Thursday, June 14, 2007

We Fight for our Rights

"Injustice anywhere is a a threat to justice everywhere."
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

If he were still alive, I don't know what side Martin Luther King Jr. would have come down on in the gay marriage debate, but his equally heroic wife supported marriage equality. I'd like to think he would have too.

One of the things studying Dr. King will teach anyone is that the fact that the fight for Civil Rights isn't easy - and the people who lead that fight are amongst the most courageous people that exist. It isn't easy to be told you're going to hell for being the way you were born. Because of that hate, many gay people never admit to their homosexuality at all, or do so only after years of mistakes and misfortune. They live half-lives and never reach their full potential as American citizens. Freedom - the very equality under the law we each enjoy today - is ingrained in all of us; without it, no one can ever be truly happy.

Yet, hundreds of millions of out and proud Americans, be they gay or allies who are truly 'pro-freedom,' already know that. Our collective chorus will be heard at the Hub of the Universe tomorrow, at the very steps of the State House on Beacon Hill. What will we be chanting? Hopefully, "Enough is enough." The threat that justice faces today must be met with a righteous fury; it's time that the people who want to take away the rights of others be gone. We've gone this far, Constitutional Convention - Part 17, no further.

Sadly, we may have a way to go. I'd like to think there are enough decent human beings on Beacon Hill to kill this at present - over 150 of them - but one can never quite tell. The only way legislators will learn better is by hearing from us that enough is enough. They need to know that Massachusetts has woken up to reality: anyone who doesn't support the full equality and civil rights of every citizen in this state has no claim to decency at all. We, as citizens who think equality is something to cherish, must do everything in our power to protect those rights - protect them from the cowards who are too afraid of their own inner demons to allow equality to exist.

That's what all of this is about: inner demons and personal discomfort. Same-sex marriage hurts no one, but the idea of gay sex is discomforting to some. The idea that people are different makes people boil over. 'How could you be different?!' They think. Apparently, they didn't get the memo: all of us have different brains and thus think differently. Yet, in most states in this country - and quite possibly in Massachusetts - stripping away some people's rights to preserve the piece of mind for others has become a normalized trend. Until the day that quoting people from Focus on the Family becomes akin to quoting members of the KKK, that won't change.

Despite the fact that same-sex marriage doesn't effect heterosexual families, we're here today. Despite the fact that it doesn't effect children (except to enhance the lives of children who are or will be living with same-sex parents), we're here today. Despite the fact that there is no legitimate reason to be against marriage equality at all, we are here today - once again - defending marriage equality for all.

We are here today, for the 17th time, because some people are uncomfortable with the lives millions of Americans live. We are here today because some not only want to force people to live differently, they're actually willing to change the constitution in order to enforce it. They'd strip away rights against people merely because of the way they were born - not unlike American policy toward African Americans for most of this nation's history.

Like generations of people who have stood up for the rights of the people in the past, today we are going to make sure that justice, hope and honor remain a part of this Commonwealth's Constitution. Today, we're going to say "enough is enough." Best of all, no matter what happens at the Constitutional Convention, our voices will be heard. We will ultimately win because our cause is just.


As the day goes by, I'll be liveblogging from Beacon Hill to let everyone know what's going on. For starters, read Wayne Woodlief's piece about the tough lobbying opponents of freedom are facing for their cowardly positions. If these soon-to-be candidates can't support marriage equality out of their sense of morality, perhaps they'll do so out of an equally strong sense of self-preservation: 7-1 letters sent to our legislators are pro-equality. The writing is, quite literally, on the wall.


Rock the Cradle said...

Hi Ryan,

Hope you don't mind, but I linked to you today to send my readers over. Holding my breath here.

Paul Sousa said...

Hey Ryan,

Pretty cool that Pam linked to your blog.

You really have a way with words and you actually understand what's going on and how important it all is. What a day that was huh!?!

Any new news on the 1913 law that needs to be repealed already? I know there was a lot of news about it right after marriage equality was preserved. Are there any votes coming up on it?

And this Maryland decision is killing me here! It's been 6 months already. How huge is that going to be if they vote in favor of equality!

Get back to me on facebook. I'll talk to you later.


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