22 May 2009

Friday's Featured Site - The Human Rights Campaign

The Human Rights Campaign bills itself as working for equal rights for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered persons and I have been a proud member for nearly five years. I support the organization not because I am gay myself, I am not, but because I believe in the work that they do on behalf of all of us.

The torture and murder of Matthew Shepherd because he was gay did not just diminish the humanity of his friends and family and community, it diminished the humanity of all of us collectively and of each of us individually. Standing alone, we can't change the attitudes, environment and ignorance which breeds such violence. Collectively, we can!

In exactly the same way, each unchallenged whisper, smirk, demeaning comment or gesture diminishes us. But worse, people who stand by silently as ignorant fools (there's that word again) characterize standing up for gay equality as being on a par with condoning bestiality or pedophilia are contributory to the headline crimes and excesses which all too often capture our morbid but transitory interest. It is our collective acceptance of such vile characterizations which gives "permission" to those hate-filled low-enders who regard "gay-bashing" as sport.

So, let me say this: Speaking as a straight, former Marine, married for 46-years, middle-aged, white-guy, I, nor my marriage, are threatened by the notion of two people loving---hell no--love isn't even the issue, of two people who want to provide sexual pleasure and/or emotional comfort to each other. Likewise, my community, neighborhood, way of life, or any other damned cliche you can drag out, are not threatened or diminished by such human behavior.

We have far bigger problems to contend with than whether same-sex partners should enjoy the legitimacy and benefits provided by civil marriage. Such is a basic human right. And certainly, no one can successfully argue that the state should or can dictate to any religious institution as to whom they can offer or deny their various rituals. If your church does not want to conduct marriage ceremonies for gays or lesbians, fine. There are those that will and do.

So, there it is, part of the reason for my support of and membership in the Human Rights Campaign. Visit their site, and make up your own mind.

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