Equality. A quaint notion we profess to have used as one of the rocks upon which this nation was built.
It is there in our Declaration of Independence, proclaiming to the world, the "truth" that is "self evident," "that all men are created equal."
What a load of horseshit.
This empty rhetoric has been stinking up the land since the ink was drawn onto the parchment.
Written in a time when we literally owned human beings, beating them, demeaning them, casting them aside when they had served their purpose or were so broken they could no longer serve our purposes.
Written by a cadre of privileged men who cared not one whit that their version of equality extended only to those like them. Not women, not blacks - just the good old boys club.
As this country has struggled to take steps forward, burdened always by those intent on dragging us back, people have died in their efforts to make this country live up to her words: "that all men are created equal."
The altar of equality is drenched in the blood of those who bravely took a stand and were cut down by cowards.
Have we made progress? Of course. Slavery was abolished. Yet there are still those wetbrained bigots who espouse their love for the "good old days" when "niggers knew their place." Women can vote. But the passel of ignorant dullards who still believe a woman's "place is barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen" is alive and unwell.
And then there are our brothers and sisters who are fully formed human beings, yet because they fall under the LGBT label, they are not treated as such.
Castigated by society, condemned by religion, brutally assaulted by heathens, and marginalized by law - LGBT human beings struggle daily to simply make others understand that they, too, fall under that line in our Declaration. They, too, were created equal.
I stress that because therein lies the disconnect. Bigotry, isolation, condemnation, and fear all rely on the ability and willingness to dehumanize another. Or the other.
Just because you don't understand someone else's attractions, gender identity, religion, does not make them less than you. In fact, I would posit that your unwillingness to understand another makes YOU less than them.
And hiding behind your religion doesn't give you a free pass in the bigotry stakes. Being hollered at by a preacher on Sundays doesn't acquit you from the responsibility to think for yourself, to actually dissect what you are being told to believe, and to ultimately call bullshit on it.
I truly feel sorry for those who hide behind the robes of Jesus, and who deign to speak for God. Because if there is a God - hell, if there are the 10,000+ currently believed in - I suspect the heavenly woodshed is not big enough for all the asses that will be dragged behind it by Them.
"Created in His image." "God created all things." "God doesn't make mistakes."
All platitudes used by those who claim to be holy, enlightened.
All platitudes that extend only to those just like them. Beyond that? Well, obviously what lies beyond are abominations and choices and Hell.
What lies beyond their selective interpretations are human beings. Beautiful, normal, loving human beings.
Lesbian, gay, trans, bi, non binary, and on and on. All feeling the same feelings as anyone else. All worthy of laws to protect them. All deserving of equal rights.
Gay parents do not make an adopted child gay. But straight parents pump out an awful lot of gay children. Go figure.
Two women raising a family are capable of just as much love and stability as the most straight laced hetero couple. And considering the divorce rate in this country, perhaps more. We heteros seem to excel at one thing when it comes to the sanctity of marriage: FAILURE.
No one has been able to explain to me how their marriage is threatened by allowing same sex marriage. NO. ONE. Not a friend, not a politician, not a pundit.
Because there is NO threat.
It is simply another tactic of fear to keep a base ginned up.
Allowing same sex couples to wed and enjoy the same legal protections afforded hetero couples does not mean your children will grow up looking for a same sex partner. It doesn't mean a squad of immaculately dressed and coiffed men will show up at Bubba's doublewide and drag him to the altar. And it doesn't mean that your hetero union is somehow suddenly worth less.
If your child is gay, they just are. If your daughter is attracted to women, she just is, and always was. And Bubba? I hate to tell you, but there are an awful lot of Bubbas who just so happen to be gay but are afraid of you, your hate, and your guns. And if your marriage tanks? Look in the mirror. It's not Adam and Steve who ruined it.
Gay men, lesbian women, bisexuals, transsexuals - all human beings. I don't have to hurt one to know they bleed red like me. I don't have to be one to know they laugh, cry, love, and live like me.
This is an important week in our history as the Supreme Court takes on Prop 8 and same sex marriage.
Personally, I don't see the debate. Remove the religious dogma that has zero place near the governance of our citizens, apply the words of our Declaration, and *VOILA!* the answer is simple.
Equality is an idea who time has come. Even if it is over 200 years late to the party.