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 8:21 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Carlos Moreno says atheists, a sizable fraction of Americans, deserve representation in Congress.
updated 12:25 PM EDT, Sun August 31, 2014
Julian Zelizer says Democrats and unions have a long history of mutual support that's on the decline. But in a time of income inequality they need each other more than ever
updated 12:23 AM EDT, Sun August 31, 2014
William McRaven
Peter Bergen says Admiral William McRaven leaves the military with a legacy of strategic thinking about special operations
updated 12:11 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Leon Aron says the U.S. and Europe can help get Russia out of Ukraine by helping Ukraine win its just war, sharing defense technologies and intelligence
updated 1:24 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Timothy Stanley the report on widespread child abuse in a British town reveals an institutional betrayal by police, social services and politicians. Negligent officials must face justice
updated 9:06 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Peter Bergen and David Sterman say a new video of an American suicide bomber shows how Turkey's militant networks are key to jihadists' movement into Syria and Iraq. Turkey must stem the flow
updated 11:54 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Whitney Barkley says many for-profit colleges deceive students, charge exorbitant tuitions and make false promises
updated 10:34 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Mark O'Mara says the time has come to decide whether we really want police empowered to shoot those they believe are 'fleeing felons'
updated 10:32 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Bill Frelick says a tool of rights workers is 'naming and shaming,' ensuring accountability for human rights crimes in conflicts. But what if wrongdoers know no shame?
updated 10:43 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Jay Parini says, no, a little girl shouldn't fire an Uzi, but none of should have easy access to guns: The Second Amendment was not written to give us such a 'right,' no matter what the NRA says
updated 1:22 PM EDT, Sat August 30, 2014
Terra Ziporyn Snider says many adolescents suffer chronic sleep deprivation, which can indeed lead to safety problems. Would starting school an hour later be so wrong?
updated 9:30 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Peggy Drexler says after all the celebrity divorces, it's tempting to ask the question. But there are still considerable benefits to getting hitched
updated 2:49 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
The death of Douglas McAuthur McCain, the first American killed fighting for ISIS, highlights the pull of Syria's war for Western jihadists, writes Peter Bergen.
updated 6:42 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Former ambassador to Syria Robert Ford says the West should be helping moderates in the Syrian armed opposition end the al-Assad regime and form a government to focus on driving ISIS out
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Ruben Navarrette says a great country does not deport thousands of vulnerable, unaccompanied minors who fled in fear for their lives
updated 9:19 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Robert McIntyre says Congress is the culprit for letting Burger King pay lower taxes after merging with Tim Hortons.
updated 7:35 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Wesley Clark says the U.S. can offer support to its Islamic friends in the region most threatened by ISIS, but it can't fight their war
updated 4:53 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
America's painful struggle with racism has often brought great satisfaction to the country's rivals, critics, and foes. The killing of Michael Brown and its tumultuous aftermath has been a bonanza.
updated 3:19 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Rick Martin says the death of Robin Williams brought back memories of his own battle facing down depression as a young man
updated 11:58 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
David Perry asks: What's the best way for police officers to handle people with psychiatric disabilities?
updated 3:50 PM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Julian Zelizer says it's not crazy to think Mitt Romney would be able to end up at the top of the GOP ticket in 2016
updated 4:52 PM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Roxanne Jones and her girlfriends would cheer from the sidelines for the boys playing Little League. But they really wanted to play. Now Mo'ne Davis shows the world that girls really can throw.
updated 5:04 PM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Kimberly Norwood is a black mom who lives in an affluent neighborhood not far from Ferguson, but she has the same fears for her children as people in that troubled town do
updated 5:45 PM EDT, Fri August 22, 2014
It apparently has worked for France, say Peter Bergen and Emily Schneider, but carries uncomfortable risks. When it comes to kidnappings, nations face grim options.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT