Sign in / Join

Vote your Pride

The process of liberation is never linear.  A step forward is often followed by a step sideways – or even backwards.

The faltering progress that LGBT Americans have won in the past four decades is about as good as it gets. While we’re still some distance short of full social inclusion, we have arrived at a time and place when the question is no longer “if” but “when.”

Some pundits said the tipping point came in a recent Gallup Poll that found a clear majority of Americans now approve of same-sex marriage. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed told pollsters that gay and lesbian relationships should be recognized in law as equally valid with traditional male-female marriages.

That number – 53 percent – represents a 9 percent leap in support since just last year. Before the poll, approval for same-sex marriages had hovered in the low 40s since 2004.

But the real tipping point came 42 years ago when a handful of angry customers at the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village fought back against oppression. Their act of defiance inspired the LGBT civil rights movement, a movement we continue to celebrate every June as Pride month.

In Wisconsin, we have much to be proud of:  We live in the first state to ban anti-gay discrimination and the first to elect an openly gay non-incumbent – Tammy Baldwin – to Congress. Every year we host PrideFest, a world-class LGBT festival that draws visitors from throughout the nation.

But Pride 2011 finds us a couple of steps backward from the previous year. Last November, Wisconsin voters put right-wing extremists in charge of state government. They’re trying to roll back the small gains we’ve made in recent years, including the domestic partner registry that ensures us inheritance, medical decision-making and other rights in our relationships.

Fortunately, we have the chance to put the brakes on the extremists in July, when six anti-gay state senators face recall elections. The most effective way we can show our Pride this year is to work for the election of these senators’ challengers and to work against the simultaneous effort by the extremists to recall three pro-equality Democrats.

Don’t forget to show your Pride where it counts most – at the ballot box in July.

Leave a reply