Thursday, 5 August 2010

Best Gay Week Ever? Perhaps not...

It seems as though the gay community (and anyone with any common sense, for that matter) has something to celebrate this week - Proposition 8, the shockingly discriminatory ‘law’ banning same-sex marriages in the state of California, has been overturned.

Whilst the law shouldn’t even have existed in the first place, its dessimation is certainly something to be happy about. It may only directly affect the homosexual residents of California, but it is a symbolic victory for rights-advocates everywhere. That such a pre-eminent state, in the most powerful country in the world, held (or holds) such archaic views on homosexuality is depressing. But that it can be beaten? Well, that’s surely a good sign.

Disappointingly, the reaction from the White House was lukewarm, to say the least. Despite expectations, self-proclaimed gay-rights advocate Barack Obama was not dancing on the ceiling. He was barely tapping his foot. All a representative could muster was this: ‘The President has spoken out in opposition to Proposition 8 because it is divisive and discriminatory. He will continue to promote equality for LGBT Americans’. Well, not bad, but not exactly good. Unofficial sources even question the extent to which this official line is even true - suggestions are floating around that the President isn’t as much a fan of gay marriage as his rhetoric might imply.

The end of Proposition 8 gives cause for us all to be happy, hetero or homo. But there is a long way to go. Mild-mannered, non-offensive statements are not enough. The corridors of power need to endorse LGBT causes with some soul, not forced utterances. Time to paint the White House pink.


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