Saturday, October 10, 2009
Soon eyes will be turning to the State of Washington as we have our own version of California's Prop. 8 debacle. While the opponents of preserving domestic partnership laws (which is what voting yes of Referendum 71 will do) take the stance this is about "preserving traditional marriage between a man and a woman," defeating this measure will nullify domestic partnership regardless of sexual orientation.
It is clear that the protect marriage camp is attempting to make this an anti gay issue. With support from many anti gay churches and organizations this may be but a first attempt to return to the 1970's and push gays back in to the closet and out of society. To those who still don't get it, gays are here to stay!
Professor Patrick M. Chapman, Ph.D. and author of "Thou Shalt Not Love: What Evangelicals Really Say to Gays"was guest speaker this month for Tacoma PFLAG. He discussed the origins of marriage in several cultures and how many other societies look at those of different sexual orientation or gender identity. It was interesting to note that the US is actually one of the furthest behind western civilization world superpowers when it comes to gay rights. He commented if a country like South Africa can have gay rights ahead of the US there is something terribly wrong with the country purported to have the most freedom. And what is it preventing equality yet again in this great country of ours? Yet again as it was for African Americans and many other minorities, it fear stirred up by religious conservatives.
Naturally the discussion at PFLAG went the discussion of how religion enters the picture as in many pacific island cultures those who we would label as gay are often put in to religious roles such as shaman and the like. We heard about Professor Chapman's experience in a nondenominational church that outed him in front of the entire church while he was in the company of friends and students and was not out publicly. Of course the church wanted to change, I mean "help" him. The discussion naturally led to Ref. 71. Apparently the opponents of domestic partnership have released a new commercial with copyrighted images from the LDS church. While I have not seen said commercial the comment was made that in all probability the Mormon church is quietly supporting the anti partnership platform.
To all of my gay brothers and sisters Mormon or not out there. Get off your hindquarters and register to vote. Allowing our rights to be taken away by the homophobic, the bigots, the misguided religious conservatives, or just the uninformed will allow the Anita Bryants of the 1970's to return to the 21st century to push us out of society.
Defend our freedom and vote that "all men are created equal and are given certain inalienable rights."
Vote for all to keep their homes and their families safe from those seeking to destroy the family unit just because it is not like theirs. Make your voice heard that the words of the constitution will never be erased or the words written at the base of the Statue of Liberty may forever beckon all to "come home."
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."