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Seattle, WA –- As a bisexual, polyamorous, kinky queer, I probably don't fit the expected description of someone in the fight for marriage or adoption rights for gay, lesbian and transgendered individuals. Truth be told, I have no intention of getting married or adopting children. Not my scene, you might say.
I am however a staunch advocate for the principle of equality under the law. While I may never choose any of these things, I do not believe the State should be empowered to differentiate the application of any of these rights based upon classifications of race, creed, gender or sexual orientation. On the contrary, the State's primary function, in my opinion, is to secure and defend these civil rights. The passage, last week, of bans on gay marriage in Arizona, California and Florida, as well as the banning of gay couples from adopting children in Arkansas are antithesis to the American principle of equality under the law.
Those that disagree are either intellectually challenged, ignorant of these principles or blinded by prejudice. Yes, I'm angry. I've experienced my share of discrimination as a self identified queer. I've live through the hypocrisy of serving my nation in the defense of our Constitution while being denied the very rights it guarantees. I've watched friends die from a plague that our government ignored for years because the 'fags' it was infecting weren't worthy of mention in civil conversation. Now, just as our Courts are recognizing a fuller and more inclusive understanding of civil right, religious extremists (not unlike others around the world that seek to persecute entire classes of people) manipulate our democracy to limit those rights. It's enough to drive a less disciplined man to violent action.
Luckily, my anger is tempered by patience and a heart held belief that 'we shall overcome.' But that doesn't mean I'm willing to just sit on my ass and wait for other people to help make it happen. Yesterday, I received word of a call to action. The press release reads, in part, as follows:
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Over the last several days, tens of thousands of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and their Supporters have taken to the streets of California to show their outrage with the passage of CA Proposition 8. Prop 8 provides for a Constitutional Amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage rights. Similar amendments and propositions have been passed in AZ and FL.
The passage of these propositions has angered the gay community and their supporters. Many feel as if they are now second-class citizens in a country that has seen that change can happen with this historical election. They do not feel that a majority should be able to vote on minorities’ rights or vote to take anyone’s rights away.
On Saturday, November 15, 2008 this community will again take to the streets in what could be the largest organized Protest / Movement since the Civil Rights Movement. To date, more than 250,000 individuals have pledged to take part in the nationwide event, in which they will descend upon the City Halls, State Capitols and the Nation’s Capitol to make their voice heard. Signs, posters and numerous websites have already been created and the word is spreading quickly throughout the nation. Jointheimpact.com lists protest locations in all 50 States and the District of Columbia.
The Protest / Movement is scheduled to take place across the nation at the same time: 1:30 PM Eastern, 12:30 PM Central, 11:30 AM Mountain and 10:30 AM Pacific on Saturday, November 15th, 2008. Those interested in attending this historical event may find their local protest location by visiting: Join the Impact.
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Since I will be in Chicago this weekend, I'll be protesting in Federal Plaza at W Adams St & S Dearborn St from 12:30 to 15:30. I'm hoping my friends in Seattle and in other cities around the country will join me in this massive action.