Click Click Expose

November 5, 2009

A Reflection on what happend to the LGBT community in Maine

Harry Knox, Director of Religion and Faith - HRC

Harry Knox, Director of Religion and Faith - HRC

I had an opportunity to hear Harry Knox speak 2 years ago at the Celebration of Faith and Diversity seminars held in Tampa, Florida.  Mr. Knox is the Director of Religion and Faith Program at the Human Rights Campaign and a terrific orator.  He blends together religion, faith, diversity and humanity to show how the basic rights for all gay & lesbian people should be honored and demanded and brings a religious perspective that is often overlooked.  It is great listening to him speak which is why I was glad I found this article he wrote on the recent vote by Maine citizens to deny the LGBT community marriage rights and marriage equality.  This article is reprinted from Human Rights  Campaign BackStory series on its website:  www.hrcbackstory.org/2009/11/a-religious-reflection-on-maine.  To learn more about HRC and what they do for the LGBT community, visit their website at: www.hrc.org.

Thomas – Click Click Expose (Gay Entertainment Media)

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“This morning I am wondering who and what I am. Once again, when American voters have had an opportunity to affirm my humanity and the loving commitment I have made to my husband, a majority of those voters have made a conscious decision to deny my humanity and treat me as if my citizenship and my marriage mean nothing; all the while patting themselves on the back for their piety. The slap they intended is received. I am made to wonder – Am I human? Am I an American? Am I a Christian? Am I married?

It is clear that most voters in Maine, like majorities in other states before them, intend for me to feel less than human. People we respect as sisters and brothers in the human family, we treat as equals. Those majorities have reserved to themselves a legal right they feel specially entitled to – in spite of the fact that my husband and I face all the health, financial, familial and social challenges they do, and need the same supports they enjoy.

Here’s what I know.

I know that I was never more beautifully and powerfully human in my life than the day I committed myself to lifelong partnership with my caring, strong, handsome, wise, funny husband. We made ourselves vulnerable to care for each other forever, come what may. There is no more hopeful, faithful, joyful, generative act in all the world. It was a decision only humans could enter into both intellectually and spiritually. It was a total giving of ourselves to each other, and as such, it mirrored in part the gift Christ made for us on the Cross.

Voters in Maine have said with clarity that my husband and I are to be denied equal treatment under the law, despite the Constitutional promises made to us. The voters are unequivocal – we are something, but we are not, in their opinions, American citizens, despite the facts that we are native born or have diligently served our country over the last five decades.

What I know is that Mike and I seek everyday to contribute more to our country and God’s world than we take from it. We have given our lives and careers in the service of others through Christ, and we have invested most of our time and much of our money into helping America live into its promises and potential.

Most Maine voters want us to understand once and for all that the Bible, which has been used to subjugate women, people of color, and the poor of every gender and race is now to be used as a weapon against us. They have gleaned all they intend to learn from their faith and as far as they are concerned, my family can go to hell.

I know that we are disciples of Jesus of Nazareth, God’s incarnate word of truth, love, and justice who lived, died, and through his death and resurrection redeemed and continues to reconcile us, America and all the earth to God’s original vision of peace and caring community.

It is clear to me now that a majority of Americans have chosen to deny my human rights, deny my citizenship, and deny my Christianity, by denying my freedom to marry. So where does that leave me? Who and what am I on November 4, 2009?

I know – I know – that I am married to my husband, Mike. He defends me against all who would do me harm and is faithful to me in spite of all temptations. We have cared for each other through more sickness than health; we’ve known more financial setbacks than gains; we have nursed each others’ family members, wept over the graves of lost loved ones, helped and received help from family and friends, and assisted in raising the children of some heterosexual folks who weren’t able to raise their own. I wake in the morning and nod at night with prayers of thanksgiving for the wonderful man with whom I am building a family by God’s grace.

Today I am tempted to feel like an exile in my native land – to question who and what I am. But this I know: in the end it matters not one whit what others say or believe about me and mine. What matters, today and forever, is what we believe about ourselves. We are fully human. We are Americans. We are Christians. And we are most assuredly married.

When I remember that, the powers of hell cannot prevail against me or my marriage. I am empowered to continue to do the difficult work that will ultimately bring justice in the form of marriage equality to our land. I, and my husband with me, offer our heterosexual neighbors a vision of what the world will look like when we get the human rights we deserve – a world where everyone will live in peace and mutual respect with our neighbors.”

— Harry Knox, Director of Religion & Faith, Human Rights Campaign

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June 8, 2009

It’s Not About The Fucking Cakes!

I saw our blog title that I am using for this article on a UK blog (great title I thought) and it got me thinking about the current debate going on in this country about gay marriage. At one of my straight functions I was filming, a young lady asked me about gay marriage and why it was so important to us (she clocked me as being gay – don’t ask me how!!). Anyway, I was telling her how my years of being together with my partner was great and wonderful but I wasn’t in the rush to have the state validate it. She asked why not?

I thought for a couple of moments and said it wasn’t about the idea of getting married that has many gay people in arms (in my opinion) – it is the right to get married that was so important. Its a civil right that straight people take for granted and its the perks of marriage (if you can call them that) that straight people are allow to partake in. As gay people, we just want to have that option and not seem like second class citizens who have to be treated as “civil unions.” No double taxation on health insurance, proper medical visitation rights, estate planning and death benefits – things that married heterosexual couples can do – we want to be able to do. Our solutions right now are few in far between, settle for “civil unions” if a state has it or pay an attorney to draw up a dozen different legal documents to protect our legal interest.

I am so happy that New Hampshire said yes to gay marriage. That makes 6 states now who have gay marriage (although Maine wants to have the voters decide). I don’t think our civil rights should be allowed to be determined by the majority. If that was the case – we would still have slavery, women would not be able to vote, all American Indians would live in one parcel of land, etc..etc..you get the point. Basic civil rights should be guaranteed, not determine by the popular will of the people. California clearly showed that – by 4% – the rights of thousands have been eliminated. To me, that seems very un-American.

Thomas

May 28, 2009

Where a White Ribbon!!

Levi (the very first Fortune 500 company to extend health benefits to “domestic partners of unmarried employees) is on the forefront again as they take a stand on gay marriage.  They have adopted the “White Knot Program” which encourages people to demonstrate their solidarity with marriage equality by wearing a small piece of knotted white ribbon on their clothing.  New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg and comedienne Kathy Griffin have already publicly supported the move and many more have followed.

Levi’s hope in this new campaign is to spread a symbol of “love” versus fear in the current climate and debate on gay marriage and they are to be applauded for this effort.  No doubt, in some of the more conservative states – Levi will take a hit in the pocket book but the goal of universal marriage rights for all is an admiral one to take and a bold move by this company.  So take a minute a put a white ribbon on your clothing, your car anyway you can to show your support.

Marriage Equality - coming to state near you (Hopefully)

Marriage Equality - coming to state near you (Hopefully)

Thomas

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