Apparently I am one of the “forces of hell.” This might or might not come as a surprise to those in my Sunday school class. And it certainly won’t shock readers of my blog.
Nevertheless, it took James Dobson to out me as one of the “forces of hell.”
On Tuesday, during his daily radio show, Family News in Focus, Focus on the Family Chairman James Dobson said: “…as you all very well know, marriage is under vicious attack now, I think from the forces of hell itself. And it’s either going to continue to decline, and as I told you in my office a few minutes ago, I believe with that destruction of marriage will come the decline of Western civilization itself….We’re really in a crisis point, right now, right now…where the family is either going to survive or it’s going to fall apart and it will happen in the next few years….” In the past, Dobson has said same-sex marriage will destroy the U.S., destroy the earth, and is more important than the war on terror. He also has compared marriage equality advocates to Hitler and the attack on Pearl Harbor.
I blame DCDemocrat for making me part of Dobson’s “forces of hell.”
I always thought of myself as being open-minded about equal rights for gays.
I didn’t know anyone who was gay until I was 17 when one of my best friends told me he had to talk to me. I was terribly worried because I had seen him hanging out with my favorite girlfriend and I was certain he was going to tell me he was going out with her. He was very serious and stammered and couldn’t get to the point. I finally cut him off and asked him point blank about my suspicions.
He began laughing. “No, I’m gay,” he said.
I felt relief. His coming out as gay to me I could deal with. His going out with my favorite girlfriend would have ended our friendship.
What James Dobson fails to see is that whether someone is gay or not gay doesn’t affect us. Tony didn’t change me. His relationship with his boyfriends didn’t change my relationship with others.
Tony, by the way, was deeply religious. I was the agnostic/atheist in high school.
I saw how difficult it was for Tony to tell me he was gay. And I empathized deeply with him. He was a good friend, but like all of my high school friendships I lost track of him over the years due to distances and time.
But Tony is part of why I’m in Dobson’s “forces of Hell.”
Flash forward 10 years.
I was between marriages living in a beautiful two-bedroom apartment on the top floor of an old mansion converted into an apartment building. A great place. My roommate took a job elsewhere so I had to find another roommate. A paramedic I knew told me his boyfriend was looking for a place to live. I worried about Scott’s age (he was 19). I didn’t worry about his sexuality. We had a few simple rules. Rule No. 1, the most important rule of the apartment was this:
If you drink the last of the Kool-Aid, you had to make another pitcher.
This rule could not be violated. Both of us skirted this rule terribly though, leaving just enough Kool-Aid at the bottom to pretend the pitcher was not empty. One time he was so worried about not violating the rule that he used packets of raw sugar to make the Kool-Aid because we were out of regular sugar.
The other rule was no one was allowed to have sex in the living room. He didn’t want to see me getting it on with the revolving door of women I dated at the time any more than I wanted to see him getting it on.
And that was it. We hung out watching programs about autopsies on The Learning Channel and playing Scrabble with friends. Scott stole cookies from his job as a waiter at a restaurant and we lived well together.
So Scott is part of the reason why I’m in Dobson’s forces of Hell.
Flash forward to the summer of 2004.
I volunteered at the Kerry-Edwards campaign in Martinsburg, W.Va. One of the first volunteers I met was a tall, well-spoken man from Washington, D.C., who had come out to the county to protest a visit by Bush once and ended up returning often to help volunteer for the campaign.
We got talking about different things and we learned we both posted on DailyKos. After he met me, DCDemocrat uprated a couple of my comments to salvage them from the hidden comments and a friendship was borne.
DCDemocrat worked his ass off for Democrats in a county 90 minutes away from where he lived. He shouted himself hoarse on waves and he wore his fingers to the bone on phonebanks.
DCDemocrat, out of a feeling of necessity, had kept his sexuality private while working in the Republican-dominated Berkeley County. The bigots were pushing gays as a boogeyman to fear.
Until then, I had always been a silent supporter of equality for gays. I made a promise I would be silent no longer on the issue.
Here’s some other diaries I’ve written on equal rights for gays and on gay-issues.
WV Dem blocks anti-gay issue
Fred Phelps: West Virginia ‘By Far the Worst’ WhooHoo! Take that San Fransico
A win for gay equality
Radical homosexuals seek to destroy me
Look to Montana for gay equality
and my favorite:
God bless gay-bashing Rev. Fred Phelps which might offer a lesson to the conservatives supporting George W. Bush’s faux marriage amendment.
When the bigots go after the Tonys, Scotts, and DCDemocrats of the world, they’ve unleashed the forces of hell all right. Except they’re the ones who are doing the Devil’s own work.
UPDATE: See Elise’s diary here for action items.
See other comments here.