Friday, June 15, 2007

The Quiet Gay Revolution | TIME

The Quiet Gay Revolution | TIME: "The notion that gays must be segregated out of the military for the sake of our national security must strike Americans younger than, say, 40 as simply weird, just as we of the previous generation find the rules of racial segregation weird. (O.K., run that by me again: they needed separate drinking fountains because ... why?)"


And yet not one, I suspect, has any doubt about where this issue is going. When opponents of gay rights talk ominously about a "gay agenda," they are not completely wrong. There has been an agenda in the sense of a long-term strategy, not unlike the carefully plotted strategy of Thurgood Marshall and others in the civil rights movement that ended formal racial segregation. It was a brilliant decision to start with the military rather than attempt to outlaw discrimination generally or push right away for gay marriage. Twenty years from now, maybe sooner, gays will have it all.

It really wasn't a decision. Ultimately, the national gay groups and the media are forced the deal with the facts on the ground. In reality, gays want to serve and to marry, not to sue for job discrimination or seek enhanced prosecution under hate crimes laws. In fact, the latter were the preferred "agenda" and events pulled the gay bureaucracy from them kicking and screaming.