Wednesday, July 20, 2011
In promoting the letter, GM4NY chose to repeat and highlight a particularly offensive passage from the letter:
Hear this, straight people: Maybe it's convenient for you to get married over the weekend, or maybe you just like the novelty factor of tying the knot on a historic day. But the opportunity means a hell of a lot more for gay couples. Every spot in the lottery occupied by one of you means a gay couple misses out on an experience with much deeper personal significance."
Within an hour, 113 comments had been lodged on the Facebook site, with only two individuals supporting GM4NY's posting of the letter. All others took the organization to task. A representative sample of comments:
Chelle Panzica: I dont think its fair to ask heteros not to get married on the 24, weddings typically are planned way ahead of time and to even ask that is kind of rude. and im gay! and from ny
Denise Gibaldi: equality means EVERYONE should be able get married!
Shannon McNeece: You are just as ignorant as you claim "straight people" are. "Listen up straight people"? Really?
Todd Joseph: agreed, it is a day to celebrate EQUALity- for everyone, we must act within the constraints of what we demanded. lets the state rejoice together
Andrew Arslan: Kinda wrong...if they want to get married that same day let 'em. Without their support we wouldn't even have that day.
Penni Blizzard- McGrath: Seriously? "Listen?" We've been listening and we applaud equal rights - don't ask for "special" rights now. THAT attitude is why so many are clueless.
James Carter Giardina Jr.: I'm gonna have to agree, I do not feel comfortable asking (demanding) the right to marry, and than turning around and asking other couples not too. That date could have a very specific and special meaning to a heterosexual couple just as it will to gay ones. The day will mean no less, if it is shared with heterosexual couples. If anything it will mean so much more.
Alyssa Andrew: Rude, rude, RUDE.
Danny-Timothy Patrick Tyrell: Someone, please contact NYMag and let them know this is a big mistake to print. Gay Marriage for NY. I can't believe you even reposted this. Bad Form, very Bad Form.
Brittany Cable: I'm going to agree with everyone else -- straight people have just as much of a right to get married on that day as we do. To ask them not to because the day is somehow "more special" to us is rather rude and insensitive of us.
Matthew Mackey: I do not agree with this article one bit. Asking for straight ppl to wait to get married is exactly OPPOSITE of what we were fighting for. PPL who are fighting against our rights and equality are going to use this article against us. Their marriages are just as important as ours are.
As the hits came coming, GM4NY attempted to distance themselves from the letter with the excuse that they only were posting it "for discussion purposes." However, they never asked for discussion, comment, opinion, or input: instead, they simply quoted and posted the pointed paragraph above.
Let's be frank: GM4NY is not a 'discussion group' - it is an advocacy organization with over 140,000 followers that has used social media to pursue specific political agendas. Someone thought a bit too highly of themselves and chose to pursue an offensive agenda that is not supported by the GLBT community, and then found themselves backtracking and excuse-making.
In blunt terms: this is a freaking stupid-ass campaign. Who the hell at GM4NY thought that this idiocy was a good idea? Straight couples and legislators were our allies throughout the Marriage Equality process, and 'reserving' a date just for same-sex marriages is insulting and asinine. We ALL deserve to tie the knot if we want to - thats what Marriage Equality was all about! We argued we wanted Equality; our opponents argued that we wanted "special rights." Any effort to reserve a date as 'special' for gay marriages alone validates our opponents arguments that we wanted 'special rights.'
What we want is Equality, not special treatment. Someone at Gay Marriage for NY needs a swift kick in the ass for this...and for digging in its heels and refusing to accept the criticism of the vast majority of its followers - many of whom worked tirelessly for Marriage Equality - who were insulted, upset, and horrified by their position.