Really? Our country’s history is full of examples where all men and women are not free. If you happened to be Native American, Asian, African American, Hispanic or a Woman you did not have the same freedoms. Every group that has asked for equality, since our forefathers signed the Constitution into the law of the land, has been met with a long hard fight, by those who actually enjoyed the privilege of being free. The path to freedom for many has been littered with bible verses tossed in to stop or slow their progress.
We still have inequality going on in our country, and some who enjoy freedom to love and marry who they want are fighting to keep the status quo away from gays and lesbians. And like our ancestors before us, many have used their religion and their bibles to justify their reasons. With the inhumanity our country shows towards groups of people since the time before our Declaration of Independence for our freedom, and the drawing up of the Constitution declaring freedom the law of the land, the latter may well be one of the most hypocritical documents we have.
Our own treatment of groups of people repeatedly breaks the laws of our country. Even today, letting religion dictate whether a gay or lesbian can marry their loved ones, goes against their rights rendering the law little more than a piece of parchment paper for all the good it does to protect them from being discriminated against.
When the Declaration of Independence declared “…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…” there was no clause that said unless you are _(fill in the blanks)_. Homosexuals as well as heterosexuals fought the Revolution and every war after to procure and protect our freedom. When the Constitution was signed in to law and the Bill of Rights ratified, equality was part of the package.
When marriage became a civil union between two people who lawfully entered into a contract that was licensed by the government, that is when religious beliefs no longer could have lawful bearing on who can or cannot marry, accordingly. Separation of church and state is supposed to guarantee it.
Yesterday the Democratic Party showed some progress by unanimously approving marriage equality as part of their 2012 platform! This is encouraging for those of us who are rallying for the LGBT community. Here’s what they said:
“We support the right of all families to have equal respect, responsibilities, and protections under the law. We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.
We oppose discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples. We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act.”
Now all that is necessary is for the platform to be ratified at the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, N.C. I hold hope that it will pass—it will be a platform to be proud of and a firm stand that we believe we are all created equal.
As a woman, I know the history of the fight it took so that my Grandmother could vote. Many a bible toting man undoubtedly let them know where a woman’s place was to be. According to their bibles—the voting booth wasn’t one of them. It is important for me to speak up for the rights of others, just as those before me did for my genders’ right to vote. And as a Christian who has the freedom of religion to believe, worship and attend the church of my choosing, because someone stood up for my religious freedom—some even sacrificed their life for that right. For me it means that I too need to be diligent and stand strong with my LGBT brothers and sisters in opposition to oppressing legislation that keeps them from having the rights and protections that I take for granted.
The mending of our precious Constitution is important so that no matter who a person is; their rights and freedoms are guaranteed—as it says on that fine-looking parchment paper.
“We the people of the United States … promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Image by Ono Kono.