After witnessing the Millennium Man March in Washington over the weekend and the Equality Rocks concert on Saturday, I was filled with pride and joy.
I felt proud to be an America, gazing at the throngs of gays, lesbians and straight people all there for the expressed purpose of raising united voices in the name of human dignity and humane treatment for all.
As difficult as they often were to hear, it was important to hear the testimonies from the families of hate crime victims.
However, there on the sidelines, were equally powerful forces and voices that were difficult to ignore of those who will do anything possible to keep this utopia from happening any time soon. These are the voices of hatred.
These voices raise fear, spreading their ignorant and spiritually bankrupt philosophies, often using religious institutions as podiums for their mean-spirited ranting.
Perhaps all of the current press regarding gay rights fuels these dangerous passions. What is all the fuss? Why so much negativity toward people who are unwilling to surrender their dignity?
I have heard so much made of the Vermont decision to pass a civil unions bill that entitles same-sex couples to all the rights, privileges, benefits and responsibilities of a civil marriage.
I was heartened by the words of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Thomas Little who said, ” The continued denial of these protections, benefits and responsibilities to a small but vulnerable class of Vermont’s citizens diminishes their humanity, dignity, freedom and independence.”
But I have heard so many people on trains, in bars and in coffee houses discuss this as if it were the death knell to civilized, decent society. These people need to clutch the clue phone.
The hypocrisy and homophobia in our society is threatening to strangle us all.
A prime example comes from the mouth of the popular Dr. Laura Schlessinger.
This dangerous, influential woman has publicly stated that homosexuals are “biological errors” and “deviants.” This woman maintains a major forum to spread her hateful, misguided message in syndication. I am not in favor of pulling the plug on her popular show, but only because I strongly believe in the rights to free speech.
Now in the news is the case before the Supreme Court involving the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to ban homosexuals from serving as troop leaders.
Homosexuality, Boy Scouts of America claims, violates a 1910 oath that requires all scout leaders to be “clean and morally straight.”
James Dale, the young man who was denied the right to lead a Scout troop, made a valid point when he said, ” Being morally straight means standing up for yourself and being honest.”
It all makes little sense. What reason do we have for all this fear? Gays and lesbians aren’t out there recruiting anyone. They understand all too well the pain and rejection experienced in all these years of ignorance, and aren’t looking to pass that experience on.
Homosexuals aren’t looking for anyone’s family for recruits. What they are looking for is the opportunity to be recognized and respected.
Gays only want to enjoy the rights that should accompany every human being walking on the face of this earth and hailing under an American flag.
The hypocritical views of a portion of various religious communities should be up for closer examination. People have always looked to religion and religious leaders for spiritual guidance and comfort. In the name of religion, however, much harm has been done.
The rights of our nation’s lesbians and gays should be celebrate and not feared. With all the sexually transmitted diseases that threaten our existence, shouldn’t the practice of marriage be encouraged?
None of us is truly free until we are all free. The passion to squelch and silence could be better employed by attending to the healing that is necessary for all of us to survive.
There is no rationale for the fear and discrimination. Gays and lesbians do not want to take over the world. They only wish to assume their place in it.