Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Article excerpt

My grandmother used to say that "idle hands are the devil's tools," and that's the only way I can think of to explain politicians who build their entire careers on continuing attempts to prevent recognition of same-sex marriages. Take California state senator Pete Knight, for instance. Although he lost three legislative attempts--two when he was in the state assembly and another when he became a state senator--to ban recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states, he has made California the next battleground on this issue by qualifying an initiative for the March 2000 ballot. (In truth, it has always tickled me that Pete is the only one in the state with a truly gay agenda.)

Since my definition of an optimist is a person who knows how terrible the world can be and is, therefore, never disappointed, I think this fight actually may not be a terrible thing for our community. It shows that the far right feels it has only one viable issue left on which to froth, fund-raise, and fume--and that issue no longer includes opposing our ability to work or go to school or our rights to be free from discrimination and violence. Those issues, it seems, are so mainstream that, even though every day there are egregious instances of such discrimination, no one insists that such treatment is supportable or a fine old American tradition.

That leaves the issue of gay marriage and related family ties.

Of course, we are not the first movement to experience this slow progression of acceptance. Remember the movie Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? Years after the passage of federal civil rights legislation, the issue of interracial marriage still raised such hackles that the film stimulated discussions at dinner tables all across the country. And most of that discussion was about sex--especially sex that was considered unusual, forbidden, or just plain yucky.

Well, guess who's coming to dinner now: The last great battle of this century will be fought over whether morality will be defined purely in the sexual arena or whether it should include the stuff that all major religious spend most of their time making rules about--loving God and one's fellow humans, feeding the poor, caring for the sick, not judging others, etc. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.