Gay-rights causes are no longer liberal causes. The campaigns for “equality,” and especially for marriage equality, are essentially conservative positions. That’s why four Republicans could help to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, with little fear of repercussions. Far from being radical, a vote for same-sex marriage is a vote for marriage. The only safer act for a politician is kissing a baby.
If elected officials would take on issues like social and economic justice, that would be a bold political risk. How can you tell it’s such a safe move? Follow the money. The campaign for same-sex marriage has been lucrative for politicians — attracting big donors just like every other hot button issue. The big donations have had big results, and that is disturbing even if the results are noble.
The theme of today’s advocates, equality, has become a touchstone in struggles for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender right. But something got lost in the shift to focusing on equality. Once upon a time, activists were fighting for the right to be different. Now the fight is for the right to be the same.
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