Thoughts on Harvey Milk Day…And my reasons for Boycotting marriage–until we can all get married.

I never get too personal in my blog, but today I will make exception. And yes I am falling behind in this blog of mine. I wanted to write a few other blogs about films that I adore, the preview of Tim Robbins’s new amazing play that I saw, and the Tvland Awards and so on but I have been so busy working on some new writing projects that I can’t. This blog is the exception because well, I’m pissed off at you, California (The rest of America too). Also, I am really sick of all the right-wing evangelicals that keep trying to ‘save’ me via leaving nasty religious comments in my blog. Enough, Jesus freaks. I don’t care about your God or more importantly I don’t care about your distorted and sad pathetic lack of ethics for other human beings.

Rewinding back two years to May 22, 2008 (Harvey Milk day before it was declared), my partner Victoria and I went and saw the movie “Milk” and it really changed the game plan in my mind for human rights. Now right off the bat I have lots of friends who are married and unmarried. I know people who just got married. I went to their wedding in Vegas actually, and lots of celebrities as of late are getting married as well. What do all these married people have in common? They’re not gay and they refuse to stand in solidarity with the gay-lesbian-trans community. I hope you all don’t take offense to my allegations, but it’s true to a degree. There is no visible sacrifice from the community of supporters, gay and straight. This is one of the main reasons gay marriage isn’t working or passing in numerous states: There is NO support from the straight community. And by support I don’t mean joining a FACEBOOK GROUP/PAGE, or slapping a bumper sticker on your car. Although many celebrities claim to support gay marriage, only a few have really boycotted marriage in solidarity: Sarah Silverman, Charlize Theron, Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie. The rest of the celebrities that support gay marriage go out and make PSA videos and or no on H8 photos. This all well and good but real change doesn’t come from just celebrities-it comes from all of the people taking a stand together along with congress and local and federal law makers. Let’s try not to confuse this fact.

Now I know joining the latest Gay Marriage equality Facebook page may seem like a real way to support something, but it really isn’t that big of a deal it’s just a click away. Gay marriage isn’t the same as say, “Betty White hosting SNL” or, “No officer, I know how fast I was going it was you I didn’t see” and so on. Let’s try not lump an entire minority of people’s civil rights to just a Facebook page. Do show your support but the “facebook support” is just the first step. Go out in the world do something and become someone who stands up long past when others sit down. I am referring to an actual boycott of getting married in any way shape or form until we ALL can get married. I really don’t understand how people can even get married after the 2008 elections when the actual ban took effect. Sure you might think or say, “I just need the tax breaks or the health insurance or I’m really in love”; well straight people, there are millions upon millions of gay-lesbian-transgender people who also would love those same rights. Taking those rights when others can’t is self indulgent. Participating in a group that disqualifies others makes you a hypocrite, and now a part of an elitist group.

So if you will check out this website:

http://marriageboycott.ning.com

My partner Victoria Rowe and I both wear our rings proudly and we say “Not until everyone can get married,” because we know it’s just not fair. I say things that I mean and mean things that I say. And let me tell you if you do it long enough you you’ll understand why it’s so important. One of you will get injured and try to see the other in a hospital setting and you’ll be denied and you’ll feel like shit. It’s happened to us a few times.

People ask, what would a marriage boycott do? It wouldn’t give this entire country any revenue related to marriage at all. There might just be more backers of gay marriage when others stand forward and say “Not until we can all get married”.

I really wish there was a modern day Harvey Milk in the gay or straight community, because from where I’m standing no one wants to make those hard sacrifices that help make change a reality. Milk stood out. He wouldn’t have just sat around playing and complaining on the computer-facebook or whatever forum you choose. He stood and did real things in the real world back when it was the only way to do it.

I urge you to go watch old videos of Harvey Milk, MLK, Rosa Parks, or even folks from the Brown-Latino movement. They all made serious sacrifices and weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and their bodies’ hurt, thrown in jail, or even killed. They had what it takes to go that extra mile down the road to change the world around them: commitment to real change.

I will note and add Lt. Dan Choi is the exception. He’s a very strong leader and gay rights activist. I hope he will keep it up!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Choi

Do you have what it takes? Or will you just not care enough to join the boycott? Will you still do nothing-if that’s your thing, that’s okay. Doing nothing is not for me and some people I know.

So I say don’t get married until we all can get married. Maybe I sound critical or jaded well, I am-and every one of you in the United States needs to step it up and stop just watching from the sidelines.

Here’s video from Sarah Silverman reiterating some of what I’m saying:



Finally, Here’s One of Harvey Milk’s Amazing Speeches:

Let’s all try to stand together, and maybe then we won’t fall so easily.

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Harvey Milk day, 11/27/08

I know I am writing this a bit too late, but as Harvey would say “It’s never too late.”

See who Harvey Milk is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Milk

I can’t write a long blog about Harvey Milk, because there is too much I have to say.  My laundry list about the man, his achievements, and ideology would take too long to type out..and others have explained his life more eloquently than I. 

I will say this: Go see Gus Van Sant and Sean Penn’s new film “Milk”, and you will be surprised.  Harvey’s life almost seemed over at age 40, stuck in a closeted lifestyle and in a dead-end job in New York City. Then, a 40 year old Harvey came to have some wisdom and enlightenment and changed himself, and in time would change all that knew him.

Harvey started a movement that spans and thankfully has outlived him and many other great civil rights leaders; Leaders for Human rights that were struck down long before their day and times were up. The death of Harvey Milk was a sad end, but his life is an example of hope that far outshines those tragic final moments.
So on this day, November 27th, 2008, on the very anniversary of his assassination I will raise my glass and my heart to you, Harvey Milk.  May you inspire many more generations to come: Black, Latino, Arab, Jewish, Asian, gay, straight, transgender, bisexual, and more.  We are all just simple hearts beating under flesh and bone, but there is nothing so simple about us.  We are the human race and we all deserve to be treated as just that-with equality, virtue and love.

Harvey never gave up, and we shouldn’t either. Dignity is not a dirty word, it’s just a right we all should have been born with. Finally, in time I hope you all will see in this lifetime that the words “Gay Marriage” are not dirty words either.

Peace,

Carmelo

Ps. Please look at this while you are reading:

http://www.eqca.org/site/pp.asp?c=kuLRJ9MRKrH&b=4026595

2008 Legislation

AB 2567 | Harvey Milk Day
This bill would require the governor proclaim May 22 each year as Harvey Milk Day. It would encourage public schools and educational institutions to conduct suitable commemorative exercises on that date.

Status: Introduced on February 22, 2008. Passed Assembly with a 45-23 vote. Passed Senate with a 22-13 vote. Vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger on September 30.

Lead Author: Assembly member Mark Leno

Sponsor: EQCA

Co-Authors: Senators Kehoe, Kuehl and Migden; Assembly member Laird and Speaker Núñez

Note who vetoed this bill..our fearful leader of California.