07 March 2014

Save The Country (Part One)

Rosa Parks
ROSA PARKS

For the benefit of LGBT folk who know little or nothing about Christianity (and there are quite a few of you out there), here, taken from Scripture, is a parallel between the treatment of Jesus Christ thousands of years ago and our treatment in modern times:

LUKE 23: 1-5, 13-24
Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate (the Governor). They began to accuse Him, saying: "We found this man perverting our nation . . . saying that He Himself is the Messiah, a king." Then Pilate asked Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?" (Jesus Christ) answered: "You say so." Then Pilate said to the Chief Priests and the crowds: "I find no basis for an accusation against this man." But they were insistent and said: "He stirs up the people by teaching . . ."

Pilate then called together the Chief Priests, the leaders and the people, and said to them: "You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people, and here I have examined Him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against Him . . . He has done nothing to deserve death. (But) they all shouted together, "Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!" (This was a man who had been put in prison . . . for murder.)

Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, but they kept shouting: "Crucify, crucify Him!" A third time he said to them: "Why? What evil has He done? I have found in Him no ground for the sentence of death. I will therefore have Him flogged, and then release Him." But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that He should be crucified, and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. He released the man they asked for . . . and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

Like Jesus Christ, we speak and live the truth of our lives. Like Jesus Christ, we are condemned for telling our truth! We are told that we spread perversion. We are judged for transgressions that our enemies fail to articulate convincingly. Like Jesus Christ, we are found blameless by a judiciary (most State Supreme Courts). The judiciary sees no wrong in what we do (seek legal recognition of our committed relationships). Like Jesus Christ, we then stand by and watch the judiciary cave in to political cowardice! We see judges abdicate their duty as jurists and throw our fates to a hostile electorate. If nothing else, this infamous incident shows how outrageously unethical putting justice up for popular vote is. Anyone can see that Jesus Christ was railroaded! We’re being railroaded, too! And the worst part of it is, we’re helping to steer the train!

Why do we validate ballot initiatives designed to legally marginalize us? For the past twelve years, we've suffered the passage of "marriage protection" amendments in State after State, all bankrolled by religious denominations who are as hostile to us as the Hebrew hierarchy was to Jesus Christ. (Don't doubt that many of them would eagerly impose the death penalty on us if they could!) We decry these evil campaigns to disenfranchise us of our citizenship rights, but at the same time, we lend them credibility by launching counter-campaigns.

We decide that voting on marriage equality as if it were a proposed tax increase is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, as long as we win! We don’t win, but we still play the game. We willingly play a political crap game with our dignity that we're certain to lose! What other outcome could there be, given centuries of superstition and misinformation about Gay identity? Not to mention daily reinforcement of such ignorance by modern religious ideologues? Jesus Christ had good reason for playing a losing game: The salvation of humankind. What’s our excuse?

After these odious ballot initiatives inevitably pass (twenty-nine so far), some of us get to brag about having added another high-profile political fight to our activist resumes. That's an awfully shabby consolation prize, isn't it? How much good have we really done? Did we stand tall and give our enemies a tooth-and-claw fight to the finish (the lily-livered "No on 8" campaign in California would not be a good example), or have we once again allowed them to trick us into wasting our money and resources? More important, have we sacrificed democratic values to a panicked, tunnel-vision focus on marriage equality at the State level?

We don't seem to know what privileges American citizenship entitles us to. We beg for legal protections that are actually guaranteed to us in our country's founding documents! If you don't believe me, you don't have to take my word for it. View the evidence for yourself.

Exhibit A: 
Article IV, Section Two of The United States Constitution, 
adopted 17 September 1787:
The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.

This rule invalidates the Federal Defense of Marriage Act! States cannot choose which citizenship rights from other States they will or will not honor!

Exhibit B: 
The Fourteenth Amendment to The United States Constitution, 
ratified 9 July 1868:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The language of this amendment underscores the illegality of Proposition 8 and other "marriage protection" ballot initiatives! States are prohibited from cutting certain citizens off from the right to marry, file joint tax returns, adopt children, etcetera!

Exhibit C: 
Excerpt from The Declaration of Independence, 
signed 4 July 1776:
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. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

A long train of abuses and usurpations?  I think 29 "marriage protection" amendments to State constitutions meet that definition, don't you? Not to mention the ban on Gay people serving openly in the US military, bans on Gay people working for church-affiliated agencies and businesses, bans on students forming Gay-themed clubs in public schools, bans on Gay people adopting or foster-parenting children, and various laws that forbid "promoting homosexuality" . . . whatever the f*** that means! At last count, forty States retained some kind of anti-Gay legislation on their books. All of it violates the Constitution!

The excerpt from the Declaration of Independence that you see here, still startling in its boldness after 230 years, gives us the right as American citizens to challenge the validity of our government if it denies us basic human rights! Take a moment to absorb the full impact of what it says. The founders placed such high value on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that they all but advocated government overthrow in the absence of same! Such unabashed militancy on behalf of democratic values is hard to find today, especially in LGBT circles. Do we actually need to see the words “Gay”, “Lesbian”, “Pansexual” or “Transsexual” written down in order to realize that we're included within the scope of this paragraph?

Right now, the Gay blogosphere is filled with talk about how we should emphasize “outreach” to Straight minority voters and other culturally conservative communities. The idea is that we must do a better job of "selling" ourselves and our issues to the public. Sugar, please! What are we supposed to be . . . ward politicians?

I'm not running for friggin' office!  I just want to be treated fairly! Why on Earth should we lobby Straight America for rights already guaranteed us as citizens? Why do we beg their permission to live as equals? Why don’t we simply demand our Constitutional rights, as did the bus boycotters, sit-in students and racial equality marchers whose mantle we claim to have taken up? African-American Civil Rights activists didn’t win the support of White southern racists! They earned their respect! Do we honestly think we can earn the respect of bigots by presenting a shamefaced response to their bigotry???

"Save The Country" concludes with Part Two.

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