Statement from ACTUP SF

The Christian Right wing speaks of returning Amerika to a bygone era of family values. But let’s face it! When the right wing speaks nostalgically of the past we know they are speaking of a time when a woman’s place was in the kitchen, blacks rode in the back of the bus, Mexicans did the yard work, and queers remained in the closet. To such wishful thinking on the part of the reactionary conservatives we say, GET OVER IT!

It is bogus to speak of the “sacredness” of marriage or family. Historically marriage is based on the male private ownership of women and children. Up until the suffrage movement of the late 19th century, women had neither voting nor property rights nor any legal recourse to protect themselves from abuse and economic dependency. Like every other minority in US society, women had to demand their basic human rights from the white male establishment. In the 1970s the feminist movement boldly proclaimed “Our Bodies, Ourselves” setting the stage for the right to choose. This basic first step towards women’s emancipation rocked society to its foundation sending the Christian Right wing reeling. Conservatives blame the so-called “breakdown of the family” on such advances as a woman’s right to choose, gay rights and the sexual freedom movement. But in truth the “breakdown of the family” is only a reflection of the general breakdown of class society. Just as the era of the abusive father needs to come to an end, the top heavy CEOs of corporate Amerika need to be shown the door. Nothing less than a social order free of bosses, generals, priests, kings, prime ministers, presidents and other authoritarian father figures can insure our freedom.

That reverends, coaches, parents, sergeants, teachers, television producers and other responsible members of society continue to condemn homosexuality is inexcusable. To pretend that such people are not responsible for the mounting violence against queers is out of the question. Gay people who attempt to fit into the constrictions of marriage, family and military service are selling themselves short. It is both cliché and oxymoron to speak of the dysfunctional family. There is a fifty percent divorce rate among heterosexuals. The number of divorces, like the number of teenagers suffering from drug abuse, alcoholism, bulimia, suicide, and illiteracy, is indicative of the general failure of the family unit. Shootings by children in public schools culminating in the Littleton debacle, both shocked the world and, like the continued bombing of the civilian populations of Iraq and Afghanistan, exposes the true nature of the country’s macho militaristic ethic of blind aggression. We are told Hopi prophecy warns when children begin killing it is a sign the world is ending. Amerika’s gas guzzling, animal eating, plutonium fueled, love-hating society, founded on land theft, the extermination of Native people, the enslavement of African people, the subjugation of women, and consequently the condemnation of homosexuality, continues to drive the world towards nuclear catastrophe. So much for family values! And so much for the morality of the Christian Right wing!

ACT UP San Francisco 1884 Market St San Francisco, CA 94102 Ph: (415) 864-6686 Fax (415) 864-6687 info@actupsf.com