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Open Letter to GLBT Voters
by Tim Miller

Tim Miller shares his view on why a vote for anybody but Gore is a vote for GLBT disaster


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• Election 2000
• More News, Notes, Tidbits & To Do List
"...our next president will appoint up to three new Supreme Court Justices who will make decisions that will impact all of our lives for the next two generations. We cannot afford to let this be done by a man who thinks Lesbian and Gay people should be stripped of their rights, children taken from their adoptive gay and lesbian parents and male couples arrested in the privacy of their bedrooms?"
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Alright, I'm not going to mince (or even puree!) words here -- gay people simply must, right now, unequivocally -- though not uncritically -- get behind Gore-Lieberman and make sure we keep the nightmare of Bush-Cheney from happening to our country. What a surprise! The Republicans have nominated two very rich, very white, very homophobic oil-men who both went to Yale, both avoided Vietnam and are ready now to make other rich folks like them even richer. Behind their happy-face convention, Bush-Cheney are still toeing the same old anti-choice, gay-bashing, gun-loving GOP line.

As a gay American in a bi-national relationship, I take the November election VERY personally. Unless Bush is defeated and the Democrats take back congress, there will probably be no hope for Alistair, my Australian partner of six years, and I to remain in the US. A bill has been introduced by Jerry Nadler (D-NY) in US Congress (Permanent Partners Immigration Reform Bill H.R 3650) that would give couples like Alistair and I the same immigration rights that currently only straight married people can get, (one of those many "special rights" just for straight folks!), the bill is being sponsored by dozens of democrat Congresspeople, but could never pass, or even be brought up for a vote in the current GOP Congress. Gore has endorsed the change of immigration laws to give gay people the rights currently afforded only heterosexual married couples.

Should the bill pass, we know from his Texas track record that Bush does nothing to help gay people. He vetoes gay people equal rights whenever possible. If Bush wins, Alistair and I will have to begin filing the initial, preliminary papers for immigration asylum in Canada the very next day.

Now, for those of you on the left thinking about doing a Ralph Nader protest vote, I really ask you to wake up and smell the homophobia! I know the NADER vis a vis GORE vote issue is a hot topic among progressive folk and a place of legitimate disagreement. I understand the appeal of the Nader vote (though for my own personal reasons, the Nader vote strikes me as somewhat sentimental and a luxury I AND MY GAY FAMILY WITH ALISTAIR CAN'T AFFORD) I am certain unless Gore wins and the Democrats get back the house, we will have no.. € zero hope of still being in the country in 18 months!

Gore is not everything we would want, of course. No elected official at the State or Federal level is! But the last eight years of the Clinton-Gore administration gave our community more advances than all other administrations combined! Candidate Gore has firmly pledged his support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Hate Crime legislation, legal protection for Domestic Partnerships including immigration rights and ending the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. On the other hand, if George W. Bush is elected President, queer people's basic rights as humans-and as a community--are at stake. In five years as Governor of Texas, Bush never once publicly addressed the AIDS epidemic. In fact, he never once publicly uttered the word AIDS. Bush opposes including sexual orientation in a state Hate Crimes law. He's adamantly against employment protection for Gays and Lesbians, partnership rights, a woman's right to choose, and sex education promoting safer-sex. And speaking of sex, Bush recently pledged his allegiance to the Texas Christian right by vowing to continue supporting laws criminalizing sodomy in their state. If that's not enough, just remember that our next president will appoint up to three new Supreme Court Justices who will make decisions that will impact all of our lives for the next two generations. We cannot afford to let this be done by a man who thinks Lesbian and Gay people should be stripped of their rights, children taken from their adoptive gay and lesbian parents and male couples arrested in the privacy of their bedrooms? This moment is reminding me a lot of 1980, only the second time I ever participated in an election. My misguided "progressive" vote for Barry Commoner and the Citizens Party in 1980, along with the millions of foolish votes for John Anderson and the Independent Party that same year, made certain that Reagan would be elected.

There is no question to me that if Carter had won a second term, the history of lesbian and gay civil rights would have been better. We would have seen slow, incremental, perhaps frustrating, but tangible advancement. Eight years of Reagan's complete hostility to lesbians and gay men and a do-nothing approach to AIDS was disastrous for our community. Some of our friends who would die of AIDS would still be alive, I believe, had Reagan been kept out of office.

Every vote counts. What if a handful of people don't vote in California, or waste their votes on Nader and manage to throw the election to George Bush? Take a moment and imagine waking up on November and facing that --and then get off your butt, register yourself and everyone you know and fight the right. Let's have the first election of the new century send a big no to the gay-bashing of the GOP. Vote as if your life depends on it. It does!!!!!!!!!!!!

(c) Tim Miller 10/08/00
permission is granted to reprint and distribute.


 

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