Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

The secret gay agenda

By LZ Granderson, CNN Contributor
updated 9:07 AM EDT, Sun June 17, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • LZ Granderson says everything the gay community wants is in the Constitution
  • Civil rights for African-Americans didn't come through popular vote, he says
  • Congress and the courts took the lead and popular opinion eventually moved, he says
  • Granderson: In 29 states, it's still legal to fire someone because he or she is gay

Editor's note: LZ Granderson, who writes a weekly column for CNN.com, was named journalist of the year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. He is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter: @locs_n_laughs. He spoke at TEDx Grand Rapids in May. TED is a nonprofit organization dedicated to "Ideas worth spreading" which it makes available through talks posted on its website.

Grand Rapids, Michigan (CNN) -- I wonder if black people would be still in the fields picking cotton today if the 13th Amendment -- the one abolishing slavery -- was placed on the ballot back in 1865.

I wonder if Hillary Clinton would be at home baking cookies instead of serving as secretary of state if women's suffrage was put to a vote back in 1919.

In other words, I wonder just how far along we would be as a society if the oppressive majority held all of the legislative and judicial power over the oppressed minority, essentially yanking the teeth out of Congress and the Supreme Court.

I'm sure you've heard a lot about the gay agenda, but may not know what's in it. Here's what you do: Download a copy of the United States Constitution, read it. Everything the LGBT community wants is in there.

Sounds like an oversimplification?

It's not.

TED.com: What you don't know about marriage

There's not a single issue regarding the LGBT community that has been covered in the media or deliberated in courts that is counter to the articles of the Constitution. On the other hand, the fact that in 29 states it is legal to fire someone just because they're gay flies in the face of the 14th amendment, particularly the passage that says "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States."

That may not be consistent with one's religion, and that's fine. But the Bible and the Constitution are not the same thing.

I can't think of a single major civil rights victory that came by way of a general election and so I am not surprised that all 32 states that have voted on marriage equality, voted against marriage equality.

It is human nature to resist change, especially change that may bring significant inconvenience to the vast majority of the people, those who are enjoying the spoils of the status quo. "If it's not broke, don't fix it," was never said by the community that was demanding their rights.

TED.com: Will our kids be a different species?

It was always the mantra of those who liked their slaves; who liked their women barefoot and pregnant; who felt uncomfortable working next to someone with cerebral palsy; who get squeamish at the thought of two men falling in love.

We elect members of Congress to lead us, not appease us. This is why our history has so many civil rights victories come by way of Congress or the courts and so few if any civil rights victories by election. When it gets right down to it, culturally we're like children who have to be forced to eat our vegetables.

We like the Constitution when it can be used to endorse life the way we think it ought to be and we ignore it, or vote against it when the Bill of Rights or the various amendments challenge our world view or force us to make accommodations -- however big or small -- for others.

This week election officials in the state of Washington announced that a referendum seeking to nullify the recently passed law legalizing same-sex marriage has qualified for the November ballot.

Washington joins Maryland, Maine and Minnesota as the next round of states that will put the civil rights of some of their citizens to a vote. Early polls indicate that at least one of them will indeed vote in favor of marriage equality, which is a victory for the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.

Though it's a bit of a shame that the Constitution needs such victories and that history has taught us nothing.

Follow @CNNOpinion on Twitter

Join us at Facebook/CNNOpinion

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of LZ Granderson

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 2:25 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Maria Cardona says Republicans should appreciate President Obama's executive action on immigration.
updated 7:44 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Van Jones says the Hunger Games is a more sweeping critique of wealth inequality than Elizabeth Warren's speech.
updated 6:29 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
obama immigration
David Gergen: It's deeply troubling to grant legal safe haven to unauthorized immigrants by executive order.
updated 8:34 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
Charles Kaiser recalls a four-hour lunch that offered insight into the famed director's genius.
updated 3:12 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
The plan by President Obama to provide legal status to millions of undocumented adults living in the U.S. leaves Republicans in a political quandary.
updated 10:13 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
Despite criticism from those on the right, Obama's expected immigration plans won't make much difference to deportation numbers, says Ruben Navarette.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
As new information and accusers against Bill Cosby are brought to light, we are reminded of an unshakable feature of American life: rape culture.
updated 5:56 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
When black people protest against police violence in Ferguson, Missouri, they're thought of as a "mob."
updated 3:11 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
Lost in much of the coverage of ISIS brutality is how successful the group has been at attracting other groups, says Peter Bergen.
updated 8:45 AM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
Do recent developments mean that full legalization of pot is inevitable? Not necessarily, but one would hope so, says Jeffrey Miron.
updated 8:19 AM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
We don't know what Bill Cosby did or did not do, but these allegations should not be easily dismissed, says Leslie Morgan Steiner.
updated 10:19 AM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
Does Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas have the influence to bring stability to Jerusalem?
updated 12:59 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
Even though there are far fewer people being stopped, does continued use of "broken windows" strategy mean minorities are still the target of undue police enforcement?
updated 9:58 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
The truth is, we ran away from the best progressive persuasion voice in our times because the ghost of our country's original sin still haunts us, writes Cornell Belcher.
updated 4:41 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Children living in the Syrian city of Aleppo watch the sky. Not for signs of winter's approach, although the cold winds are already blowing, but for barrel bombs.
updated 8:21 AM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
We're stuck in a kind of Middle East Bermuda Triangle where messy outcomes are more likely than neat solutions, says Aaron David Miller.
updated 7:16 AM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
In the midst of the fight against Islamist rebels seeking to turn the clock back, a Kurdish region in Syria has approved a law ordering equality for women. Take that, ISIS!
updated 11:07 PM EST, Sun November 16, 2014
Ruben Navarrette says President Obama would be justified in acting on his own to limit deportations
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT