Tuesday, November 06, 2007

They're No Friends of Mine. Why a Vote for Obama, Clinton or Edwards is a Vote for Inequality

Please note: It's about to get all opinionated up in this blog and for good reason. I'm known for "saying it like it is" and today is no exception.

If you support any of the current popular democratic candidates for president then you are against the founding principals of this country and against human rights for all U.S. American citizens. That's right! Am I being black and white on this? You bet! Why am I saying all this? Because of one extremely important reason:

Marriage Equality

This isn't about same sex marriage. This isn't about gays being able to get married. The truth is not everyone in a same sex relationship is gay. Not everyone who is gay falls in love with someone of the same sex either. Love happens regardless of sex or gender identification. As I always say the size and shape of one's genitals are never the main reason someone wants to marry or start a family with another. And not all gays want to get married per se either. But I don't know of one queer person who doesn't want 100% equal rights.

Sure these candidates show some support towards l/g/b/t/2s folks. Hillary Clinton believes the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy is a matter of national security and wants to fix it. She supports equal benefit legislation and anti-hate crime legislation. She even has gay friends! She proved that when she addressed the HRC. Barack Obama opposes a constitution ban on "gay" marriage. Thinks homosexuals (god could his language be more annoying?) should have the same adoption rights and is concerned about AIDS worldwide. John Edwards would support a federal law protecting all people from job discrimination. He also believes in equal immigration rights. One interesting thing to note about Edwards is his willingness to discuss his internal conflict about marriage equality. I like his honesty & willingness to explore his heart about it. It should also be noted his wife Elizabeth Edwards disagrees with him and supports marriage rights for all.

Yet not one of these candidates support marriage equality. They all support civil unions. But here's the gipper, marriage and civil unions are not the same. And even though all the democratic candidates support federal benefits for same sex couples, access to survivor benefits and equal taxes for same sex couples, only Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel support full equality for all. Here's a great fact sheet about about where each democratic candidate stands on all these issues.

Here's the deal: our constitution guarantees equality for all. Not just a majority or minority. It doesn't say "everyone is equal but those who want to get married to someone of the same sex." No it says The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States. And here's the 14th Amendment if you are unclear what Article Four, Section Two said: All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Now let's just for a moment go back in history and consider this example. Now I know some folks hate it when racial minority civil rights get compared to current l/g/b/t/2s rights but I think this example is appropriate. Lets just say that in 1964 when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed it also said "citizen racial minorities will have all equal privileges or immunities except in marriage where they shall have civil unions instead." Do you think for one minute that would be okay? Sure a few would say "well that's fair because they're still 2nd class citizens to me." But there would be quite a fight for full equality as civil unions would be considered not full rights and therefore unacceptable & unconstitutional. Even if the law was "racial minorities can marry each other but only have civil unions to Caucasians" that kind of law would still be considered less than separate but equal.

But wait some say. The bible says...... Well folks lets not forget separation of church and state. Umm no that phrase is not actually in the constitution but the 1st Amendment says: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. This means that everyone is free to believe what they want and carry out those beliefs within their own religion. It does not mean one's religion gets to determine federal and state law. It does not mean one's religion trumps any citizens basic rights. Also remember folks, the bible was used to justify slavery back in the day.

In conclusion we must acknowledge that if we wish to call ourselves true Americans we must also vote in the ways our constitution. We must support presidential candidates who honor the American value of equality and therefore honor not only the original constitution but also the 1st and 14th Amendments. These are our laws. They are not in anyway an out for one group to have more rights and privileges than another. Obama, Clinton and Edwards are not only not patriots because of their stance on marriage equality, they are also not worthy of our support when they don't support equality for all American citizens. It's as simple as that.



Diane J Standiford said...

It is Gore and Nadar again, everything you say is right, but again I am torn. I do not want a Republican in office again. I have a partner of 28yrs, I NEVER dreamed, back in 1970, that 37 years later my relationship would be so belittled. AND I never dreamed nooses would still show up on doors. I am 50 now, just want my partner to get her share of my social security, but can the right men get the votes? And why do these men not fight like hell for our equality when there is no election? As long as gay people hide, as so many do, we have no power, and where is our OUR MLK Jr? I am so torn again, and equality is not even a dream I dare dream anymore.

Bpaul said...

I like the European approach myself. The governments grant civil unions to everyone, and if you want to get "married" you go to a church and do that separately.

That's for everyone, not just for straight people.

I think that is a simple, clear division between church and state. The state grants the civil rights aspect of the union, gets the paperwork done etc, and the church gives whatever type of blessing it deems fit.

I detest that our country has almost no division between church and state. This is a fine example of that lack of division. People shouldn't be petitioning the government for a blessing over their unions... that's none of the government's business.

The flap over death with dignity laws is also a confusion of separation of church and state. That's religion talking, not government, wrong wrong wrong.