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Posts Tagged ‘equal rights’

I’ve had to remind myself this week that I still live in the United States of America. I had to check and make sure the Constitution was still in place, and, for good measure, I checked to make sure the Bill of Rights hadn’t been changed. My fear was that rich, white men were the only ones who were now entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

My main thoughts and most of my focus, much to my dismay, has been on religion.  The President was to sign an Executive Order that would grant exemptions for religious believers, schools and businesses, to federal laws they disagree with – mainly LGBT and abortion rights laws.  You know – an Executive Order that would allow people of faith to discriminate based on their beliefs – they called it – “Religious Liberties.” Thankfully, but much to the dismay of the evangelical folks, these exemptions were not included in this Executive Order.

This whole thing has made my head, and my heart hurt.

I do not understand anyone who goes to a church who tells you it’s okay to discriminate. Even if you believe in your heart you don’t agree with discrimination, my thinking is this; if you can sit in that pew and listen to the sermons, there is a part of you that does agree. And even if you say to yourself, I don’t agree with that – If you give them money, you’re supporting discrimination. I’m sorry, but that’s just how I feel.

I’m gay, so perhaps my take on anti-LGBT preaching’s may be different that a straight person, but they shouldn’t be.  I just know I could never support a church that tells me it’s okay to discriminate or that someone is less than simply because of who they are.

Personally, A church that tells anyone they are less than, is not a place I want to be. A church that tells anyone they must pray the gay away to get to heaven, is not a place I want to be. Any church that feeds the hungry, clothes the poor and does good works, and yet discriminates and pickets and marches against LGBT people – well, that’s not a place I want to be either. You either love all people as they are, or you don’t. You either believe God made us all in his image, or you don’t. Period.

This is the reason I no longer attend church. The picking and choosing of who we should vote for, who we should discriminate against, what passages of the Bible we should read…  It’s not for me.

We are all human beings. Every one of us. I want the same respect given the straight woman who lives her life just trying to help people. We’re no different in the eyes of God.

As a nation, we already have “Religious Liberty.”  The Founders made sure of that in The First Amendment.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

What these evangelical people want, is the freedom to discriminate. Against women, against LGBT, against anything and anyone who doesn’t fit into their little religious box.  They not only want it, they want it to be the law of the land.

We are all searching for something. We’re all just trying to make our way in this world as best we can. Personally, I do what I know to be right and just. I write and march and protest for everyone to have an equal shot at this thing we call life. I believe that equal rights are human rights.

I don’t hang with people who are negative and have hate in their heart. I walk away from people who like to tell me I’m bound for hell because of who I am.

I try and spread kindness, and I do what I can to let other gay people know it’s okay to come out. It’s okay to be who you are. It’s okay.

And it is okay. No matter what your family, your church, even your government may throw at you…

It’s okay.

You’re okay.

Your life matters.

You matter.1-DSC_1766

 

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“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

These words lead off the second paragraph of our nations Declaration of Independence. It’s the finalization of these words on July 4th, 1776 that we celebrate in the United States of America on a day known as Independence Day.

It’s a day to be celebrated by every American – not just the rich ones, or the white ones, or the Christian ones, or the heterosexual ones; it’s a day for every American.

I’m not sure that Thomas Jefferson could have possibly imagined that his words would still be a rallying cry to so many in the year 2012, when these unalienable rights he wrote so passionately of  236 years ago. are still being debated by the government,  as to who deserves them.

Unalienable Rights are defined as rights that cannot be surrendered, sold, or transferred to someone else. These unalienable rights have also been called natural rights and God-given rights.  Whatever you call them, the point is; they cannot be taken away from you simply because someone doesn’t like the color of your skin, the god you chose to worship, the person you chose to sleep with, or any other myriad of reasons that might come into the mind of the people with the money and the power.

As Gay Americans we have the unalienable right to love whomever we choose, but… we don’t always have the civil rights to marry that person.  Marriage is a Civil Right and Civil Rights are granted by the States, not by your Creator!  Your Creator wants you to love whomever you choose – but wait – this Christian God hates the Gays – so all of our churches are going to give millions of dollars to swing an election and we won’t let you get married. How stupid does that sound to you?  It’s silly and ignorant. We all have one Creator or we don’t, and the laws apply to everyone or they shouldn’t apply to anyone. You can’t put a governmental regulation on love. Civil Rights are where politics, religion, money, discrimination, homophobia, and all sorts of mean, nasty, ignorant human conditions raise their ugly heads, and should have nothing to do with life, liberty and happiness.

Know on this July 4th,2012,  that you have as much of a right to a life of love, and liberty and happiness as everyone else in these United States of America. Thomas Jefferson wanted you to have it and no matter what any politician or priest or minister or parent or anyone in your life may tell you – You deserve it – and it’s your right as an American citizen.

“…We hold these truths to be self-evident…”

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A friend of mine posted the above on his Facebook page…

Someone wrote the following as a comment : “Oh, I don’t know about this one. Total gun-related killings in NC in 2010: 445. Total killings via gay marriage: none documented. The focus on the removal of rights may be misdirected in this and other states…”

It’s this sort of dribble that just makes me crazy, and what drives me to continue to write about gay marriage…  Only a straight person who can marry and divorce as many times as they please would believe that the fight for gay marriage is misdirected.

Marriage should never be defined as gay or straight, it should simply be defined as the union of two people who love each other and want to share their lives together and have that union be recognized, validated and respected by friends, family, and their government. This is what a wedding – large or small – is all about; validation and respect.

What a good many straight people don’t understand is the stigma that has been placed on the gay community.  We don’t want to hide who we are, but society sure doesn’t make it easy for us to live openly.  With more and more laws being passed to prevent the gay community from being accepted as – well – human – we tend to wonder exactly where it is we fit in. We’re equal up to the point where the straight community hits their “ick” factor and then we must once again be reminded that we are not equal…

When there is not one politician running for President of the United States who will stand up and say they support gay marriage, gay marriage will continue to roll around in the muck and mire it’s been thrown in to.  When the current President says his feelings on gay marriage are evolving – what does that mean? You either support it – or you don’t.  If The President can’t – or more to the point – won’t – make a decision and express it to the country – why on earth would we expect the people who live here to be any more accepting than the President?

See – it’s not about equal rights for everyone – it’s about money and power and the haves and have-nots. It’s about getting elected at any cost – human or monetary.  It’s not about respect and tolerance – it’s about ignorance and bigotry. It’s not about the love that Jesus speaks of in this Bible the Christians love to quote – It’s about the hate that people seem to feel this Bible has given them the freedom to spew, and the laws of the land that allow this hate-filled ideology to exist.

Is the focus on the removal of rights misguided?  I’ll leave that up to you to decide. I just think it’s a little hard to focus on the removal of something you never had in the first place…

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