Dear Tell All: I'm a gay man who came out a couple decades ago. Given the year I was born, you can bet I've experienced some awful repression from the homophobic powers-that-be. My generation was bullied, discriminated against and ridiculed.
I don't want to make it seem like I feel sorry for myself. I kept my head down and lived my life, just like African Americans, Native Americans, women and other groups traditionally discriminated against in the Land of the Free. But I do want to indulge in a moment of celebration after Election Day.
Those homophobic powers-that-be are still doing everything they can to make sure gay people get treated as less than full citizens. Witness the war on equality waged by Mitt Romney, the Republican establishment and, closer to home, Bishop Robert Morlino and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. Our daily newspaper, the Wisconsin State Journal, supported their efforts by endorsing Romney-Ryan, not to mention Tommy Thompson (whose campaign manager sent out a homophobic tweet about lesbian opponent Tammy Baldwin). Millions of dollars poured in from wealthy conservatives to defeat Democrats who support gay rights.
But guess what? These regressive forces went down in defeat on Nov. 6. Fairness and humanity prevailed. The majority of Catholics voted for President Obama - a supporter of same-sex marriage - despite stern directives from bishops like Morlino. (Clearly, the Catholic bureaucracy has lost its moral persuasiveness after decades of shielding pedophiles.) States supported pro-gay measures and voted down an anti-gay one. Baldwin became the nation's first openly gay senator. The State Journal editorial board is sitting there with egg on its face, having backed the haters who were soundly rejected by our city, county, state and country.
The homophobes have spent the days post-election telling the American people that they were stupid or immoral for voting the way they did. I want to tell the American people something else: Thank you for honoring the spirit of tolerance that dates back to the Declaration of Independence.
Dear Relieved: Eloquently put. Maybe you should consider a run for political office yourself in 2014.