Rights Are Not a Finite Resource

It’s hard to know what to say in the wake of North Carolina’s decision to make certain LGBT citizens knew that they are repugnant and unworthy of civil rights.  Perhaps falsely buoyed by the other states who have recently considered the topic of same sex marriage, I thought that surely, kindness and general decency would have their day, and the constitutional amendment would be defeated.  No gain, surely, since NC already bans gay marriage, but at least not an entire state spitting in the face of basic human equality.

I’ve talked before about anger– finding it, using it, burning it as a fuel when you’re low and fighting a monster.  This monster matters to me, it pushes into my home and my life on a daily basis, trying to cut me off at the knees and tell me I am less, I am low, I must be silent and hide or it will take something else.  The problem is, even anger fades after awhile, and you’re just tired.  Bone-weary and still fighting, because if you put down your weapons for a second, the monster will devour you.  But tired.

You could say I don’t stand to personally gain much from the legal recognition of same-sex marriage.  I still won’t be able to marry the person I love, in anything but deed.  But what I would gain, what we would all gain, is the surety that nobody will ever be able to take things away from us because of who we, as consenting adults, love.

Libba Bray wrote a gutting post about discrimination, starting with some parts of U.S. history most people would prefer to forget: Love Is the Higher Law

I really hope one day, when the monster is slain, that this can be something my grand- nieces and nephews can look back on as a period of time they don’t understand, full of ugly things that make no sense.  This isn’t the world I’d want to leave them.


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