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Posts Tagged ‘Equal Rights’

Twice last week, we could have ended Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  Twice, defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory.

Thanks to the very folks who say they want to end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, we still have federally institutionalized bigotry in this country.

First, they had the chance to repeal DADT legislatively.  To appear to support repeal and give cover to those who think they need the bigot vote back home, they tied the repeal to defense spending and immigration reform.  It seems clear now that the plan was never to get either repeal or reform, but only a chance to make the opposition look bad for not supporting the military in time of war.  So, the folks who say they want to help me to have equal rights are once again using my civil rights as a wedge issue just like the last administration did.  Not much change there.

The second chance to end DADT then presented itself.  A Federal Court Judge ruled Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was unconstitutional.  All the President — who says he’s got my back on this — had to do was decline to appeal the ruling.  It would have been over.  What happened? The people who say they are in favor of equal rights for all Americans, even the gay ones, are now fighting in court to keep Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in place.  That doesn’t feel like a change to me.

I’ve kind of had it.  I’m not talking about the opposition.  They and their hateful, hurtful rhetoric I kind of expect.  It’s my side I’ve had it with.

Maybe they just want to keep the wedge issue? Whatever their reason, it’s clear they don’t care about my rights as much as they do their jobs.

I’m sick and tired of being taken for granted by the folks who keep asking for my support.  The other side openly hates me but at least they do me the courtesy of not asking for my vote or my money.  I’m reaching the end of my patience with supporting a side that says they support me but acts pretty much just like the folks who hate me.  What’s the difference? At least the Foxpublicans hate me for free.

The President was elected on the promise of change.  He is the self-declared “Fierce Advocate” of gay civil rights.  He’s also the guy who says he’s morally opposed to Gay Marriage.  To be fair, Hilary said she favored civil unions, the separate but equal of marriage equality.  They kind of all say the same thing one way or another.  It’s a game they play.

What it boils down to is craven, political expediency.  Almost no one who says they want to help me to have equal rights has the courage to spend the political capital it would take to actually do anything to help.  They don’t have a bill that offers a straight up or down vote on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  That would risk them losing the bigot vote.  Or my vote by showing their true bigot colors.

Instead, they bundle my rights up in legislative packages that allow them to say to the bigots, “I had to vote to fund the military.  I’m a patriot” while pretending to me that they care if I have equal right or not.  They tell me that someday, down the road, after they’ve gotten everything else done, if there’s any capital left and there’s time, then they might help with my little equal right thing.

How stupid do they think I am?

I’m sorry, I thought they all swore to uphold the constitution.  Not second or later or if there’s time or if it won’t cost them the bigot vote, but first and foremost.  In fact, isn’t that the only thing they swear to do?

Is it just me, or isn’t the equal rights of all Americans in the constitution?

So what do I do here? Find another party? I’m honestly looking.

The Libertarians actually call what I’m going through “battered gay voter syndrome.”  They say:  “Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.”

Sounds great right? But they also think the Boys Scout’s ban of gay people is their right as a private organization.  Ron Paul’s declaration that he had problems with the Civil Rights Act was another troubling Libertarian notion.

Having the courage of one’s convictions is one thing.  But it would be nice if those convictions didn’t include hatred, discrimination and the continued dismantling of the Union.

In the real world, the government actually has to stick up for the little guy.  That’s kind of why we have government in the first place, isn’t it? I mean if it’s just the will of the strongest, richest and most powerful, well, that’s kind of the law of the jungle or the dark ages.  Given the decline of education and the rise of extremist religious superstition in government, we may already be living in or on the brink of a new dark age.  The crusades are already underway.

Here’s what I’m looking for.  I’d like the chance to vote for someone who actually believes in and is willing to stand up for the stuff they swear to do in their oath of office.  Period.  I don’t even really care if they win.  I’ve voted for plenty of candidate I didn’t really like over the years because they were less horrible than the alternative.  Wouldn’t it be nice, win or lose, to stand up for what we say we believe in? Now that would be a change.

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Turns out, you can’t pass laws taking away the rights of people you don’t like! Imagine that.  In a country literally built on the principle of inalienable equal rights, it has taken all this fuss to determine that the majority can’t take away the rights of folks they hate.  And we’re still going to have to ask a few more people before we can be sure.

Honestly!

But, that said, the world is a little less hateful today than it was the morning of August 4th.  I’m relieved and glad and celebrating.  The gay boys and girls in California are still singing.  I feel like I can celebrate the outcome of the November 2008 elections for the first time.  At the time, I felt so excluded from that exultant outcome by the electoral expression of hatred that is Prop H8.

But the end of a little more voter sponsored bigotry is a victory for every American, not just the gay ones.  Everybody is a member of some minority.  That’s right, no matter how mainstream you are there’s someone out there who hates you for it.   Save for the ideals that, in theory at least, protect us all, I could make a list of the groups I don’t like and put together a campaign to systematically take away their rights through grotty little ballot initiatives and special interest legislation.

For instance, were it up to me Rightwing radio and TV hosts would be off the air and forced to give up all their money and property to the poor, barred from speaking in public or publishing their hateful, untruthful and misleading words.  I’d give five dollars to Deport Rupert dot com.  And bottom feeding, fear mongers are a tiny group.  It would be easy to take away their rights.

What about hateful religious groups? The reason we have separation of church and state is actually not so churches can play politics tax free.   It’s because many immigrated to this country initially to escape the religious persecution where they came from.  That’s changed.  Today churches are in charge of religious persecution.  But, church by church, each denomination is still a minority.

What if a group set about to take away one specific denomination’s tax status, strip them of non church property, bar them from voting and prevented them from marrying or adopting in an effort to get their group to die out? Unlike being gay, religion is actually a choice.  Who would choose to convert to a religion when doing so would cost them their rights as citizens?  Another easy five dollar donation.  And, after the Mormons and the Catholics actually gave money to Prop H8 and promoted it from the pulpit, maybe even ten dollars of my money would be winding it’s way to Get-the-Hypocrites dot com.

I’m not saying that anyone should do any of this.  What I’m saying is that the rights of Pious Jerks and Radio Wingnuts are safer today, because a few more gay people fought for and won the same rights everyone else already had.

If you can’t take away my rights because you don’t like me, then I’m less likely to be able to take away your rights when I don’t like you.

It isn’t perfect, but it is a little less hateful.  I think that’s what this is all about.  The Constitution points out, we are seeking to “form a more perfect union.”

Today, that union seems a little more perfect, to me.

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Whenever I’m offered something that’s “Home Made” I always ask myself:  “Who’s home?”

I’ve been in some homes where I would not have eaten anything offered.  Got a Home Made Pie from a home with unemptied cat boxes, overflowing trash and a texture to the kitchen counters?  Well, I’ll pass.

I kind of feel the same way about the Family Research Council.  “Who’s family?” and perhaps more to the point, “What research?”

Theirs is the kind of family where Dad campaigns against equal rights for all Americans, particularly the gay ones, and then hires a young man half his age from Rentboy.com to accompany him on vacation.  Then, because dad is such a great guy, he lies about hiring the prostitute even though there’s home movies of them together at the airport.

If dad wants to take a hooker on vacation, I don’t really think it’s any of my business.  Mom’s maybe, but not mine.

But let’s say dad founded an organization called the Family Research Council, as George Alan Rekers did.  And suppose that organization is devoted to preventing Americans from having the right to marry people of the same sex, just as the Family Research Council does.  What kind of research would then convince Daddy George to pay someone of the same sex hired off of Hustlerboy.com to go on holiday with him? Was it these same findings that told him to lie about it? Or was it a different study?

Either way, theirs is a family reunion I don’t want to attend.

And what about Uncle Tony and his prayer group of Christian Law Makers? Was it research data or just good old fashioned Christian family values that brought AFC President, Tony Perkins together with those Godly legislators in a televised prayer circle to entreat the Lord for the poor health or, better still, the death of an ailing Senator so they could prevent poor people from having access to healthcare?

Whichever it was, I’d rather pass on Thanksgiving at their table.

Now, the good family folks at the Family Research Council want to ban groups they are prejudiced against from access to public transportation.  That’s right, not just the back of the bus, they want the right to keep other people off the bus entirely. Or in this case, off the train.

Just like in the good old days, the FRC family values bigots actually object to sharing public transportation with minorities they are prejudice against.  Fortunately, it’s gays they hate.  If they came out against black or Hispanic Americans on public transpiration they might actually have more to fear than sharing a seat.  (Head’s up though, research shows it was okay to be for whites-only drinking fountains not so long ago.)

What kind of family are these people a part of? And what is their research telling them? That God hates poor people? That Christ would pray for a man’s death to get his way? That calling for a return to Pre-Civil Rights Act restrictions on public accommodations and transportation is a good or even a popular idea?

My research indicates that none of those are particularly family values.  But then who’d order cat hair pie, right? They can hardly call themselves the Voice of Evil and expect to raise the kind of money they need to protect the health insurance industry.

So apparently, according to the latest Family Research Council data, it’s okay to take a rentboy on vacation, just not on the train.

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I’m really worried about the sacred institution of marriage.

Recent court rulings, relying on liberal notions like the bill of rights and the US Constitution, have ruled that the Federal Government and ballot initiatives cannot be used to effect discrimination.  That’s right, the United States Government cannot compel Massachusetts to discriminate against its own citizens.  What’s more, a minister from Maryland does not have the right to call for a vote to bring discrimination back to the city of Washington, DC.

Can’t they see that these people are only trying to defend marriage? This sacred institution is the foundation of civilization as we know it – and look how well that’s going!

I think that something needs to be done at once to preserve this blessed bond, this holy contract.

The problem in keeping marriage as it is seems to me to be the laws.

Marriage has become entangled with all these legal rights and privileges.  As a result, the courts and the laws get all involved.

So, here’s what I think we should do.  I propose founding the Society for the Preservation of the Sacred Institution of Marriage.  Our organization’s primary focus should be to divest marriage of all these legal entanglements so that the courts will be powerless to deface this hallowed union.

It all begins and ends with death and taxes, it seems to me.  Taxes are particularly insidious where marriage is concerned.  There are so many so-called tax benefits attached to marriage it’s easy to miss the government intrusion.  To keep the union of one man and one woman sacred, we must do away with all tax law impinging on marriage.   No more joint filings, everyone files separately.  The benefits of having the option to file jointly do not apply.  Who cares that the majority of married couples save money by filing jointly?  Paying higher taxes is a small price to pay to preserve marriage and keep the courts out of our homes and bedrooms.  Why shouldn’t spouses be taxed individually for their share of business income? Who needs child tax credits? It’s all just a way for the government to get their fingers on marriage.

Of course we would do away with notions of the rights to inheritance, joint property or the transfer of pensions and Federal benefits.  Bereaved spouses will find the extra taxes at the time of the loss of their loved one a comfort that further consecrates their marriage vows.  What is the shared work of a lifetime and financial security in old age compared to the peace of mind gained from the certain knowledge that marriage is only between one man and one woman? Widows and Widowers of federal employees, office holders and veterans will be able to hold their heads up proudly in the breadline, knowing that their marriage was pure and sacred and totally not gay.

Certainly we’d want to keep the INS out of marriage vows.  The promise of spousal citizenship is just another clever trap to bring legal encumbrances into marriage and allow the courts to dilute this sacred rite.  Deportation is such an ugly word.  Living separately has led to the long term success of many marriages.

And Divorce? This one seems the most obvious.  Divorce is a boondoggle to the legal profession and a real stumbling block to keeping marriage sanctified.  The bible really only makes divorce available to men and then only when a wife has been unfaithful, so who needs the courts involved in that? Let’s keep it consecrated.  Let the church do it.  Let the Pope or Oral Roberts or Jimmy Swaggart or the Ayatollah decide who gets the house.  And custody? If we can’t trust a priest to do what’s best for the children, who can we trust?

Sure the GAO says marriage confers over 1100 specials rights, benefits and privileges to those who invoke those blessed vows, but that’s a GOVERNMENT agency! We want government out of the business of telling us who we can and can’t marry, right? So who needs the rights of joint custody or the adoption of children? They’re God’s children, let Him take care of them.  And as a man and a woman, united by God, it’s always possible to have more.

The rights of next of kin are really only good for getting in to see your spouse in the hospital, but hospitals are so depressing.  You might catch what your loved one has.  True, it might seem helpful to be able to make decisions regarding the health and well being of a wife or husband who is ill or incapacitated, but isn’t it more important to make sure that not just anyone can get married? I mean, you may lose the right to decide where or how your beloved’s remains are handled after death, but they’re dead anyway.  They can rest in peace knowing that the blessed, sacred bond of marriage is only available to one man and one woman.

And game show contestants.

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Depending on which poll you ask at least 60% of Americans are okay with the new Arizona second class status for Hispanic Americans law.

I know, blah, blah, it’s about the National Government’s failure to deal with the immigration “problem” blah, blah and NO racial profiling is allowed.  But we all know that no one involved with the writing or passage of that law is interested in chasing down wayward Canadians.

My point is the 60%.  The majority favors discriminating against the minority.

Duh.

That’s how they got to be the minority in the first place.

If you’d had a referendum on desegregation in Alabama in 1961, there would probably still be segregation and Jim Crow laws there and many other places — not all of them in the south.

Why is it that idiots like Lisa Lingle the divorcee Governor of Hawaii and the Governornator of my state, think that we should ask the majority whether or not they believe that the minority should share the same rights and privileges they enjoy?  We asked the majority in my state and they said no.  I am officially a second class citizen here.  Thanks Arnold.  Hope all your kids turn out to be gay.

It seems to me that if we want a different answer, we need to start asking a different question.

Do you believe in equal rights for all Americans? Period.

John McCain does not believe in equal rights for all Americans.  Arnold Schwarzenegger does not believe in equal rights for all Americans.  Barack Obama does not believe in equal rights for all Americans.  Hilary Clinton does not believe in equal rights for all Americans.  Try campaigning on that instead of “I’m morally opposed to gay marriage” as our current president did.

I honestly don’t care if other people believe I ought to have the right to get married.  That’s none of their business.  If you don’t believe in same sex marriage, then don’t marry someone of the same sex.

The real question is: Do you believe in equal rights for all American?  Not just the ones we like.  Not just the ones we agree with.  Do I really believe in equal rights for ALL Americans?

Do you?

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