To the LGBT Community and Organizations
-Mark James, National Steering Committee of World Can't Wait
November 2, 2005 will mark the beginning of the end of the Bush Regime. Over 50 cities across the country have built organizing committees from the grass roots level to join the call to drive out the Bush Regime. Many organizations and thousands of individuals have endorsed this call without hesitation. Some organizations needed more convincing because of concerns about communists being involved or fears of doom and powerlessness. These concerns have been dealt with in a straight forward and up front way and can be found in the FAQ section on the web site at www.worldcantwait.org. However, the most baffling response I’ve been getting has come from some of the LGBT community groups that have expressed the concern that DRIVING OUT THE BUSH REGIME isn’t LGBT specific enough for them to take up. I believe that this concern or assessment is incorrect and must be reevaluated.
Does the Bush Regime have an agenda and does this agenda include a future that effects the LGBT community? The simple answer is YES, however we must look at the particularities of what is currently going on and the trajectory of this ultra conservative bible based regime that is gaining more power within the government, straight to the White House. Back in the late 90’s we all chuckled at the gay hate rantings of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and James Dobson. Their influence seemed limited at the time; no one seemed to take them too seriously. James Dobson of Focus on the Family wrote a pamphlet claiming that homosexuality can be prevented through prayer and reparative therapy. Pat Robertson equated homosexuals to satanists. Also, Robertson states that from a biblical perspective “the rise of homosexuality is a sign that society is in the last stage of decay.” He also stated recently “Hurricane Katrina occurred because New Orleans is the epicenter of sinful jazz music in America” and “As for Ellen “Degenerate” (an accurate nickname my friend Jerry Falwell coined) she will soon face the wrath of god in her more sinful town of Hollywood, California. God will create an earth quake with the epicenter just below her stage.” Maybe we could laugh at such statements several years ago, but these people have newfound power straight to George Bush, they are part of the Bush Regime. The “new normalcy” for the White House is daily prayer circles and bible quotes, Bush himself claims to be a born again Christian. These are more than just random statements made by crazy people. This is part of a growing and powerful movement with an ideology of hate, greed and bigotry aimed at anyone or any group that doesn’t conform to their narrow view of morality.
Let’s not forget that just over a decade ago our community was nearly decimated by the AIDS epidemic. And now as this disease is rapidly spreading through the African American and Latino Communities, as well as countries in Africa and around the world, our president is replacing government spending on AIDS education and condom distribution with faith based spending on abstinence only programs. They are promoting a policy of no sex before marriage and abstinence only for single people. How do gay people with no rights to marriage fit into this equation? We don’t because in their view we don’t have the right to be gay. Those who don’t follow their policy and their morality deserve the consequences of their actions. This is nothing short of genocide. For more information on this I suggest people read “With God on Their Side” by Esther Kaplan.
As for gay marriage, Arnold the Governator just recently over turned a bill from the California legislators that would recognize gay marriage. He ran on a platform of gay rights several years ago when Governor Grey Davis was recalled. Many were hopeful about this new bill only to be disappointed one more time. The president still plans to amend the constitution to ban gay marriage and he is currently building a supreme court that will approve it. No one should be so foolish as to think that John Roberts or Harriet Miers would vote against such an amendment. Also, don’t think for a second that this new court won’t be overturning Roe vs. Wade. It’s interesting that some of the first openly gay people to endorse the call to drive out the Bush Regime were politicians, including San Francisco supervisor, Tom Amiano and California Assemblyman Mark Leno along with NY State Senator Thomas Duane. What do these politicians see coming down the pike that others have yet to see?
This letter is meant to urge every progressive gay organization and community group to join in the call and build a mass movement to DRIVE OUT THIS REGIME. This letter hasn’t even begun to list all the reasons this movement must be built. Isn’t a war based on lies, torture of people who are guilty of nothing other than resisting this government, racial genocide as seen in the wake of Katrina, replacing science with religion, detention of people as enemy combatants without reason or due process, and taking the choice of procreation away from women enough reason to get on board. After all isn’t it the responsibility of all progressive people and organizations to defend the rights of everyone without being narrow and confined to self-interest?
Let’s look at the history of the German Nazi movement as an example of just how far a regime can go. In the early 1930s the German people enjoyed a variety of freedoms; the gay movement was flourishing. By 1934 Hitler had 1000 supporters of Ernst Roehm, a known homosexual, put to death. By 1935 Paragraph 175 was rewritten to allow the roundups and imprisonment of homosexuals. It was estimated that by the fall of the Nazi Regime up to 15,000 homosexuals were exterminated. This figure was nothing compared to the total number of people exterminated. Is it possible for something like that to happen again? I for one don’t want to just stand by and find out. The world truly can’t wait as we sit back to see what comes next.
Imagine for a moment, the LGBT community uniting with people from other communities and waging a battle against what is coming into being from these theocrats. This is exactly what is required; we must create a united front of resistance in our millions. We all want this trajectory to stop and we all must mobilize to stop it. This planet and the life on it depend on our actions. Can the future afford to wait as we go shopping or redecorate our houses or plan the next social event? Sorry folks, but this next period is going to require dedication and resolve to change the way we are being governed. Imagine a better world and what it will take to make that happen.