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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Proud and Ashamed to be an American Today

I am feeling both proud and ashamed to be an American today. I am proud that the American people have stepped up to the plate and chose change over fear by voting for Barak Obama. However, I am beyond disappointed that while the American people are finally willing to elect an African-American president, they still choose to discriminate against LGBT Americans all over the country.

Voters in both Arizona and Florida passed amendments that will deny LGBT Americans the right to marry, and in some cases, the right to civil unions or domestic partnerships. And in Arkansas, voters passed an amendment that would eliminate the right for anyone who is not "legally" married (specifically the LGBT community) to adopt or foster children. And of course we can't forget Proposition 8 in California, which at the time I am writing this post is still too close to call, but appears likely to pass, but by a small margin.

However, even with these defeats, HRC President, Joe Solmonese, is far from ready to give up this fight. “We all know that our marriages did not begin with a court decision and they will not end with a vote on a discriminatory amendment.”

“In California, we firmly believe that all votes should be counted before calling the race. Several million votes in CA have yet to be counted. We are waiting to see the final results from those ballots and we should not be speculating about something as important as people’s fundamental rights,” continued Solmonese.

“Although we lost our battles in Arizona and Florida, we will not allow the lies and hate—the foundation on which our opponents built their campaign—to break our spirits. We are on the right side of history—and we will continue this journey."

“The continuing movement in public opinion underscores that it is only a matter of time before we undo this loss and add more states to the march for marriage equality,” Solmonese continued.

We can only hope that President Elect Barak Obama, who did happen to mention the gay community in his acceptance speech, will help to lead the American people towards a more compassionate and less discriminatory view of the LGBT community.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I saw the ktvu news around 5pm a sort white man say we are doing this (supporting prop 8) to show the world that gay marriage and straight marriage is NOT the same" yet at 10pm I saw a different white balled man in the same room announce "Prop 8 was never about discrimination" What!!! For a majority of people to take away rights of a minority people - Is that not discrimination? To say Gay Marriage is not equal to Straight Marriage - is that not discrimination? And everyone of color or who has experienced some discrimination - for you to vote yes, astounds me.

barb elgin said...

Why is my love for another woman still up for a vote??? Gay Americans and Allies need to wake up and challenge our new president Obama…

Ok, so you know i just have to put in my 2 cents on the recent passage of prop 8 in California! I, like so many, was so elated obama secured the presidency, eventhough I was at first a Hilary supporter, probably mostly because she was a woman and my hopes were so high for seeing a woman in the most powerful job for once.

However, Barack Obama has really grown on me and I really look at him as a mentor. Like the team that wins the most games during the baseball season and sustains to win the World Series, he truly is THE BEST PERSON that applied for the job this time. I also think it’s important to remind you that we must have a democrat in the White House right now because of the possibility the supreme court could become too far to the right if we don’t have a democrat in there. If you are a GLBT American the composition of the supreme court should very much be a concern for you if you care at all about achieving the inner happiness and outer status ONLY full and equal marriage will give you in this lifetime.

Tell Obama He Must Appoint Fair-Minding Justices to the Court Who Understand Sexual Orientation Issues

Gay marriage WILL be heard again on the highest court of our land sometime in the near future, you can bank on it and, we need more fair-minded, humane justices on that court to help us. Of course most of you know I live in Florida and I was active in pressing for Saying No to 2. I spoke at area churches, held a fundraiser for Florida Red and Blue in Ocala and reached out online as much as I could to support the effort. Amendment 2 was Florida’s version of the ‘marriage must be a man and a woman’ and, as a woman who stood up at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marion County I spoke at on the issue a month or so ago said…

Amendment 2 isn’t just a law, it is an Amendment to the state’s constitution, which is alot more serious than just a law.

And, as those of you who follow results know, Florida, to the dismay of gay and straight domestic partnered couples in Florida, passed their amendment against people like me, just like California did on Tuesday. And, to add insult to injury, just realize that Florida needed 60% or more of the vote, not just a ’simple majority’ which goes to show how much discrimination I still face as a gay Floridian and American.

What is also distressing to me is that I’ve heard 70% of the African American population apparently voted FOR Proposition 8 in California. I’ll bet this trend is probably also true of African Americans in Florida, if a survey were done. I am very hurt that folks seem to ‘get it’ that racism is a human rights issue but heterosexism isn’t a human rights issue. I am very concerned that my neighbors think I am ‘less than’ human.

As I’ve heard it said… Why is it that my life is still up for a vote? and as one of my mentors, Evan Wolfson, said after we lost…. “There’s something deeply wrong with putting the rights of a minority up to a majority vote. If this were being done to almost any other minority, people would see how un-American this is.”

So, if I may be so bold, here are some analogies, based on what Wolfson is saying. Putting on any ballot a law or amendment legislating discrimination against sexual minorities, is like putting to a vote…

* whether to cut off driving, for seniors, at a certain arbitrary age (since, after all they are ‘old’ and, without regard to their actual abilities, they may be a danger on the highways)
* where ‘people of color’ can go, work, eat, drink (remember that?)
* whether disabled people should have accomodations made
* whether women should be allowed to work

Or, here are some ‘tongue in cheek’ ones…

* whether all men (and women) who’ve been charged with domestic violence should be required to take anger management classes
* whether straights who exhibit discrimination towards gays should be required to take cultural sensitivity training

For the entire post go to:

http://blog.coachsappho.com/?p=693#more-693

 

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