You are on page 1of 2

Land of the free, home of the...straight?

By: Laura Paine, Suffolk Journal Correspondent 4/1/09

California's Proposition 8 has made me proud to live in Massachusetts, where love is respected and recognized as a right for any gender composition, to live in a country that believes in our freedom to choose for ourselves. It is an understatement to say that it is unfortunate that not everyone living in America has these rights. Truly, it is an atrocity. Frankly, I am tired of keeping quiet about the subject and refuse to sit back and watch people I love suffer because of others' ignorance.

I want to understand this nation that finds moral objection to giving equal, human rights to a group of people simply because their desires, which cause no harm to themselves or anyone around them. This nation that can give women the equal rights of men, give people of color the right to be people and not property - that has progressed to the point of electing our first black president. This President, a man who is to stand and protect our rights, who allegedly believes that all men are created equal, does not support two people in love getting married if they are of the same sex. I find it a little ironic.

I want to know what is so great, respectable, or moral about a nation that refuses to give everyone equal rights and equal protection under the law. People are still people, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, gender identification, or any other lifestyle choice that in no way directly affects the lives of the rest of the world.

Then again, we are a nation that will head off to war with another country based on insubstantial, and subsequently, invalid, information. We talk about stopping injustices and preventing any possible future injustices, yet we are still disgustingly guilty of committing injustices against our own. Consider children working in factories all over the world. Recognize that there is still slavery and human trafficking (for labor as well as for sex/prostitution) within our nation today. An estimated 27 million people all over the world are held against their will and forced to work for nothing or for grains of rice; thousands of slaves can be found within U.S. borders.

A nation that thinks it is alright for those of us outside of the LGBT community to decide what is right for the lives of people within it are incredibly ignorant and wrong in their sense of self entitlement. The lives of the LGBT community are their lives to do with what they want. I would like to understand a nation that seems to think that their love and life choices are not valid as their own. I'd like to understand how society could view the members of this community not as people, but as a problem to be solved.

As a nation we were founded on the notion that all men are created equal, but we do not practice those beliefs. Our role models do not practice what they preach. Our leaders -ultimately, our government - do not stand to make us believe the true basis of our founding. They are not setting the right example, so we follow their lead and continue to live within the boundaries of fear and ignorance.

Wake up and use your heart and learn about humanity. Rise up, at one point in history many people were treated as second class citizens if we were not white, male, Protestants. They resisted, so why do we insist on subjugating it to others?

Oppressed groups of people all have the same social movement; from women, people of color, or to those who have suffered persecution for their religious beliefs. They stood up and fought, and they have won because they were able to gain support from our peers and fellow citizens. It is time to stand up and fight again. It is time for the straight community to speak out and rally for the oppressed.

I am hoping for the change that we have all been promised. I hope that one day I will stand beside my brother while he marries the man of his dreams and know that everyone will recognize these lovers' union for what it truly is - a marriage. I hope to live in a nation where the LGBT community will be protected from discrimination in the work place and else where, under federal law.

© Copyright 2009 Suffolk Journal