The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, September 09, 2002  

Back to Dade County Again

Tomorrow, Sept. 10, 2002, residents of Miami, Dade Country, Fla., will be asked yet again to vote on the question of whether gay men and lesbians are entitled to the full rights of citizenship enjoyed by their fellow residents and taxpayers who happen to be heterosexuals.

For reasons not entirely clear, the result is not expected to be a landslide in favor of common decency. Indeed, according to a recent Knight-Ridder report by Manuel Roig-Franzia, our collective entry into the 21st century has had little if any effect on the extremists opposing equal rights for gay men and lesbians.

Anthony Verdugo, a member of the board of an organization known as Take Back Miami-Dade, writes Roig-Franzia, said "the central theme of the campaign focuses on not extending privileges to gays and lesbians that might not be afforded to others."

"The real issue is special rights and special powers that some people in our community want," says Verdugo, head of the Miami-Dade Christian Coalition.

"Take Back Miami-Dade also contends that gays and lesbians are not the victims of discrimination," reports Roig-Franzia.

Oh, okay, it's not about equal rights and equal protection, it's now once again about that deceitful myth "special privileges," here known as "extending privileges . . . not . . . afforded to others."

The "privileges" enjoyed by gays in Miami-Dade? Massive tax breaks? Subsidized housing? Free health care? Affirmative action hiring quotas? The best spots on the beach? Discounts on gym memberships and sun screen?

No, but let's check in with Take Back Miami-Dade to see what they have to say.

"They have gay clubs; they have gay nights at clubs that are not gay; they have gay restaurants. Instead of discrimination, you see special treatment," says Rosa Armesto de Gonzalez, a lawyer and volunteer with Take Back Miami-Dade volunteer.

So that's how it works! A "straight" bar sets aside one night a week for gay men, a night also likely to play host to substantial numbers of straight women tired of harassment at the usual clubs and, believe it or not, an increasing number of straight men, not a few of whom dance among friends, male and female, straight and gay, with their shirts off among that decadent and similarly clad subset of the socially active population often referred to as the "homos."

Amazing. Gay men open bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and hotels, and refurbish countless architectural gems in run down neighborhoods from coast to coast, and are told that should settle the matter -- they should sit back, be happy, and return to their show tunes. Gays should recognize -- nay, admit, concede -- that the achievements of their friends -- their own community -- are special set-asides for their enjoyment only, as if virtually 98 percent of the American straight population hadn't already eaten at -- and enjoyed their time at -- a "gay" restaurant.

But aren't the nightclubs and restaurants enough? What are these faggots complaining about?

Hell, as long as the queers have a place to drink and dance, what difference does it make if discrimination in employment, housing, personal privacy, and parental rights are thrown out the window?

Go back to your drinks and your drugs, boys, and since you're all so rich, be sure to cast your votes in the next election for the Republicans who so thoroughly despise you.

Michael Kopper and Andrew Sullivan, please call your offices. Oh, wait -- neither of you has an office to call anymore!

Sorry about that, fellas.

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