Sunday, October 11, 2009

I Wish I Was There Standing Up with You for Equality

I wish I had gone to Washington today with Thom as I originally said I would instead of staying home to work on school projects. I hope he's there. Today is an important day for taking a stand. Well, every day is an important day to take a stand for equal rights.

Even as someone who has experienced discrimination and hatred against my gender and religion, I cannot possibly understand how my LGBTQ friends feel every day that their legal rights are not the same as mine. If you don't know what I mean, let me expand a bit with an example.

God forbid anything happens to me, John can sit at my beside with me and potentially pull the plug because we're married. My social security benefits automatically go to him as well as many other monetary benefits. He also has access to my medical records. This is not the case for my LGBTQ friends in most states of the U.S. There needs to be a national policy because otherwise, my friends are not considered equal despite the fact that they are 1. American, 2. just as human as I am, and 3. love just as deeply as I do (although that doesn't enter into it, legally speaking -- I'm just a bit wound up about this whole thing so bear with me).

Yesterday, President Obama spoke at the national annual dinner of Human Rights Campaign. I was home and watched his speech. It struck me that he committed to a few things, but not everything. It also seemed like a very politically driven speech, and not as well written as many of his other speeches. It was like half of it was coming from him and half were words that were concessions. However, he did go further than any other president has ever gone. He might well be the first president to ever say "Transgendered" in public.

There is much work to be done, and I'm glad that the Human Rights Campaign folks are working night and day to change things. There are many other organizations that are trying to move our country in ways that promote equality (here's a great big list). I hope that you'll consider standing up for equal rights today and every day until everyone regardless of their gender identity or sexuality gets the same rights across the board.

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