I’m shamelessly cribbing this post by Chris Douglas from bilerico.com, because it’s so true and bears repeating in as many places as possible — so hopefully people like RiShawn Biddle with see it.
As long as we’re contemplating the advice from the straight community about the strategy employed by various sectors of the gay community, I’ll add my own beef.
Ever since this assault on the Constitution was launched, I’ve spent time talking quietly with lobbyists, business people, public relations folks, politicians and political donors who, upon coming to understand the damage this amendment does to decent gay and lesbian citizens, begin to tell me what the gay community needs to do, describing a massive and obvious task of education.
The glbt community ranges from 5-10% of Indiana’s population, or 1 in every 20 to 1 in every 10. When it’s all said and done, we’re still a minority, one that like other minorities in the past (black, Jewish, Asian…) has been victim to every form of stereotype, mischaracterization, denigration, or dire warning. A minority. We can do only so much alone. If members of the straight majority do not take personal responsibility to assist in this task of education, we’re sunk.
I was once witness to an outrageous racist incident in the Air Force. I didn’t say to the female black officer colleague of mine, who had been viciously harassed, “Here’s what you need to do; I’ll watch.” Instead, I said “I will do whatever you want me to do in your support.” And I chewed out my commanding officers, American to American, rank be damned. I was angered by a clear miscarriage of justice… one that had nothing to do with me…. but one that required my acquiescence as an observer. Nothing doing. The cadet codes include the words: “We will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.” Standing up to such actions was and remains a matter of honor in itself.
Those who are not in our minority, but who disagree with this assault have an obligation not merely to disagree, but to speak up… not merely to advise, but to assist. We cannot preserve our constitutional standing as free citizens all by ourselves. We need you to speak up, too. Not only as a matter of the defense of the Constitution and American freedom, for which we are all asking young men and women abroad to die, but as a matter of American honor, you must speak up, whatever the discomfort you may feel.