Over three hundred years since the setting and time chosen by Nathaniel Hawthorne for his novel of Puritan New England yet it may be time to issue another Scarlet Letter, but this time for those demonstrating "Intolerance" as well as those who facilitate it. And what better a place to start handing out these modern letters of shame than the Massachusetts State House to any legislator who will vote for discriminating against the LGBT Community directly or who will facilitate the process by allowing this Equal Rights Issue to be determined by popular vote.
In today's Boston Globe Editorial the writer hits the nail right on the head in saying, "In time, we believe, people in states with laws or constitutional amendments banning gay marriage will come to see those provisions as a mark of shame. States that offer marriage to straight couples and marriage-lite to gays will recognize the absurdity of the situation -- and the insult to gay couples inherent in it."
This has always been KnowThyNeighbor's opinion and one of the reasons why the posting of the names of signers of the anti-gay petition was so important. Not many people know this but KTN was very much influenced by a film from 2003 called "American Lynching: A Strange and Bitter Fruit" by Gode Davis. His collective work showing the actual photographs taken during the lynchings in our country of African-Americans was a testament to the natural progress of intolerance when left to its own. However, what burned into my conscience more than the images of the victims were the images of the bystanders who came out to watch, many dressed like they had just came from church (and probably had). One woman wearing white gloves in particular will forever be immortalized as she was not even watching, but was laughing and facing away from the lynching, chit-chatting with friends.
That is what I am talking about. Unfortunately, there will always be victims of intolerance. Some have paid with their lives, others with their rights and dignity. But who is to blame for this intolerance? Those ladies in their Sunday best as well as the men who threw the ropes over those tree limbs. The bystanders, those who turned their heads, those who laughed because it really did not affect them.
And whom is to be blamed for the intolerance against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and trans people which is exhibited in this anti-equality amendment? Not just VoteOnMarriage and its alliance. But the Legislators who will vote for this amendment, those who will vote for the amendment in order to "pass the buck" to the electorate. Those who willingly signed this nasty petition, those who signed, may have been duped, and still don't care to help us. And others, our fellow citizens and neighbors who feel for us but really don't get involved. White gloves continue to be a fashionable accessary to any badge of intolerance.
Tom Lang, Director