Equality for All

Before I begin this post, I want to set the record straight and explain that I am a straight male. I find the feminine figure in all its many shapes and sizes quite alluring. I state this as I have often been labelled as something else when I speak out on the issue I am about to address today. With that said, I will proceed.

There is a serious Civil Rights struggle going on in our country, that in some ways, mirrors the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. This time, however, it is not a matter of the color of a person’s skin that is the issue. Rather, it is their sexual orientation. There is a need to point out the covert and sometimes overt discrimination taking place in our country toward our homosexual brothers and sisters. They are being denied the right to marry. They are being denied the right to visit their partner if they are hospitalized. They are being denied access to the same services in some companies as their heterosexual counterparts can receive. These are examples of discrimination that needs to be stopped.

I recently read a news article about a couple in Washington State who wanted their favorite florist to provide flowers for their wedding. The proprietor, whom the couple had known for a while, politely told them she would not provide flowers for them due to her faith not condoning homosexuality. The article continues by trying to paint a positive picture of the proprietor as having hired gay employees and having gay customers in an attempt by her and her lawyers to show she is not a discriminatory person. The term they used in the article for her reasoning not to provide flowers was that she was a conscientious objector. Conscientious objector?!? This is not her being called to fight in a war. She runs a business that is open to the public. As such, she needs to provide service to whomever has the monetary means for them. It sounds a little like the time when Blacks in our country would have to wait in separate areas or go to the back door of a restaurant to be served.

This is not an isolated incident. National headlines have shown major corporations, restaurants, and civic groups taking an anti-homosexual stance either in open practice or in the causes to which they contribute. They are temporarily boycotted, picketed, or subject to a ‘kiss-in’; however, the media’s thrill for the story dies down and the status quo kicks in again.

Those who advocate for Gay Rights need to think about taking some pages out of the Civil Rights Movement’s playbook. They need to organize marches, sit-ins, speeches, letter writing campaigns to politicians, media advertising, and other non-violent methods to get the public’s attention to the violations of civil rights that they face on a daily basis. One way to do this would be to combat one of the oldest stereotypes about homosexuals, particularly males. That is the myth that gay men are pedophiles. They are not. A pedophile is a social deviant who preys on children. A homosexual is simply someone who is attracted to their own sex (and age range). They do not want to rape children or even each other. The majority of homosexuals, male and female alike, simply want to fins someone special to spend their lives with like so many heterosexuals do freely.

Our gay brothers and sisters should be free to live their lives and receive the same rights that heterosexuals have. They need to be free to live without being stigmatized, ostracized, or demonized. It is time for equality for all people.

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