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"We the (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender) People of the United States..."

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.
-Declaration of Independence.

As American citizens we have the right to choose how we live our lives. It is Nature's life which has been given to us by a Creator, which is not necessarily another's Creator.  Acceptance of a particular version of "Creator" is not required. The conditions of liberty are our birthright.  Liberty is the natural state of being, given to all without merit or chance.  It is the freedom and triumph of the individual over those persons or institutions who would deny such rights.  We are free to construct a world of our choosing where joy and contentment reign, as long as our version of happiness does not deny the opportunity for others.  Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons seek justice and equality as they build their lives.

The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
-The United States Constitution, Amendment IX of the Bill of Rights.

The Constitution of the United States of America is a document filled with the aspirations and hopes of countless Americans.  "We the people" has changed and adapted over our country's lifetime.  It has come to include people whom the writers and delegates to the Constitutional Convention would have been hard pressed to have imagined as citizens.  Many millions of `The People" are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT).  We seem to be the last group to seek recognition of our rights under the law.  The framers of the Constitution knew they didn't have it all correct.  They understood that humans and governments are flawed.  The Ninth Amendment contained in the Bill of Rights plainly points the way to justice for GLBT persons.  The Constitution didn't mention homosexuals, domestic partnership benefits, civil unions, or same-sex marriage, but it didn't have to!  The government may not deny us as law abiding citizens, these unalienable rights.  Unalienable rights of our choosing, not of the governments.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.  
-President Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address

President Abraham Lincoln found words to attempt to ease the wounds of a country gripped in the claws of a civil war.  The blood of thousands of courageous men soaked the soil of Pennsylvania for beliefs.  Two beliefs so closely intertwined with each other, yet so totally incompatible.

"We the People" was put to the test.  Could a group of Americans decide to use the words of the Constitution to forge a new country, focusing on the rights of the individual and state, ignoring the basic proposition "that all men are created equal"?  The courage of their convictions raised to its height as General Pickett led that valiant and fateful charge.  

Would the rest of "The People" and the Government of the United States be able to let them go?  Could those who had been given power by "The People" protect the Constitution from being shredded by slavery, racism, and economic servitude? Who would "We the People" be? A nation birthed in the cries of liberty once again rose up to fight injustice.  Its face shown in the likes Colonel Patrick O'Rourke and his Rochester men as they charged unhesitantly over the edge of Little Round Top, unloaded guns and all, into a rain of lead.

Once again the nation faces a crisis over who "We the People" are.  Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender citizens are demanding to be heard.  Our country "conceived in liberty" and baptized in the blood needed to break the chains of bondage, knows where to stand.  All citizens are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights."  It may feel uncomfortable for some, or even downright unpleasant, but freedom for us is not negotiable.  

QueerVoice
February 26, 2006
www.queerliberty.blogspot.com

Fri Jul 06, 2012 at 6:52 AM PT: Wow, I reread this today after six years, and it's just as applicable as it was then.

Originally posted to http://queerliberty.blogspot.com/ on Sun Feb 26, 2006 at 08:02 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I posted this yesterday... (4.00)

    Unless I'm wrong, which, you know, I'm not

    by Hkingsley on Sun Feb 26, 2006 at 08:21:39 AM PST

  •  Correct, more than correct (none)
     not gay, but NOTHING irritates me more than these self righteous assholes who throughout our history have attempted to draw a dividing line defining who is a citizen and who is not, using this line to decide who is entitled to the full rights of a citizen and who is not.

    Not a single caser has ever been made on either scientific or sociological evidence to ever justify any of the claims of those who, throughout our history have chosen to deny one group the benefits of citizenship in America, and allow it to others.

    My sugestion is to NO LONGER fight this on "moral grounds, but economic.

    And I mean economics at the heart of economics.

    Gays, because they are denied the full benefits that heterosexuals are allowed under the law, should as a group WITHOLD INCOME TAXES from the federal government, and property and other taxes from state governments that deny them the same rights as other citizens, because at the very heart of the American Revolution was the concept of "NO TAXATION WITHOUT RPRESENTATION"...

    This had more to do with than being able to vote for representatives, but had to to with the overall representation of the rights and interests all groups. That no one group would use the fact that they represented a majority in order to oppress a minority.

    Gays in fact, because they cannot marry, cannot take deductions for partners or other dependents, infrequently pay more in traxes than heterosexuals. Gay pay singinficantly more money to pay for the education of children whose parents would deny gays the rights to even raise children.

    A significant fund should be put aside to defend those who will invariably be brough to trial for tax evasion.../

    However the best case can be made that n one shoud be force to PAY for the a government apparatus that they have NO LEGAL ACCESS to.

    You pay the salaries of those who issue marriage licenses, the judges who perform marriages, and preside over legislation that discriminates against you.

    IN America, money does not talk, it swears, as the poet said.

    •  Ummm... (none)
      ...I'm transsexual, I'm lesbian, my daughter is lesbian...but I am still going to pay my taxes.  I'm also a teacher, maybe even "above all I am a teacher", and those taxes people pay help pay the salaries of other teachers and other good civil servants who do good for their communities for far too little pay.  Show me how this doesn't hurt the poor and the good before we initiate it, okay?

      Robyn

      Teacher's Lounge opens each Saturday, sometime between 10am and 11am EST

      by rserven on Sun Feb 26, 2006 at 01:56:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've always wondered why (none)
    it's GLBT and not GLBTS? Don't straights belong in the community, too? Are you excluding us for some reason?

    -7.38, -6.46
    The Truth is the engine of our judicial system. --Patrick Fitzgerald

    by pucklady on Sun Feb 26, 2006 at 08:58:31 AM PST

    •  Here's a thought (none)
      A lot of support groups these days call themselves something along the lines of Allies and Queers (like at my alma mater) or are Gay/Straight alliances in schools.  And as far as I know most LGBT support groups are open to supporters, too.  

      But I don't think straight folks should be included in the "LGBT community", if you will.

      But maybe that's b/c most straights voted to take away my health benefits last year here in MI.  

      I feel like I'm taking crazy pills! The AA stands for Ann Arbor.

      by Matt in AA on Sun Feb 26, 2006 at 10:19:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Textual Jujitsu (none)
        Sticking the extra 'S' on might make it much harder to label the "LGBT community" as "other".

        So instead of "polarising" the issue "LGBT community" vs. "Straight community".

        You get to "frame" it as "LGBTS community" vs. Bigots. :)

        Don't be a fuckhead! HTH k thnx

        by kraant on Sun Feb 26, 2006 at 10:36:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I see your point (4.00)
          and I think it's a good one.  But I think more S folks need to be more involved and vocal.  Then we could add S to the list.

          I sat in on some D meetings last year that depressed the hell out of me as the D folks tried to figure out how to deal with "them", aka the LGBT Americans.

          Fun.

          I feel like I'm taking crazy pills! The AA stands for Ann Arbor.

          by Matt in AA on Sun Feb 26, 2006 at 10:42:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But in your first response to me (none)
            you pointed out Gay/Straight alliances and Allies and Queers. Doesn't that indicate that we are speaking out and working with you? I really like what the previous poster said about textual jujitsu. Don't make it an Us vs Them, even within "Us".

            And I lost my health benefits, too.

            -7.38, -6.46
            The Truth is the engine of our judicial system. --Patrick Fitzgerald

            by pucklady on Sun Feb 26, 2006 at 11:13:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry. (none)
              Most of you aren't helping.  That's just the way it is.  I live it every day.

              Did you lose your benefits b/c of a well-coordinated smear campaign that blamed you and people like you for many of the problems in America?  Was there a big scare campaign against you?  And did the Democratic Party largely remain silent while all of this was happening?  And then did they call you for $$ after the election?

              And now my 5 year old godson (who has 2 mommies) has leukemia--diagnosed a week ago.  We're just hoping the courts here in MI go our way and that they don't take his health benefits away in the middle of his 3 1/2 year treatment.

              Some allies are helping--not enough to stick an S on the end in order to make some allies feel better about themselves.

              I'm obviously speaking from a place of anger, and it's not directed at you. It's directed at the spiteful and hateful people who have put us in this position and the "allies" who remain silent.

              I feel like I'm taking crazy pills! The AA stands for Ann Arbor.

              by Matt in AA on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 06:17:11 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Bootstrapping problem (none)
            I'd be guessing that the original commenter would be right on with being part of the "LGBTS community" but doesn't feel "welcome" as part of the "LGBT community".

            Not 'S', 'B' actually, so I can't speak for "them" but given how pissy I get when some 'G' and 'L' quite happily exclude 'B' and 'T' I'd suspect a sympathetic 'S' can feel the same way in a similar situation.

            You can't add 'S' till you get more straights but straights won't sign onto the community unless they feel it includes them... Bootstrapping problem.

            Seems like a fairly hard nut to crack.

            Wandering now. Banning same sex marriage looks particularly absurd from my point of view since it makes the issue of whether I can get married to someone I love or not, in the eyes of the law, purely arbitrary and based on a random attribute I don't assign any value to.

            I dunno, the way I view it, the issue isn't between 'LGBT' and 'S', it's between people and bigoted idiots. Polarising the issue as an "us vs. them" thing where the "them" is bigger than it needs to be, I think, contributes to "them" who otherwise wouldn't be viewing it that way viewing it as an "us vs. them" issue.

            It's a bit of a weird one. There's a reason bootstrapping issues are considered hard.

            Don't be a fuckhead! HTH k thnx

            by kraant on Sun Feb 26, 2006 at 11:13:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  LGBTQIA (none)
        ...lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (an umbrella term in its own right), queer/questioning (same), intersex, and...ta-da...allies.  It's an A, not an S.

        Robyn (co-coordinator of her college's Gay/Non-Gay Alliance)

        Teacher's Lounge opens each Saturday, sometime between 10am and 11am EST

        by rserven on Sun Feb 26, 2006 at 02:01:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  At my college... (none)
      We normally refer to it as GLBTA with the A standing for allies.  However, in the end, GLBT are a particular group.  Just because you support basic civil rights doesn't make you black, just because you support basic civiol rights doesn't make you gay/bi/lesbian/trans.

      That said, without my allied friends, I don't know where I'd be right about now...

      "No government has the right to tell its citizens whom to love. The only queer people are those who don't love anybody." - Rita Mae Brown (-4.75, -7.13)

      by AUBoy2007 on Sun Feb 26, 2006 at 01:02:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  you won't like this advice (none)
    but I would advise you to keep it down until we actually have some Dems in power.  Then make your move.

    It would be far more pragmatic an approach than making a huge issue about it right now.  

    That old saying - "timing is everything"

    "Nordic, one of the most obnoxious people at Daily Kos." -- DHinMI

    by Nordic on Sun Feb 26, 2006 at 11:22:52 AM PST

    •  I'm not sure (none)
      I'm not sure triangulating like that is the best strategy. Either the dems will not talk about it pre-election then act, which will have the same effect as the 60's Civil Rights Act - which republicans still use as a dog-whistle. Or they'll just keep triangulating and ignore Civil Rights.

      The best strategy, to me, seems to be to find ways to make Civil Rights a winning campaign issue with the electorate.

      What do you think?

      Don't be a fuckhead! HTH k thnx

      by kraant on Sun Feb 26, 2006 at 11:37:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think (none)
        the Republicans LOVE the gay-marriage issue.

        Which is why they brought it up, and why Bush came out and officially announced he was supporting a constitutional amendment to ban it ....

        which was then completely dropped after the election.

        "Nordic, one of the most obnoxious people at Daily Kos." -- DHinMI

        by Nordic on Sun Feb 26, 2006 at 01:41:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeap (none)
          I'd also guess they'll drag it out again anyway even if dems didn't make a peep about the issue. So there isn't a point in not arguing against it, because until the issue gets "fixed", by convincing people that there isn't anything wrong with it happening, it's a free ride for the repubs.

          Don't be a fuckhead! HTH k thnx

          by kraant on Sun Feb 26, 2006 at 01:52:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Sho me how (none)
    Under conservatives, your money actually goes to help the poor at all.

    Gays as a group pay more per person to support the government than straight people who get to take advantage of numerous deductions, and they also get to pay for being discriminated against by state, local and federal governments.

    You play for those elected officials to DISCRIMINATE against you.

    Again, bring up the LEGAL issue of paying taxes for services you are NOT ENTITLED to take part in and you will win a lot faster than DEMANDIN equal rights on a moral basis.

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