Mind Candy

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Prop 8- What this means to me

Posted by mandyf on November 6, 2008

When I enlisted in the military I did so fully knowing that I was going to put my personal needs and desires on hold to do so. I knew I was going to have to subjugate my self identity my entire military career and was willing to do so. I felt service to country that important. I did not have to enlist, I had plenty of opportunities in the private sector. My wife was in the same situation. The thing we shared though was that we both felt it was a privilege and an honor to defend our country. It was a way to do our part to insure our future, a future we hoped would be better.

 I entered this electoral cycle fully realizing that while gay rights was not my number concern as the economy and national defense policies were of paramount importance, I did not expect to see gay rights go backwards. I would be the last person to ever demand or request special rights based on sexual orientation, none of us in the LGBTQI community really want that, we just want equality. Not separate but equal, but equal.  I’ve done everything I could to play by the rules, contribute to society in a positive manner, and do my share to be what is normally considered a good citizen.

Now I spend this very day wondering why? This is actually the first time in my life I have questioned that. What is my, our, future here? What are we going to be told we can’t do next? This election alone three states have struck down gay marriage on some level, one of which, California, was a reversal. Two more states have voted to deny gay couples or singles adoption or the ability to become a foster family.

Although I have been told today I am just whining needlessly, I don’t see that way. I see it this way: I was good enough to fight for and defend my country in two wars. I am good enough to pay taxes. I am good enough to to serve jury duty. I am good enough to vote. I am not however good enough to marry the person I love. I am not good enough if I wished to, to adopt a child and provide them a home. I am not good enough to be protected from employment discrimination, Housing discrimination, Medical care discrimination, or Insurance discrimination.

We are seeing a clear line drawn in which LGBTQI rights are going backwards on all levels of government in this country. Courts are being overturned. In the past four years we have seen the popular vote of the people positively supporting gay rights in several states overturned by the legislators in power. We have a President elect that voted AGAINST ENDA (Employment Non Discrimination Act) this year.

I look at these things and wonder what I will be deemed not good enough for next? It’s not just random paranoia, it is a real concern. Will I be able to vote? How about own property? Will I have the substandard legal protections in place now or will they get worse? For decades people have realized our country covertly does things we tsk tsk and point our finger at other nations for doing. Now we are the ones that are openly being discriminatory and we act shocked that we are being viewed as narrow minded and/or backward.

I hope finally when I remind people that allowing one group to be trampled simply because they aren’t popular has always led to problems. It is a destructive path that makes it easier and easier to take away from other groups that may not be popular later. Eventually everyone becomes trampled. The stampede has begun and people have to choose to run with the herd or stand and face it.


One Response to “Prop 8- What this means to me”

  1. Tom said

    Very well said.

    Thanks for taking the time to write it because we all need to speak up and out very loudly.

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