In “The End Of Gay Victimhood,” Jon Rauch divides gay rights laws into youthful, strong, responsible laws – i.e., marriage equality – and old, weak, victimhood laws – i..e, anti-discrimination law.
Consider an odd juxtaposition. Same-sex marriage remains controversial, supported by only a slender majority of the public. Yet its momentum is undeniable. Young people take marriage equality as a given. Even most of its opponents tell pollsters they expect to lose.
By contrast, the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) is stalled in Congress. Again. First proposed as long ago as 1974 and now having been introduced in every Congress but one since 1994, it recently won passage in the Senate but will go nowhere in the House. ENDA enjoys broader public support than gay marriage; properly explained, it is barely even controversial. (Most Americans believe, incorrectly, that federal law already protects gay people from discrimination.) But no one seems to care enough to pass it. [...]
The next Congress should be the second since 1994 when ENDA is not introduced—this time because gays ourselves have decided to move on. A country of gay spouses and parents and service members and veterans is a country of gay citizens, not gay victims.
A few points:
1) Giving citizens the tools needed to fight discrimination is the polar opposite of “victimhood.”
2) If we judged marriage equality by the same silly standard Rauch uses for anti-discrimination laws – the ability to get passed in the GOP House – then we’d have to conclude that marriage equality is dead.
3) Consider another juxtaposition – the two maps at the top of this post. They’re almost identical. In the states where lgbt people are most seen as full and equal citizens, both anti-discrimination and marriage equality laws have advanced.
4) Rauch’s position stinks of a rich gay man who, having gotten the equality that matters for his life, prepares to toss everyone else under the bus.
Hat tip: The Dish.