Independence Day Pride

Marriage Equality in New York represents the sentiment behind our Declaration of Independence. When will the rest of the nation get it?

Last weekend was certainly a time for celebration and not because of the season premier of True Blood – in this particular piece in any case.  It was a time for celebration because we won a battle in New York though we have yet to win the war.  And, when I say battle, I mean to say that we won marriage equality in that state.

And, when I say war I mean that until the federal government recognizes same-sex marriage as equal to heterosexual marriage, the same-sexers remain second-class citizens denied rights related to immigration, social security, health insurance, inheritance, and military benefits and on and on. 

And when I say we won a battle, I do not mean the gay population of which I am a member.  I mean to say that equality impacts everyone within and outside of the LGBTT community.  The success of that bill belongs to us all because passing that bill in that state moves our country one baby-step closer to actual equality.

And when I say baby-step, I mean to say that marriage equality will be an uphill battle in New Jersey where our own governor vowed to veto same-sex marriage bills regardless of how his constituency votes because he is “not a fan of same sex marriage.” 

His words didn’t upset me because he is not a fan.  I’m not a fan of donuts as Gov. Chris Christie is, and I am grateful that there is no law that forces me to eat them.  Of course, most of us know that the Marriage Equality bill is not asking that everyone become a fan of same-sex marriage, but if you are a fan, you should be able to partake. 

I doubt Christie will reconsider his position this Independence Day when we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  He may watch some fireworks and spend time with his family at a neighborhood barbecue.  However, he probably will not review the Declaration, which was signed by our founding fathers to give legislative power to the majority and enable every individual the pursuit of happiness.

Furthermore, I doubt that he will consider the Bill of Rights and the Ninth Amendment in particular, which further promotes the natural rights of individuals and minorities. No, Christie does not believe in same-sex marriage, and, therefore, it will not exist in the state of New Jersey during his reign…I mean governorship.

“The founding fathers did not create the Bill of Rights to protect the rights of gay people,” some may say.  I hear them knocking.  But, they can’t come in.  Most of the founding fathers did not anticipate the abolition of slavery or giving women the right to vote.  And, I’m pretty certain they never imagined a black president.  All men (and women) are created equally regardless of the cultural sentiment of the day.

This Independence Day, we’ll be celebrating with another same-sex couple and their three children.  In between the swimming and the corn on the cob and the sparklers, we’ll tell them what a great country we live in where we are all free to find our own happiness.  We won’t tell them that when we go to Disney World next year, we’ll have to pack our Power of Attorney, adoption papers and Civil Union documentation because 235 years on, some people still don’t believe that happiness is everyone’s right.

Wow, it’s really high up here on my soapbox.  Ever since I had children, I’ve become a bit fearful of heights.  Rather than come back down and join you, however, I’d prefer if you all came up here to see what it looks like when all individuals are equal.  It’s funny how much it looks like Canada.

gabriella di maggio July 01, 2011 at 02:03 PM
Awesome. I am so proud
Jan July 01, 2011 at 02:31 PM
Yes, yes, & yes!! Thank you, Deborah! Absolutely beautifully written and should be submitted to some Independence Day blog competition, if some such thing exists! I think that sometimes I have to tamp down my feelings of hurt and inequality just to get through the day, until someone like Christie says something like what he said. Then, I think, ALL people should be rioting in the streets about inequality and how it happens everywhere, everyday, when queers are not allowed to protect each other and our children in marriage. Even though the founding fathers could not have foreseen the specifics of the modern era, Thomas Paine did say, "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself." Food for thought, Christie! Happy Independence Day!
Deborah Goldstein July 01, 2011 at 02:52 PM
Talent is using mathematics to prove an argument. Thank you!
Deborah Goldstein July 01, 2011 at 02:53 PM
Deborah Goldstein July 01, 2011 at 02:57 PM
Thank you so much, Jan! I can only hope that Christie's words further unify and inspire the rest of us proud Americans to fight for what is right. LOVE the Paine quotation. History is just as hot as math!


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