A personal blog by a graying (mostly Anglo with light African-American roots) gay leftist leaning liberal progressive fit married college-educated former Baha'i NPR-listening Professor Emeritus now following the Dharma from California to Minas Gerais, Brasil.
Today, we reflect upon the memorable words Thomas Jefferson penned 235 years ago:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Taken together, these words define the essence of freedom.
For couples like Kris and Sandy, two of AFER’s plaintiffs challenging Prop. 8, freedom means raising their boys in a loving, stable home. It means not having to justify their relationship every time one of them tries to pick her son up from school. It means growing old together.
For couples like Jeff and Paul, the other two plaintiffs in our case, freedom means having their love recognized not only by each other, their friends, and family, but by the state. It means being able to take part in a sacred institution that is universally recognized in our country. It means supporting each other, in sickness and in health.
And for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, freedom means not being judged, bullied or harassed for being labeled as different, but instead being celebrated for who they are. It means going to school without the fear of being shoved or taunted. It means living in a home where they are loved, supported and nurtured.
Fourteen times the U.S. Supreme Court has said that marriage is a fundamental right of all individuals. Two loving, committed people should be able to pursue happiness through a special kind of bond.
This Fourth of July we have much to rejoice. Soon, all couples will be able to wed in New York. Prop. 8 has been ruled unconstitutional. The barriers blocking the federal recognition of the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples are crumbling. Never before have we been closer to realizing equality for gay and lesbian Americans.
Our fight for equality is about trying to form a more perfect union—between two people who love each other and to have that bond recognized. For too long, this country has denied equal rights to its gay and lesbian citizens. And with your help, we will achieve full equality for all.
Happy Independence Day,
Chad GriffinBoard President
American Foundation for Equal Rights