I consider myself a fairly educated woman. I like to think I keep up with current events, stay up to date on the issues and maintain a reasonably active voice. After the recent post I did about Representative Sally Kern and her despicable remarks, I realized I'm not as educated on the issues or vocal as I like to think.
Since that post I have been receiving emails from the Utah Pride Center as well as emails from The Human Rights Campaign. It's been an eye opening period of time.
I'll be the first to admit that when I hear the phrase "human rights" I think of people of other ethnicity's or people in third world countries or countries with non-democratic governments, I don't think of the GLBT community. If you say "civil rights" I think along those lines, but not "human rights". I'm ashamed of that.
Until just recently I was in that place that I think a lot of well meaning people are in. I have gay, lesbian and transgender friends. I know that there are issues that effect them. But I didn't really believe that our society or our government would allow them to be treated like second class citizens. What a wake up call for me.
The GLBT community isn't just dealing with random acts of discrimination by a few individuals. It's not something that can just be shrugged off as an isolated incident. These men and women are being told by governing bodies, medical administrators, religious leaders and whole other sections of our society that they don't count as much as people who have heterosexual relationships. It's absurd to say the least.
A part of me had always believed that while the law did not "technically" recognize gay and lesbian partners as family in cases of emergency doctors and other health care professionals would have compassion and share important information. Not so. They are shut out and left to wonder what is happening to the person they love.
If a gay or lesbian couple purchases property together or has children together they don't have the same protections that a heterosexual couple would be given in cases of divorce or spousal death. The remaining partner is treated like a stranger.
For a long time now I have taken the stance that not allowing people like Sally Kern to continue with their hate filled agendas was about protecting the larger good. After everything I've learned, the "greater good" seems somehow less important, if that makes any sense. I can not, in good conscience, live in a world where an entire group of people are treated as second class because they don't fit the mold that one narrow minded section of our populace wants to perpetuate.
Okay...stepping off the soapbox now, but don't be surprised to see it come back out later.