DBWI Gay marriage not legalized during the 80s

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by West, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. West Well-Known Member

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    When the aids crisis first hit many people expected President Ronald Regan to try to ignore it or put it aside.

    Instead he reached the conclusion that the crisis was caused by promiscuity, and that good old fashioned marrage could be used to fix the crisis. He reached out to the religious right and a few other conservatives and was able to successfully get gay marriage legalized nationwide by 1985.

    This didn't stop the aids crisis at all, but it was a solid victory for gay rights.

    But what if Reagan hadn't come to this conclusion? What would have happened to america and the gay community as a whole?
     
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  2. overoceans Well-Known Member

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    OOC:

    This is really taking Great Man theory to the limits of plausibility.
     
  3. GunsCarsGuitars Modern day folk hero

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    Closing down those bathhouses would have done more good.
     
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  4. Golfman76 s p a c e s b e t w e e n l e t t e r s

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    OOC: Yeah, no. Reagan would never do this.
     
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  5. samcster94 Well-Known Member

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    OOC: that would like seeing a country like India do it today.
     
  6. Lost Freeway Western Propaganda F***er

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    Well, if Reagan hadn't contracted HIV from infected blood during surgery after being shot by John Hinckley in July 1981, his attitude towards homosexuals may not have softened-though he kept his illness secret until his death in April 1986.
     
  7. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

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    Well, a lot of folks forget that as a Hollywood actor, and a former governor of California, Reagan was hardly a stranger to the LGBT community - his best friend was Rock Hudson, and his kids were nannied by a lesbian couple. He also vetoed legislation in California that would have prevented gays from working as teachers. Hudson and his husband were married in the White House, and both were pallbearers at Reagan's funeral in 2005.

    While he didn't do enough to combat AIDS - and let's be frank, given we barely knew what caused it in the 80s, and we only really started knowing how to prevent it in the early 90s, and are only starting to treat it now, what the hell could have been done about AIDS in the 80s? - Reagan was almost a natural fit to advance LGBT rights, he was radical even by lefty standards of the day.

    One of the odd effects was that gay marriage would come to politically divide the previously uniform LGBT community the same way that abortion divided the previously uniform women's movement, and along similar lines. The gays and lesbians that marry, settle down, and adopt a few kids all tend to be pretty firm Republicans. The young and single gays and lesbians meanwhile, tend to vote democrat. The old joke about liberals turning conservative when they get old and start a family applies every bit as much to gay and lesbian couples.

    On the other hand, it did slow some other issues - much like abortion permanently divided the women's movement, gay marriage permanently divided the LGBT movement. It worked out for the best, given there were now groups on both sides of the aisle in favor of granting concessions to the LGBT community, but just like you have feminists excluding married women and pro-life groups from their marches, you've got some pride parades who exclude married couples, or view them as sellouts.

    It also helped make sure the moral majority had some flexibility on social issues, allowing the GOP a firm libertarian streak, at least on LGBT rights. Without Reagan moving forward on gay marriage, would President George W. Bush have had the room to move forward on transgender rights? Who doesn't love the story of him going back to his college class reunion (Yale was all male at the time), and one of his former classmates had transitioned to womanhood. She was afraid to approach Bush, eventually telling him “You might remember me as Peter when we left Yale…" Without a seconds hesitation, in full view of the press, Bush answered, “And now you’ve come back as yourself." I may not be a fan of everything Dubya did, but damn if he wasn't a fundamentally decent man.

    OOC: That first paragraph is all OTL. Prior to his presidency, Reagan had one of the best records in the country with the LGBT community. For a guy born in 1911, he was shockingly progressive on LGBT rights, especially for an era where multiracial relationships were controversial, much less same sex relationships. Not by our standards today granted, and he fumbled the ball in the White House, but you point out someone else born before 1911 who tells his kids that their nannies are lesbians, and that it's perfectly normal.

    That George W. Bush story is true too.
     
  8. Emperor Julian Apostata

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    Maybe then we wouldn't have have had the Heteronormativity laws in place. "Gay culture" being banned in public was pretty nasty, good thing the SC struck them down.
     
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  9. Ancien Regime Well-Known Member

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    OOC:

    wtf i love bush now

    IC: A similar effect happened with trans people actually - essentially trans people in 2017 have a pretty high degree of acceptance, as long as they adhere to and attempt to pass as part of the gender binary. So the Wachowski sisters get to be global icons, Caitlyn Jenner gets to be a popular conservative commentator *after* transitioning in 1994, and Laverne Cox was able to complete the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award), but if you're non-binary or aren't conventionally attractive, then you're still facing a lot of ostracism outside the cities, and god help you if you try to argue that you don't need dysphoria to be trans - I know someone who was actually expelled from med school (1 year away from completing their MD at Johns Hopkins) for suggesting the idea.

    OOC: In this scenario, the accelerated pace of LGBT rights causes Caitlyn Jenner to reject Kris Kardashian and become openly trans, and the Wachowskis transition during the production of The Matrix, which makes the trans allegorical aspects of the movie more obvious.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  10. Lost Freeway Western Propaganda F***er

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    OOC:Wait,what?
     
  11. theg*ddam*hoi2fan Beware of the Leopard

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    You might not have seen the Mormon Church approve same-sex marriage in the early 2000s. It took them a while, sure, and there was hefty opposition...but after a few years it became accepted by the greater part of the Church. Chiefly because they were of the opinion that if God didn't want it, then He would have prevented the Church authorities from bringing it about.*

    If anyone exemplifies what Reagan was aiming for with permitting gay marriage, it's the LDS Church. They still cleave strongly to ideas of no sex before marriage, importance of family, etc. but same-sex marriage is now an accepted part of the Church and church social events - dances, picnics etc. - where same-sex partners attend are a regular occurrence.

    *OOC: Apparently the LDS Church's attitude to doctrinal changes is that if God didn't want 'em, He wouldn't allow the Church authorities to make them in the first place.
     
  12. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

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    Well that, and that by focusing so much on being post-op as the threshold for acceptance, pardon the expression, but lower class transgendered people who can't afford the surgery kind of get the shaft, as poor people often door sadly.

    Granted, I get why that BECAME a threshold - it's hard to argue how somebody with a vagina and boobs isn't a woman - but it's odd how if that's where we collectively try to set the bar, where there isn't more of an effort to help people get to that point. Dubya and Obama have moved things forward a lot, but there is still a way to go yet.
     
  13. alspug Well-Known Member

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    I have to say if they had not legalized Gay Marriage ; Gay Divorce court Starring Judge Judy may not have won as many awards.
     
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  14. Ancien Regime Well-Known Member

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    The American Affordable Care Act mandates that insurers cover all transition related care, and there's legislation to expand Medicaid to cover SRS for both recpients and people who buy into it to cover this exact issue. The problem is for poor trans people, they can't even afford the copays for SRS and while overseas surgeons are cheaper (my wife got hers with Dr. Suporn for like 9k compared to upwards of 25k in the states), many insurers won't cover that, and Medicaid CERTAINLY won't.
     
  15. theg*ddam*hoi2fan Beware of the Leopard

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    I do have to wonder what the effect on pop culture would have been. OTL, we've seen increasing prominence of L and G characters in films, TV shows and video games since the 80s (even if it's taken until more recently to have many B and T).

    Some people have complained that the kind of gay characters we see in mainstream media are 'painfully normal' but quite often that's not a problem - they're almost always fully rounded characters who just happen to be gay. Without the OTL move towards normalisation we might just have seen token characters whose only character feature is being gay.
     
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  16. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

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    I mean, it can't get any worse than that Glee club show a few years back, can it? The one Advocate called "an LGBT Minstrel Show" where the main gay character was a flamboyant wuss who carried a purse and was catty as hell, it made women become lesbians the same why the Gallactica reboot used Cylons, and worst of all, that trans gym teacher so offensive even Mike Huckabee would think they'd gone too far. No wonder it got shitcanned after half a season.

    I can't ever see a scenario where LGBT folks are so starved for representation where THAT would be acceptable.
     
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  17. The Poarter Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. We also see the same effect in anime and Manga. Me and my friends made a drinking game when we binged watched One Piece where we took a drink everytime we learned someone was gay or lesbians. So far we've only taken four what's and we're half way through the series. The same thing is true in normal western children cartoons. If you look closely or watch closely you can tell which characters are gay but it's more or less a passing mention in conversation right if we don't ever see them with their partners.
     
  18. The Poarter Well-Known Member

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    We also have to remember how radical this whole change was. More than half of Americans were against same-sex marriage until 1990. George Bush senior had to side step the issue and make timid promises during his election campaign. Granted I am happy he won and went on to expand LGBT protection rights and aid victims but you get where I am coming from.

    What was noticeable was that this actually reduces the spread of AIDs so at least that was a good thing although treatment wouldn't really be available until the end of bushes single term.

    Also remember the global reaction to this move. I do.

    OOC: how do you think the world would have reacted to this?
     
  19. theg*ddam*hoi2fan Beware of the Leopard

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    True. Unless it's a major part of the story. Like the Korra-Asami romance arc, culminating in their wedding in the finale. And that wasn't treated any differently to a het relationship.

    I certainly remember how quick the Scandinavian countries were to follow America's lead :)

    OOC: Given how advanced they were/are OTL...
     
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  20. The Poarter Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah. I looked it up. Most of the countries didn't start following America's lead for a while. Well except for Scandanavia as you mentioned. From the Wiki I've been able to gather this:

    Norway -1985
    Sweden - 1986
    Denmark - 1988
    Iceland - 1989
    Finland - 1997

    Although Finland was a bit late compared to the rest of Scandanavia they did eventually legalize it after a massive fistfight in their Parliament. Just look up the Civil Union Act - 1996. I don't think I've ever seen a brawl that large. Thankfully they did eventually vote on it 104 - 95 with 1 absentee.

    EDIT: I watched a video of Thatcher's face when she realized what Reagan had done. It looked like she was about to have a seizure right there. I don't really like Reagan but I'll admit that the fact that he was able to legalize Same-Sex Marriage in his time is an achievement in itself, nevermind that it became such an accepted part of Western Life thanks to his inititatives.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017 at 5:52 AM
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