Tuesday, September 15, 2009
It has been over 30 years since my friend and teacher, gay rights activist Harvey Milk, was assassinated. Today, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have won limited rights in a handful of states, but we are still second class citizens throughout the United States.
Harvey once said, "It takes no compromising to give people their rights."
This morning, Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced a bill in Congress to repeal the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act." If passed by the Congress, Rep. Nadler's legislation would be a real step forward in the march for full equality and we applaud his efforts, but LGBT people must stop settling for compromises and half measures.
Send a message to your Representative demanding full equality now!
Equal rights are not a "gay" issue. They are about our shared human rights: safety in our schools and jobs, equitable healthcare and housing, and protection for our families, to name a few.
Like all other Americans, LGBT people are guaranteed equal protection under the law by the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Free and equal people do not compromise, and that's why we're marching on Washington next month with one simple demand: Equal protection for LGBT people in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states. Now.
Please ask your Representative to co-sponsor this legislation as an important first step, and remind them that there are no fractions of equality.
When Harvey spoke at Gay Freedom Day at San Francisco City Hall in 1978, he invoked the words of the Declaration of Independence: "All [people] are created equal. No matter how hard you try, you can never erase those words."
No more compromises. We are equal.
- Cleve Jones