Friday, November 7, 2008
I AM A GAY AMERICAN: WHY IS MY COUNTRY DISCRIMINATING AGAINST ME?
Melissa Etheridge is furious over California's rejection of gay marriage. She is so mad that she has said she will withhold her state taxes!
Etheridge, married five years to actress Tammy Lynn Michaels, posted a blog about Prop 8 passing, which limits marriage to heterosexual couples.
"I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen," Etheridge wrote at thedailybeast.com. "I mean, that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights." She also said that this idea should extend to other gay Californians, "I am sure Ellen [DeGeneres] will be a little excited to keep her bazillion bucks that she pays in taxes too." [Associated Press]
Right on Melissa! There is nothing like an angry lesbian taking a stand for something she believes in!
I have been very upset with the result of Proposition 8 here in California and the right for people to marry being taken away in Florida and Arizona. Throughout the last few days I have been going round and round with ideas on how to open my fellow American's eyes, not only in California, but everywhere in this country. This discrimination is apparently acceptable in our country, which is ironic since we celebrate so many other freedoms.
When I was living in Chicago and had not experienced love with another man - I believed gay marriage wasn't an issue. I decided that marriage is a bad heterosexual practice and why would our community even want to be married since they most often end in divorce court. But as I have grown up and have fallen madly in love with my partner and have had the opportunity to attend several commitment ceremonies in the last several months, I realize the injustice in this legislation and feel the need to stand up and fight for the right of my community!
It took monumental moments in American history to give blacks the same rights as their fellow citizens. It took too many years to give women the right to vote. What is it going to take to allow all of the unalienable rights straight people enjoy to be passed along to homosexuals?
Religion is used, once again, as a crutch in this argument. In the Bible it states that marriage is between one man and one woman. I get that, clear as day. But doesn't it also say that woman should be subservient to their man? Why do Christians get to pick and choose which Bible passages should be enforced? I also thought we were living in a country that separates church and state. Is this not a clear example of where people are being governed by religious morality?
In commercials throughout California during the many weeks leading up to the election, the group leading the way to limit marriage to only heterosexuals, used blatant lies to scare citizens into voting to end the right for homosexuals to marry. The major angle they used was the incorrect notion that schools would be required to teach students about gay marriage and churches and religious schools that didn’t follow these rules would not receive government funding. The fact is, and the head of schools in the state even said this on record, schools are not required to discuss gay marriage in the class room. But if you really think about this, shouldn't this type of marriage be discussed like any other marriage anyway? Especially when little Danny has two butch moms and Roxie has two handsome dads? I just don't see the justification to make this issue what you would take someone’s rights away from them.
This is a similar tactic used in the Presidential election when McCain's supporters were telling people Obama is a Muslim. Colin Powell said, “So what if is he is a Muslim?” He is a Christian. But what if he was a Muslim? What if a teacher discussed gay marriage in schools, is it really a bad thing to appropriately discuss sexual orientation in schools?
I am going to start a church (think scientology for gays, um wait, Scientology is for gays right?!?!) and gain a huge following to join me to punish all of the straight white men because they are the sons of the devil due to their involvement in the current banking scandals in our country. As the leader of this peaceful gay religious American group, I decide to propose a proposition to punish these individuals, essentially ending their rights to marry a woman so they don't procreate - because I believe no one wants more banking weasels in our country. If we stop them from getting married they won't have children because people don't have illegitimate children in our country these days, right? I then pool together millions of dollars in advertising from the church (gays do have a lot of expendable income you know) to persuade the majority of California to vote to make this happen. Our proposition is passed and all white men are not allowed to marry, the government will take away all marriage tax breaks and all other marriage rights just for the white man.
A far fetched scenario, I know, but these are the cards my community was just dealt. One week we are allowed to marry and the next it is taken away from us. And why is this happening? Because your church doesn’t believe I should be able to have sex with another man? This is absolutely ludicrous.
This whole situation truly is a mockery of what our government stands for. It makes no sense for our elected leaders, Barack Obama and Joe Biden included, to stand for such bigotry and to allow this to happen. I agree with Etheridge, why should we have to pay our taxes when we don't have the same rights as our fellow Americans?
Speaking of a great strong lesbian leader, when are we going to find a male gay leader to join Etheridge and lead our community in the revolt of such hatred against our people? Who is our community’s Martin Luther King? Please stand up! Or maybe I need to start a revolution myself and get this taken care!
Many of the cards are stacked against us. It is hard to convince an older generation that the religious morals they were raised to believe in for so many years is completely wrong. By now you would think they would know that homosexuality isn't wrong and that I was born gay, it wasn't a choice.
I am proud to be a gay American man. I don't throw it in everyone’s face when I meet them because it is only one part of me, one part of many diverse things about me. I also realize I have been very lucky to have been raised a white male in this country. Once I came to terms with being gay I now know what it is like to be a minority. I have been blessed to have other gay role models on TV and movies that I can relate to and help me in being proud of who I am. I just hope that younger generations will feel the same hope and pride that I feel and I believe this right to marry will help them feel like they do have opportunities and unalienable rights as a gay American.
One way to tackle this problem is to get to the younger gay generation involved. Have them join in on ending this discrimination, fight for their right for their future relationships. I know many of the younger heterosexual generation don’t care if their friend is gay - in fact maybe it is even cool to have a gay friend. The answer might be to work with the younger generation and get them in on the fight to end this bigotry and eventually put an end to this nonsense and help our community evolve as people.
I truly believe with our younger generation being more comfortable with their sexuality, this will eventually become a non issue. But isn't there an opportunity now to step up and make sure this happens sooner rather than later. Confirm with these young influential Americans that rights to marry whoever you choose should be granted to everyone no matter what their orientation is. I feel like the gay community is on the cusp of CHANGE and giving HOPE to our entire community.
I do wish the man who has given me HOPE and CHANGE throughout this election cycle was on my community’s side in this movement! I know he has A LOT on his plate, but a large part of the country he governs is being blatantly discriminated against and their rights are just as important as the rest of the people.
I am a gay American. Why is my country discriminating against my right to marry?