Connecting the Hot Buttons

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Connecting the Hot Buttons

Could Terri Schiavo end up as an unknowing heroine of the marriage equality movement?

It's starting to become conventional wisdom that GOP politicians (most notably Tom DeLay) and the "Christian" right have overreached in the Schiavo case. It turns out that a smallish majority of Americans apparently think that removing the feeding tube is the right decision--but a larger majority are seriously unhappy about having people like Tom DeLay meddle with a family's private tragedy.

I'm not saying that folks will go to bed saying, "I wish those clowns in Congress would do something worthwhile instead of fixating on Terri Schiavo," and wake up saying, "My God! What they're doing to the queers is unjust!" But a lot of straight people can empathize with Michael Schiavo, either because of personal experience with dying parents or because they can imagine themselves in the role of either Terri or Michael. And a highly publicized case like this, threatening governmental intrusion into painful and personal decisions, will frighten people.

People like me find the radical clerics and their political lackeys frightening enough already. But this episode may move the moderate, common-sensical, middle-aged cohort that seems to be the "swing vote" on same-sex marriage in the same direction. This case is only one small moment in a long culture war; nonetheless, we may be witnessing the beginnings of a backlash against the fundamentalist agenda. More people may, in the coming months and years, start saying that they'd like the fundies to butt out of their lives, thank you very much; and stopping them from screwing around with gay people's families could be part of that backlash.

0 comments in Connecting the Hot Buttons

Post a Comment

Connecting the Hot Buttons | Demagogue Copyright © 2010