, “the time has come to pivot away from the culturally defensive pariah agenda — the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, for instance — and toward the culturally transformative family agenda.” Andrew Sullivan calls this “Gay Rights 3.0”.

Moving towards a more culturally transformative approach is smart because we are going in that direction just by virtue of progress. So it makes sense for the gay rights movement to evolve to reflect those changes, as Rauch suggests.

True acceptance of homosexuals might take a little while, but it will happen. We just need to wait for people to grow up a little bit, both literally and symbolically.


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