In the last couple hours I've gotten several messages on Facebook about Friday's impending Iowa Supreme Court ruling on Gay Marriage. Several of the activists groups I loosely belong to are planning a "celebration or protest" rally Friday evening in New York's Union Square from 6:30-7:30PM. The ruling is important, but it's likely to fall short of the full marriage rights that we're hoping for.
On the other side of the world, the idea of gay marriage is a total fantasy. In Iraq, over 100 gays have been scheduled for execution. They will be murdered by their government for being born homosexual.
Anyone brave enough to be a gay activist in Iraq is hunted down and murdered. One such activist group, Iraqi-LGBT, says:
“Raids by the Iraqi police and Ministry of Interior forces cost our group [to the extent of] disappearing and killing of 17 members working for Iraqi-LGBT since 2005.
“The death penalty has been increasing at an alarming rate in Iraq since the new Iraqi regime reintroduced it in August 2004.
“In 2008, at least 285 people were sentenced to death, and at least 34 executed. In 2007 at least 199 people were sentenced to death and 33 were executed, while in 2006 at least 65 people were put to death.
There isn't anything wrong with caring about gay marriage, it's certainly something we should work toward. But scheduling a rally to protest (or celebrate) the decision of Iowa's Supreme Court in the face of gay genocide in Iraq, rising HIV rates among young gays, and the increase in gay youth homelessness seems fairly trite to me.
Bottom line: It's time for the gay civil rights movement to expand it's agenda.