Free Patterns

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Halfway Measures

This post may offend some readers. If it does, I am sorry. If it does maybe you should ask yourselves why.
As the Aunt and Cousin of a lesbian and a gay, and the Mother of a wonderful, responsible and giving gay son, I have to ask myself why. Why? A thousand times why? Not why about my wonderful cousin, my adorable niece and my beloved son. But why about our president's attempt at appeasing the gay and lesbian community with a halfway measure.
Why does a portion of our population insist on believing that another portion of our population does not deserve the same rights and privileges, benefits and recognition under the law as the other portion? Why?
In the not so distant past it was women. Women were deemed unable to make a decision. Women were not allowed to voice an opinion. Women were discouraged, often violently so, from speaking out in a public forum. And why? Because men interpreted a "book" as saying that the woman was to be the caretaker of the home and hearth. She was "weak" and needed "protection" and a "guiding hand". Why?
Also, in the not so distant past, a person of color, be it black, yellow, red, was placed under the blanket of "weak" and "not quite as intelligent" as the "white male" and even -heaven forbid - the "white female"! As recently as WWII, black men were not allowed to serve in any position of authority. "They could not see at night." "They can't swim." But they sure can cook! The majority of our black men that served during WWII were placed in positions of service to the "superior" white race. Men like my friend Vernon Baker (his citation can be read here) and 6 other soldiers of color were finally recognized for their bravery in 1996, long after their actions had saved lives. How many men lived to see another day because of the heroic actions and dedication of these men? Why did it take so long for them to be given the honors of heroes?
Today, although there is still racism and prejudice, our U.S. has elected a black man to be president of this country. A long way from Dorie Miller, taking matters into his own hands aboard a ship at anchor in Pearl Harbor.
And now...
Our president is signing a bill to give same sex partners of government workers benefits that have been enjoyed by the "other portion" of our society. A brave action, given the polarization of the GLBT issues. But why Mr. President, are you stopping short of giving these non-traditional families health benefits as well? Why must my family members be treated as second class citizens? Why must my family members be denied the rights that their other family members can freely embrace?
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