Monday, May 7, 2012

All Americans Should Care: Equal Rights for LGBT Americans - Part I

Equal Rights for All

We're presently witnessing an overwhelming amount of hypocrisy, and outright mean spirited behavior spewing from certain pockets of our nation. I wish that I could sit here and tell everyone that it will come to an end very soon, but, unfortunately it won’t. As we draw closer to the upcoming Presidential election, we will see incidents surface where LGBT Americans will be berated, subjected to unnecessary criticism and outright hate. The people who engage in these incidents will attempt to justify their hateful behavior, in the name of uniting our country or making us a better nation. 

I am very passionate about equality for all Americans, especially LGBT Americans, and will go twelve rounds with anyone who wants it. I strongly belief that same-sex couples should have the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts; including marriage and adoption. I will never support any laws that take away their rights in any form, nor can I support any laws that strip a human being of their dignity or pride. The LGBT population is currently subjected to legalized discrimination; meaning we have laws on the books that prevent them from living a full and equal life. I find this unacceptable and an absolute disgrace. However, with the unjust treatment and legalized discrimination in place, nothing pisses me off (deeply upsets me) more, than the practice of that discrimination or the advocating of hate against LGBT Americans, especially from the religious community.

Regardless of what a persons religious beliefs may be or their chosen denomination, the general consensus is, that there is a higher being, and love prevails. Love of our brothers and sisters, love of our neighbors, love of our communities, and most of all love of our country.  The last is a staple in US culture and certainly trumps or at times is considered one in the same as our love for God or a higher being. Just look at our pledge of Allegiance. 

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." - Pledge of Allegiance, United States

I am not sure if things are the same, but as a child in school, I recited this pledge every single day. If this practice still exists we will further see this indoctrination, for generations to come. While I've just called all of this an indoctrination, many people prefer to call it patriotism. Patriotism is good and I consider myself to be patriotic, but, patriotism has the ability to go wrong and steer people down a path of bad. 

In comes Pastor "Beat the Gay Out of Your Child"

"So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, “Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,” you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed. Can I make it any clearer? Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. Ok? You are not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male. And when your daughter starts acting to Butch you reign her in. And you say, “Oh, no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play them to the glory of God. But sometimes you are going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you are going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive. You are going to dress yourself up.” You say, “Can I take charge like that as a parent? Yeah, you can. You are authorized. I just gave you a special dispensation this morning to do that.” 

Two weeks ago I attended the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City and had the opportunity to watch a few really great movies. Of all the movies I saw, there was one movie that stuck out to me and made me really think about our nations views of Gay Americans and our  overall treatment of children. The timing of this film is very symbolic, considering our upcoming election.
The movie was called Any Day Now and stared Alan Cumming (The Good Wife and The L Word) and Garret Dillahunt (Raising Hope and No Country for Old Men). The story is centered around Rudy (Alan Cumming) and his recently out lover Paul (Garret Dillahunt), who quickly form a romantic relationship only to find themselves embroiled in a bitter custody battle when they attempt to adopt a special needs child, who was abandoned by his drug addict prostitute mother. The movie takes place in 1970's and as pointed out by Cumming in the video above, sadly is a mirror picture of the American views of same-sex couples. Because of our legal system and advocated hate against same-sex couples, a life was lost. The story boils down to a society of people who never once thought about the well being of the child and only concentrated on their hatred for gay people.

Pastor Harris falls into this category, as do all the people who pride themselves on patriotism and "christian values." This is all an epic failure that continues to manifest, because we instill hatred in children, generation after generation. How can you call yourself a patriot and profess love of your country when you advocate for laws that deny your fellow patriots basic civil rights? How can you profess to be a man of God, who reads the bible daily, and tell a congregation of worshipers to beat the gay out of their son or daughter? Ironically, people have yet to make the connection between the words of pastors like Mr. Harris to adults and the bullying of young children by other young children. Where do you think children learn their behaviors from? Yes, their parents. So if the parents are learning bad behavior from someone entrusted to lead them down a path of good; how are they supposed to know the right things to teach their own children.This is all a classic dose of ignorance.

This ignorance is an embarrassment and stain on our entire country. It's the reason why Roland Martin felt he was justified to tweet anti-gay remarks on Twitter. It's the reason why Westboro Baptist Church feels they have a divine order from God to protest military funerals. Pastor Harris would rather see a young girl kill herself or be bullied by her own parents, than have her be a lesbian. It's a sad when we have religious leaders advocating parents to bully their children into an identity that doesn't belong them.

I don't have any specific questions to ask today, but would like to engage you in an honest discussion.

Give me your thoughts on the Pastor Harris and the Gay Right Movement. If you disagree with me, sound off. 
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