Pioneer Activists Express their Views
Compiled By GayToday
Franklin E. Kameny,
The legendary Franklin E. Kameny, Ph.D., is the father of gay civil rights militancy. In 1960 he became the first gay man to challenge official bias at the U.S. Supreme Court after he'd been fired from his U.S. Government position as an astronomer suspected of being gay. The high court was disinclined to hear his case, helping turn him thereafter into a tenacious and tireless pioneering crusader, paving the way for freedom-to-be for same-sex love and affection.
We Americans have been long and justifiably proud of our smoothly-running Presidential-succession machinery, which has only rarely faltered. This time, the machinery broke down badly and, after protracted and nasty skirmishing, based upon archaic voting methods of which we should be ashamed, and questionable court decisions, put into the White House a minority-vote President who is clearly a second-best for gay people.
With Gore, we gays would have had a sympathetic, knowledgeable and friendly President, building upon a good, sound, solid foundation from which to extend and enlarge our unprecedented gains of the past decade.
With Bush, upon the basis of all past indications, we will have an unfriendly President, largely ignorant of our concerns and, in the words of the Red Queen, we will have to run as hard as we can just to stay in the same place.
In the broader sense and in the long run, if this fracas results in a general reform and modernization not only of the sheer mechanics of vote casting and vote counting, but a 28th amendment to the Constitution modernizing and rationalizing the selection of our Presidents, perhaps later generations of Americans generally will be the better off, whatever the immediate future holds for gay Americans.
In 1977 veteran Florida activist Bob Kunst stood up to Anita Bryant on a nationally-televised debate in which he made her appear to be quite foolish. Years later she admitted he'd represented a very dark period in her life. He was a founder in 1985 of CURE AIDS NOW, which TV anchor Peter Jennings called “The most effective grass roots AIDS organization in the state hit third hardest.”
All of this sniveling and groveling for conciliation and reaching out across party lines to embrace each other reminds me of Mel White's reaching out to Jerry Falwell, who never ever could have been our friend.
While everyone tells us that this is the end of the struggle, I see it as a continuation of the revolution that's already revealing the scandalous loss of Democracy and the grand theft of our freedom in this election right in front of our eyes.
Apparently the Republican family values—stealing, robbing, cheating, and rent-a-mob rule are supposedly to be forgiven by pleadings of Gore and Lieberman to now come together while ignoring the very basic principle that our sacred right to vote—for which we've sacrificed life and limb— has been so totally shredded and destroyed that the issue is neither Bush nor Gore but WE THE PEOPLE.
When George Washington took on King George, the majority of the public didn't support him. We may face a majority that is willing to compromise everything this country stands for, and has been betrayed by Bush. Our role is not to accept King George II, but to expose his him as an illegitimate fraud, not representative of what America's really all about. He didn't really win. He stole. He's not our president in this banana republic.
Therefore, no concession, no compromise, no conciliation, and No More Bushit!
There must be highly visible non-violent outrage to expose the illegitimacy of the Bush administration or we will have lost everything, and not just this election. Silence equals death. See you on January 20th, Inauguration Day in Washington, D.C.
Philosopher Arthur Evans was a founding member of New York City's Gay Activist Alliance (1969) in the period following the Stonewall rebellion. He was a primary architect in the 1970s of the gay movement's direct-action approach. Arthur is also the author of a variety of provocative books including the monumental philosophical treatise Critique of Patriarchal Reason (White Crane Press)
Justice Scalia's Gang of Five have taken a pick-ax to the roots of the tree of democracy, which is the right of voters to have their votes counted. This assault goes far beyond the question of whether Al Gore or George Bush won the election. It's a question of whether public officials or the people are the ultimate source of power in our nation. Regardless of whether Gore concedes or not, we the people should take to the streets everywhere and disrupt the inauguration in January. Democracy is worth fighting for.
New York City
Pioneering media activist Randolfe Wicker was the first openly gay male to go on radio and television in 1962. He has been active in the liberation movement since 1958 when he joined The New York Mattachine Society.
Well, we have discovered that five votes on the U.S. Supreme Court cancel over fifty million popular votes of American citizens.
I was so totally disappointed by Al Gore's concession speech that I wouldn't vote for this guy for dog catcher in the next election.
Can you conceive of Abraham Lincoln losing an election and blithely turning over the reins of power to the slave masters, and then agreeing to work with them?
What would I have liked to hear Al Gore say?
"I wish President Bush's stewardship of the Presidency of this country great success. I will work with him to see that America's place in the world's leadership is not compromised.
“However, I would ask all those who voted for me in this election to resolve to vote in 2002 for Democrats for the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. This is the only way that we can ensure that nominees to the Supreme Court are chosen in a bipartisan fashion and are jurists that all Americans can look up to as unbiased seekers of truth and justice.
“Thank you and good night.”