Walking the Path, Part III: Liberty and Justice for All

5 Mar

Liberty and Justice for All
Walking the Path, part III
A blog on IsisStorm.com
By Jay Walker

RHODE ISLAND – In case you didn’t already know, I’m bisexual; I call myself hetero-preferential, because I have always had a stronger affinity towards the opposite gender, but I have been with a few men in my time &, as long as I’m still single (or reasonable facsimile therein), I’m not ruling out the possibility of being with another man in the future.  A woman I’m seeing has this concept (although it’s not the first time I’ve heard it) of a top 5 list, the 5 famous people that your spouse would allow you to sleep with & it not be considered cheating; I haven’t finished my lists, but I am creating two: one for women & one for men.  In case you’re wondering, Alyssa Milano & Charlize Theron make my women list, while Johnny Depp & Antonio Banderas are on the man list.  I don’t have a lot of poetry about my trysts with men & don’t often recite what little I do have; I don’t even really bring it up, unless the conversation goes that way.   However, when it does come up, I don’t shy away &, when asked, I never deny.  If I ever settle down, I see myself doing so with a woman, but I fully & strongly support the efforts of my LGBT brethren to be able to do so with whomever they choose.  I’m writing this on Tuesday, February 8, 2011; tomorrow, there will be a rally at the RI State House at 4 PM, supporting equal rights for same-sex couples.  Now, I may have had & still have some impressive titles – DJ at a local radio station, actor at Trinity Rep, host of different spoken word venues, head or member of different committees in different arts organizations, even a Universal Life Church minister – but I don’t know if I have enough status or clout in the general community, never mind the LGBT community, to actually be allowed to speak at this gathering.  If I did, though, this is what I’d like to say:

Ladies & gentleman, I’d like to talk to you about a very important issue & the reason we’re all here: equal rights for everyone.  This is not an issue of politics, nor is it solely, mainly or primarily an issue of religion; this is first & foremost a human issue, for we are all humans – Christian & pagan, white & black, man & woman, hetero or homosexual – & we all have basic human rights.  The opposition has been running ads telling you to call Gov. Chafee & your representatives, to tell them they can’t redefine marriage for everyone without getting the public’s opinion; this is a campaign of propaganda & lies.  We’re not looking to change the rules or the equipment; we’re just letting everyone play the game.  We’re not looking to redefine the term; we’re just looking to make sure it can apply to everyone.  I’m sorry, but that’s not something we need permission to do, because this country was not founded on the ideas of majority rules.  Yes, that’s how we pick our representatives & that’s usually how our representatives make laws, but the founders of this country wrote its founding documents & built its structure with checks & balances, in order to ensure that majority rule didn’t overreach its bounds.  Our country was founded on the belief that every individual on the planet – not just in this country, but on the planet – has certain individual rights that always trump majority rule, no matter how big the majority is, & that our government would recognize & protect these rights for everyone, not just Christians or men or whites or what we call straights.  These rights are inalienable, meaning they can never be taken from you.

These are not good Christian morals but just good morals.  Yes, most of our founders were Christian, but some were Jewish & a few were even atheists, & they all recognized two very important facts about their fellow man: our fallibility & our flexibility.  They understood & accepted that America operated through slavery; some of them even had slaves themselves.  However, they knew that this was wrong & believed in the inherent goodness of Man, believed that America could change & grow away from & out of slavery, & crafted our founding documents & built the structure of our nation, so that it could change & grow right along with our society.  Now, did they mean this to extend to women, as it did through the Women’s Suffrage movement?  Possibly.  Did they also wish to extend this to same-sex couples?  I don’t know.  I believe, though, that they had the wisdom & foresight to craft these documents & build this structure, in order to account for the changes even they couldn’t predict.  It has happened with Women’s Suffrage; it happened with the Civil Rights movement & it’s time for it to happen again.  Our government & its policies need to grow & change, just as our American society is growing & changing; it is as much a part of nature as whom we love.

The opposition has also said that being a part of nature doesn’t necessarily make your behavior OK; they liken homosexuality to alcoholism, a disease which can be genetically or environmentally hereditary.  Some would even liken it to the fictional vampirism, through the example of a “family” of vampires who deny this dark part of their nature & feed only off non-sentient, predatory animals, like bears & cougars.  This is just more propaganda & lies.  Alcoholism has ruined & taken lives in many different ways, as would vampirism, if the Hollywood version were legitimate, but whom does homosexuality hurt?  No one.  People aren’t hurt by being queer or associating with queer people; they’re hurt by the bigotry & hatred of an unaccepting world.  It’s not the homosexuality that hurts; it’s the hatred.  Therefore, we shouldn’t stop the homosexuality; we should stop the hatred.

The opposition claim that this is an assault on the sanctity of the sacrament & institution of traditional marriage.  This is not just propaganda & lies; it’s hypocrisy.  How many spouses have celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor & Larry King had?  How public was Brad Pitt’s departure from Jennifer Aniston to Angelina Jolie, or the debacles of golf pro Tiger Woods & custom-bike building bad boy Jesse James?  How ridiculous are all the dating & wedding reality TV shows these days (seriously, “The Littlest Groom”?)?  How many decades has the national divorce rate sat squarely in the vicinity of 50%?  I don’t believe that same-sex marriages can do any more damage to the sacrament & institution than traditional marriage has already done since the beginnings of the concept.

With all these excuses exposed as the propaganda & lies that they are, one has to wonder why anyone still opposes this movement.  The only reason I think is left is fear: fear of change, fear of that which is different, fear of what is truly inside us.  A wise man & former President of this great nation once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  Ladies & gentlemen, I ask you to please remember that this is why we’re here today, not to strike fear in the hearts of those who would oppose our movement, but to alleviate the fear in their hearts already & remind them of these great tenets that are the basis for our whole existence: that there truly is nothing to fear from that which is different or from the peace & love that is truly inside us all; that we grow stronger from our differences & our ability to compromise between them; & that we all deserve a chance to live & love as our hearts wish.

I remind you all of our nation’s Pledge of Allegiance.  Our grade-school teachers would lead us in this rite every morning, but it became much like the prayers & songs of the strictest churches, more rote than real promise, so much so that we forgot what the words actually mean.

I pledge allegiance: I promise to be loyal & true to the flag of the United States of America & to the republic for which it stands: to this symbol of our country & its people & the ideals it represents one nation indivisible: one country, one people, standing together, inseparable, united by a common cause (the “under God” was only added in the 1950’s to thwart communism; atheists, feel free to omit) with liberty & justice: with freedom & fairness for all: for everyone, not just Christians, whites, men, heterosexuals or even just Americans … everyone.

Thank you.

***

I think this would get a great response, if I were allowed to read it.  I just hope it will move even more people here through this post.  Be kind to each other.

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