Resistance, Not Compromise, with the Religious Right

By Jill McLaughlin

(this article originally appeared as a letter in the Chicago Free Press)

Like many of the LGBT community, I recently joined the protests against the passing of Proposition 8. One sign at these protests in particular spoke volumes about why we can’t rely on politics as usual to protect or grant us our rights as human beings: “I voted for the first black President and all I got was this lousy marriage ban.” While many LGBT people voted for Obama, Obama stated repeatedly throughout his campaign that he did not support gay marriage. Even though he opposed Prop 8 he did not call on people to vote against it. Obama furthermore throughout the campaign said that he wants to expand Bush’s faith based initiati ves. Obama moreover refused to call out Dominionists such as Sarah Palin as a danger to the separation of church and state. 


LGBT people of California lost on November 4th. We are talking about the same state that in the 1970s was galvanized by Harvey Milk to fight—really fight—to stop Proposition 6 which would have permitted firing gay and lesbian school teachers. Milk saw the urgency of this situation. He and the Castro community knew that if something like Proposition 6 passed it would undoubtedly take hold across the country. He and the LGBT community mobilized and stopped Proposition 6 and they got a city ordinance that gave the San Francisco’s LGBT civil rights. Milk knew the importance of directly confronting and challenging the hatred and ugliness of the religious right. In doing so the LGBT community won the support of many around the state who voted down Prop 6.

We are faced with a similar scenario now. Proposition 8 passed in California, but it doesn’t need to pass in other states and it can be repealed. The homemade sign at the protest has another lesson: If LGBT people or any minority which has been attacked by the Bush Program’s theocratic agenda wants to have their rights as human beings respected and protected, we need to understand that we must act together outside official politics in a mass way and stay in the streets to demand it. We cannot fight these outrages as individual groups or one at a time. People who see this injustice and know it’s wrong must join with those who are being oppressed. We cannot rely on politicians like Obama who seek common ground with the very people who want to take our rights away. We have seen a tremendous outpouring of righteous anger over Prop 8 in the streets across the country and we need to keep it going.


Main Culture of Bigotry Resistance, Not Compromise, with the Religious Right


World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.