"Referendum Sunday:" 4 Strategies to overcome anti-gay election-season politics
May 21, 2006
Politics: I felt bad when I read yesterday's newspaper article about the ballot initiative effort to repeal Washington State's gay rights bill.
Straight Into Gay America is at the typesetter, ready for production, and I haven't even weighed in against Tim Eyman approaching 5,400 Washington churches today on what he's calling, "Referendum Sunday."
After more than 25-years of effort to achieve gay rights protections in Washington, some are already trying to take away these protections for fair treatment in areas of housing and jobs. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer article says Tim is "using a page torn from Karl Rove's playbook," inflaming anti-gay feelings in advance of the November election. Many predicted the return to an anti-gay strategy during this election season. Few are suprised.
The time is here: Now I have to figure out in what manner to be part of this fray. These four strategies seem possible.
- Share Facts
- Offer Arguments
- Organize Actions
- Tell Stories
I support all the arguments, actions, and fact-sharing approaches that helps LGBT equal rights. (See some of the major LGBT justice organizations and their work: www.pflag.org, www.thetaskforce.org, www.hrc.org, www.soulforce.org, www.lambdalegal.org, etc).
But on this Sunday morning when much of our nation will sit in churches and hear stories from that master-storyteller Jesus, I think about how stories can also effect change in our lives; the Prodigal Son, the woman at the well, Jesus on the cross. I think Jesus had a good idea. Tell stories. Share experiences. Overcome fear by honoring one another.
Here's a story: Two men met in Central Park 50 years ago. They've lived together all those years. I met them at the New York City Pride Parade last summer while I was unicycling. The two men were celebrating 50 years together, and 1 year of marriage. Massachusetts law had finally allowed them to make a public declaration of their lifetime of commitment to one another. Read this Straight Into Gay America excerpt.
I'm going to look for Tim Eyman's address and share this story with him. I'm going to see what difference a story may make.
What are your strategies?
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Copyright by Lars Clausen: Permission granted to use quotations up to 1,000 words in lenth via website posting, emails, newsletter, print, radio, and TV media. The following attribution must be included.
Lars Clausen is the author of Straight Into Gay America: My Unicycle Journey for Equal Rights. Visit www.straightintogayamerica.com for more information.