Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Advocate Not Equivocate, Speak out and ‘March,’ Now and Later - By Mark R. Kerr

On Monday, June 8, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear, a case challenging the constitutionality of the 1993 law, known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the federal law which prohibits Gays and Lesbians, who want to help protect this nation, by serving in the country’s armed services, openly and honestly. In court papers, the Obama administration said the appeals court ruled correctly in this case when it found that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is “rationally related to the government’s legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion.” This coming with a new poll, reported in various news outlets, from Gallup shows that 69% of Americans want to see the policy overturned, an increase of six percent over the last five years. While liberals and Democrats remain the most supportive, the biggest increase in support has been among conservatives and weekly churchgoers — up 12 and 11 percentage points, respectively to 58%.

Saturday, June 6, marked the 33rd anniversary of the brutal murder of Richard Heakin, who as a 22 year old college student was brutally murdered outside a northside bar in Tucson for being who he was, a young, Gay man. Four high school boys, looking for some fags to hassle were arrested for the crime, three were prosecuted for the offense and given probation for the murder because, as the judge put it “boys will be boys.” Yet, the Washington Independent reports that “one month after successfully tucking an amendment into the credit card reform bill that expanded gun rights, a small number of Senate Republicans are looking at the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act as another chance to score a victory for the Second Amendment. The possible plan — to add an amendment that would allow gun owners to carry their weapons from one state to another in accordance with concealed carry laws. The possible rationale — to defend LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) rights.”

J.W. Lown, resigned unexpectedly as the Mayor of San Angelo, Texas, as reported in news outlets on May 20. Lown, being recently reelected to a fourth term by an overwhelming margin by the residents of the small, Texas town, because he could not serve, swearing an oath to the constitution to uphold the laws of the city, state and country because he could not live openly with the love of his life, a young man who wasn’t from the United States and was living here illegally.

In California, 18,000 same-sex couples in loving and committed relationships and who were “married” while the window of opportunity was open to them, are considered legal but other similar couples in the golden state aren’t afforded the same opportunity, thus creating a class of citizens in a country that was built on the premise that all people were considered equal.

LGBT rights, AIDS Activist and founder of the NAMES Project - the AIDS Memorial Quilt, Cleve Jones is right on one point, there should be a national march on Washington D.C. around October 10, but it needs to go further, since he said this during a parade and march in Salt Lake City, Utah for its LGBT Pride event.

Show your support and let Congress now (both chambers) that the Uniting American Families Act, H.R. 1024 in the U.S. House of Representatives and S. 424 in the U.S. Senate, must be heard, considered and passed and sent to the President’s desk.

Demand the U.S. Senate, (especially Senator’s Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Joseph Lieberman (CFL-CT), the two potential capitulators) hold hearings and vote on the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, S. 909, now and without any amendments, especially since a gun was used in Matthew’s brutal assault and murder in Wyoming.

With the nation, solidly favoring the repeal of the 16 year old “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” policy that prevents Americans from serving in its armed forces to defend our rights and protect the interests of the country, simply for being who they are, openly and honestly, march to your phones and computers and state your backing of this nation and what is what founded upon with the support of H.R. 1283, the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009.

Section three of the so-called, thirteen year old, Defense of Marriage Act, approved by Congress and signed into law, is what prevents the federal government from recognizing the loving, committed relationships of same-sex couples and their families by whatever terminology and tell them its time for this to stop and repeal it.

All people, LGBT and straight supportive, living with or affected by HIV/AIDS or otherwise must march, speak out now, then and for the foreseeable future until action is taken. As was the case, with the lack of oversight regarding the federal bailout of the financial institutions to the turnout at a recent meeting of the Tucson Mayor and Council pertaining to the proposal to raise the tax rate on rental property - which in turn raises the rent to those who can’t afford housing during these turbulent, economic times, we cannot wait any longer. Advocate, not equivocate because if we don’t speak up for ourselves, no one else, especially those in government will do so until they hear it because thanks to their actions, these problems, some of the many this nation faces, were caused by them.

No comments: