A NEW FACE OF GAY PRIDE
Gay Pride was celebrated once again in the streets of America last week as part of June's Gay Pride Month. Here in San Francisco, home of the largest gay parade, this year while some chose to express their political and sexual agenda visually, a different face was trying to be presented. Instead of the usual dominant 'in your face' activist, sexually explicit show, it was 'all about families.'
Many of the participants were dressed in regular clothes, pushing toddlers in strollers, or walking holding hands. The message found in books we've all heard about that are being used in kindergarten and other classrooms, such as 'Heather Has Two Mommies.," found expression as little kids carried signs saying, "I love both my mommies."
The parade did not lack in participation by elected officials. San Francisco Police Chief, Heather Fong, was not only at the parade, but marched in it with some of her officers. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Sgt. Lea Militello said, "This department really does mirror the community we serve...there are so many police departments in the country where officers can't be out of the closet."
The police department also had one of their own at the announcer's booth, who along with the other two announcers, was very affirming of the various parade participants, for instance, drawing attention to certain drag queens as 'she' and how much good they've done, and money they have raised, for the city. Several State Legislators were also in the parade, such as Carole Migden.
Gavin Newsom, San Francisco's Mayor, responsible for starting the wave of illegal gay marriages that took place across the country in 2004, told the camera, "The bottom line is this parade defines what San Francisco represents: It's about living life out loud." Referring to the recent gay marriage bill in California's state legislature Gavin said, "A year ago, could you have seen a vote on same-sex marriage being that close? We're just in the beginning of this fight."
Several companies were represented in the parade, or lined the streets with banners. The San Francisco Chronicle had a pink truck as their float, and Kaiser Permanente marched in the parade celebrating gay pride.
Some hailed and some groaned to learn of the Freedom in Christ Evangelical Church's float in last Sunday's parade in San Francisco which had a rainbow cross and a huge sign that declared, "Christian & Gay = OK."
While this gives a quick picture of 2005's annual gay event, there’s nothing like direct quotes to gain a clearer picture of the mentalities and goals that exist around this (or any) issue. For instance...
In "The Overhauling of Straight America: Waging Peace Part Two" written in 1987, it outlines the recommended steps to be taken in order for America to accept homosexuality as normal... "To desensitize the public is to help it view homosexuality with indifference instead of with keen emotion...if you can only get them to think that it is just another thing, with a shrug of their shoulders then your battle for legal and social rights is virtually won."
"For when people endorse the idea of sexual pluralism, they are also implicitly endorsing social and political pluralism...Homosexuality then becomes more than an individual quirk or private choice. It becomes a challenge to absolute values of all types. Authoritarian regimes don't like that." --Jeffrey Weeks, The No-Nonsense Guide to Sexual Diversity
"You would think that those who are always talking about family values would want to create an environment of permanent relationships for people of the same sex. But they're not advocating family values. They're advocating their values... I still get this sh#t full-time...They just are haters, period." --San Francisco former Mayor Willie Brown
"I'm a transgender activist. Not only that, I'm part woman, part man. Something out of science fiction. I'm a little bit of both, and I like it that way. I identify with a lot of you lesbians out there, since I live as a woman and love women. But I love both men and women, so I guess I really identify with you bisexuals. I think I could pass as just about anything, but who...cares, anyway?" --Nancy Nangeroni, Boston Gay Pride
The Advocate is the national magazine for the gay rights movement, and it's online version is probably its main news source. They say "children will listen and hear that gay people are not part of the American family, (that) the America created by our Constitution is not the country George W. Bush wants to preserve and protect. He just wants to be President of the United States of Americans he Likes."
The ACLU's site advocates "Get Busy, Get Equal." The Lambda Legal site is the "national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, the transgendered, and people with HIV or AIDS through impact litigation, education, and public policy work."
GLSEN's (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) site "envisions a future in which every child learns to respect and accept all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression." And Youth.org is an online source of gay youth sites.
To bring a balance of resource sites I recommend visiting Changing Worldviews' Issues Library under Dr. Christopher Wolfe's and Dr. Warren Throckmorton's interviews with us for links such as People Can Change, and Is Homosexuality Genetic? See Link.
As America is being faced with the increasing acceptance of gay marriage around the world, such as most recently in Spain, it is critically important to know and communicate the facts effectively on this, as well as on all issues, based on the stated motivations and agenda of its advocates, the existing law and the basis for it, history and the voice of wisdom and time-tested truth our nation was founded on. To make decisions about critical issues such as this out of emotion, or what we think apart from these elements, can have disastrous results for any culture.
© 2005 Sharon Hughes - All Rights
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Sharon is the President of The Center for Changing
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GLSEN's (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) site "envisions a future in which every child learns to respect and accept all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity- expression."