Will You Join Our Remarkable Army of Lovers?

By James Lovette-Black

On the night that President Obama was elected, San Francisco’s Castro district, often called the gayest neighborhood in America, erupted in celebration, with hundreds quite literally dancing in the streets. So did many other neighborhoods in San Francisco and places around the world. LGBTs united with others in elation. Later that night, far too quickly, our celebration became infused with outrage at the passage of Proposition 8, known to many as Prop H8, which refuted the idea that same-sex marriages were legal in California. To ride the crest of such a glorious wave of hope and change, only to have those hopes dashed on the rocks of bigotry, is an all too familiar experience for us.

A radically diverse community, gays and lesbians and bisexuals and transgenders are generally a welcoming, peaceful, and creative tribe. Perhaps the most broadly held aspect of our worldview is that we embrace unity through our diversity. This is because we know that the astonishing array of sexual orientations and genders in our rainbow is precious and that love must be nurtured, in every variety and in every place.

In this respect, the gay community is a perfect reflection of the USA: all beautiful colors, ethnicities, religions, genders, etc., are mutually creating an inclusive and highly potentiated society. This is one reason why we feel so betrayed by a persistent rejection of our rights by those who hold beliefs that arise from xenophobia, the fear of the other. Our struggle for our human rights has historically persisted, despite exceptionally sanctioned violence, assassinations, and a disturbing lack of respect from religious people. The battle has even grown stronger, bolstered by emergent universal principles of human rights, and fostered by our own self respect. 

Given the breadth of relationships among gay couples (used here to include my sisters, brothers, and others), there are many who wonder why there is such emphasis placed on a clearly heterosexual marriage model for our relationships. Especially since we have many types of loving and functional adult consensual relationships: open, semi-open, sexually and relationally exclusive, etc. Quite similar to the efforts to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which prevents openly gay women and men from serving in the US military, marriage rights has risen to or near the top of the agenda of human rights for GLBTs. This is because we and our allies known that gay folks seek love, family, prosperity, and wellness, just like everyone else. It is also because we know that full recognition of marriage rights and the right to serve in the military mark enormous strides toward full equality in a nation founded on inalienable rights.

When Mayor Gavin Newsom courageously opened the City and County of San Francisco’s marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the observing public was astonished to see lesbigay couples come forward to be married that had been in relationships for 40 and 50 years. Americans were gobsmacked at the stark reality of the multitude of loving and committed same-sex couples. Flowers poured into city hall from unknown people in the Midwest, tagged to be given to any same-sex couple in line for a marriage license. The line for the license stretched out of the building at times. People came down and distributed food, water, and just hung out with our brothers, sisters, and others. The energy crackled with the joy of love, of hope, of potentiality. Approximately 4000 marriage license were granted to same-sex couples, with many flying in from out of state to procure their licenses.

One has to wonder why on earth we reach for the right to marry and to serve in the US military? Especially as viewed in light of the lack of federal employment, housing, education, credit, and the plethora of rights accorded to straights?

It is because we know, down to our bones and our blood and every fiber of our being and consciousness, that love is what matters. Love is what makes a family: nothing more and nothing less. Not blood, not religion, not laws or government, but love.

We persist in the struggle for full social equity. Will you join our fabulous army of lovers as we realize our vision of a truly inclusive civil society?

After all, an army of lovers cannot be defeated.

This is the third article in a new daily series on News Junkie Post known as the Progressive Unity Project. Each day, there will be a new article published from the perspective of the environment, labor, LGBT, immigration, science, legalization, or secularity. About the weekly contributor on LGBT Wednesday:


LGBT Wednesday
James Lovette-Black is a post-doctoral scholar and activist with professional experience spanning over three decades in health care. Growing up gay in the Deep South, he moved to Chicago in the early 70s and vibrant San Francisco has been his home since 1986. One of the original founders of ACT UP San Francisco and the Lavender Greens, his activism includes anti-apartheid work, anti-nuclear work, and environmental activism. James was in the non-violent civil disobedience blockade of the US Supreme Court after the Bowers v. Hardwick decision and has worked for pro-choice issues, as well as diligently working to dispel ageist biases and for single-payer, universal health care for all Americans. He has practiced the “religion of kindness” for nearly 30 years, as expressed through the Celtic Reconstructionist Tradition of Wicca. His worldview is optimistic and he considers himself a proud American and a planetary citizen.

An early adopter, he has had a web presence since 1994, and is an avid Apple “fan boy”, as well as a critical observer of the human-technology experience. James writes for Jimboland Jots and Bright Wellness.  James online: Twitter Digg

Editor’s Note: Please follow The News Junkie Post on Twitter.

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2 Responses to Will You Join Our Remarkable Army of Lovers?

  1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Paul Roden
    February 4, 2010 at 4:01 am

    Dear Editor:

    Rita Mae Brown once said, “An army of lovers can never be defeated.” But what about an army of ex-lovers? Seriously, we need equal rights and marriage equality for gay, lesbian, and transgendered people. All power to the people and not the “corporate persons”.

    • Gilbert Mercier
      +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Gilbert Mercier
      February 4, 2010 at 8:26 pm

      Thank you, Paul. Brilliantly said!

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