The New Gay Apartheid

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

You can't get any more Christian than my parents. They have been churchgoers for their entire lives, have sung in the choir for over 50 years, and use their faith to heal their lives and bond with their community. Unlike the "Religious Right" so popular on FOX News and various street corners, they don't use their faith as a weapon. They are the most loving, caring and accepting people I've ever met. Sometimes I think they like my partner more than me -- at least, they wish I would dress like he does. Having witnessed our relationship for 22 years, they don't understand the vitriol of anti-gay "Christian" spokespeople. So whenever they see an anti-gay "Christian" activist denouncing gays on TV, the first thing they say is "I'm glad those people don't go to our church."

Whatever church those people do go to, they are taught hate and fear, not the Christian love I grew up with. They both hate gays and fear them. They hate them because gays seem to be saying, "To hell with your religious beliefs, and yes, my relationship is just as valid as your marriage, so there." They fear them because removing the stigma from homosexuality robs them of both authority and fundraising tools, not to mention that "the children" will perhaps grow up thinking that it's OK to be gay, and will someday end up with a stranger's genitalia in their mouth. Oh, dear Lord, not that.

After the failure of marriage equality in Maine, David Mixner, a longtime activist and former "Friend Of Bill" Clinton, said:

America is in the process of creating a system of Gay Apartheid. All over the place, this nation is creating one set of laws for LGBT Americans and another set for all other Americans. That is the classic definition of Apartheid. Either our political allies are for Gay Apartheid or against it. There is no half way in fighting Apartheid...

Just as it is unfair to call anything a "holocaust" but The Holocaust, there is really no "apartheid" but the actual South African Apartheid. But Mixner has a point. There are indeed a slew of rabid zealots, usually "Christians" driven by religious fanaticism or just plain hostility, who are doing their worst to make sure that gay people remain second-class citizens at all costs, creating a social structure that desperately attempts to keep gays in their place - silent, obedient, unmarried and either in the closet or jail.

And there are indeed one set of laws for gays and another for all other Americans. When someone asks me if I'm married, I feel like I have to give them a Power Point presentation: "OK, in the city of New York we have a domestic partnership, which means I can visit him in prison. And in New Jersey we have a civil union, so I can say, 'Hi, I'm Jim, and this is my civil unit, THX1138-655321.' And in the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Iowa we are legally married, but when we leave those states our marriage evaporates like cell phone reception."

Any time there is even the slightest attempt to right the wrongs of discrimination, school bullying or insert social problem relating to gay inequality here, these Christian fascists pounce like Somali pirates lurking in the Mediterranean, usually armed with lies based on Biblically based bigotry. Ignoring that Jesus Christ himself said nothing about homosexuality, they invoke the Almighty to justify their own hatred, assuming that most people are too stupid to notice the holes in their logic.

Yes, it's hatred, and there's no other way to describe it. The chairwoman of the National Organization for Marriage resents "people who support "traditional marriage" being called 'haters.'" Considering that they also oppose any gay equality whatsoever, repeatedly use disparaging language and lies to describe gays, and don't have one bloody nice thing to say about us, that sounds like hate to me.

It never ends. A "Christian" activist said of the poor pathetic gays who seek equality, "I'm reminded of spoiled children dressing up and playing house, refusing to come in when mom calls for dinner." A Muslim cleric called for the execution of gays. A Jamaican reggae singer sings about killing gays in his songs. Radio talk jocks joke about beating gays, and still use lisping 1950s voices to imitate them. One Orthodox Rabbi said he would rather give Israel to the Arabs than equality to gays. Oy! Now that's hatred. News flash, Rabbi: the rights are eventually coming, so prepare to get verklempt.

Naming names is unnecessary -- the usual suspects are easily identified by Googling "Anti-Gay" and "wingnut." But, despite their levels of fame, success or telegenic hairdo, they are basically the same as the Fred Phelps "God Hates Fags" clan, just with better grammar and a nicer wardrobe. They dream up scores of unprovable theses as to why gays are bad for society, why they shouldn't have children, why their relationships shouldn't be legal, why they're no damn good to anyone, etc. All of the arguments are very lame and prey on the fears of the stupid. If gays were truly the sick predators we are made out to be, we'd never have any time at all to write musicals, decorate, or party all night.

But, for now, they have successfully created an Apartheid. In addition to inequality in relationship status, employment, housing, health insurance, inheritance rights and on and on, gays also must endure the unspoken inequality that tells them that if they show any public display of affection they better damn well be prepared to face the consequences. Just several days ago, a Manhattan cab driver threw out a gay couple for sitting too closely in the back seat. As a protest, I recommend that gays start spraying stinky cab drivers with Lysol.

"Reverend" Pat Robertson, upon the passage of the Matthew Shepard Act which merely adds the LGBT community to the list of hate crimes protections, said, "The noose is tightening around Christians." He's afraid that preachers will be prevented from preaching hate from the pulpit. They won't, but if they do indeed feel that a "noose" is tightening and if that will help to shut them up, then great.

It's clear from the vote in Maine that work still has to be done to convince the majority that marriage equality is a good thing. I have no doubt whatsoever that it will be done. It may take a generation -- most of the anti-gay zealots just need to die off -- but it will be done. History is on our side and there's nothing the fanatics can do about it. But in the meantime, they're doing their damndest to promote the Gay Apartheid, because they hate and fear.

One day, this Apartheid will be no more. If there were more Christians like my parents, it would be a lot easier.