Posts Tagged ‘equality

27
Mar
13

Ups, downs, and hard pills

Today has been a day of ups and downs. Frustration at those who would remain silent because of selfishness, joy over those willing to risk everything to protect others.

Today, Sonya Sotomayor took a stand at the SCOTUS. She stated, on official record, that sexual orientation should be a protected class. She stated that prejudice against anyone based on their orientation is discriminatory and should be illegal. She managed to get the attorney, the very man charged with defending Prop 8, that this was so. On record. That was a certain up.

Today I worked for hours, calling here there and yonder (yes, I said yonder) to help my state and city provide valuable information on fair housing, preventing discrimination, and helping others. I managed to chase down new contacts to help me in that mission. Another certain up.

Today, I saw an amazing outpouring of support for love. I saw dozens myself, and evidence of millions of others who stand on the side of love. BIG up.

I watched a friend stand up and speak, asking those who have refused to protect her in the past to do so now. I watched as those same people, who have sometimes been difficult, support her and thank her for her words. Yet another WONDERFUL up.

I watched legislators in my state stand up for the civil rights of others, their friends, family, and loved ones. I watched as they took an unpopular stand to support civil equality in a place that often works to remove it. And that was one more up.

Sadly, I also watched as angry men screamed. I watched as people claiming to love God and each other, blatantly use that same name to support and legalize hate. I watched as an elected official said he refused the will of others and that he, as a “God fearing Christian” would do only God’s will. That children are being gunned down in schools because God has been removed from them. That he would vote “God’s will! NOT that of my left wing liberal counterparts”. That would be a down.

I see the progress, but I see the hate. Sometimes the hate is just such a hard pill to swallow. I think I just won’t.

02
Mar
13

Fighting the good fight

The following speech was presented on the steps of the capital building in Frankfort, KY during a rally for reproductive rights and civil equality.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her.

He has usurped the prerogative of Jehovah himself, claiming it as his right to assign for her a sphere of action, when that belongs to her conscience and to her God.”

These words were spoken by Elisabeth Catie Stanton July, 19th 1848. Women and men gathered in Seneca Falls, NY where the “Declaration of Sentiments” (a document demanding equal treatment and citizenship for women) was drafted and put forth to the government of these United States. We stand here now, almost 165 year later, still fighting for many of those rights.

Kentucky Senate bill 4 requires that a physician (or a licensed designee thereof) be physically present with a patient at the time of consent. This holds ramifications for women who require distant travel for medical procedures that are already financially crushing.

Kentucky Senate bill 5 requires that all women seeking to have “any part of an abortion performed” must first be subject to an invasive, transuterine ultrasound. In simple language, a woman who is attempting to responsibly deal with an unwanted pregnancy must also be subjected to having a large, uncomfortable instrument forced into her vaginal opening, then lay quietly while a doctor explains in detail about the fetus.

The consequence for doctors refusing this unethical requirement of an unneeded medical procedure is a Class D felony. A penalty that includes, among others, violent offenses and sex crimes. How very ironic, that to avoid these charges, a doctor must force a woman to engage in penetration by an artificial phallus. Nothing less than MANDATED RAPE!

Additionally, I feel it important to note that, of the eight senators cosponsoring this bill, only ONE is a woman. Seven, SEVEN men have put their names and weight behind a bill that does not affect THEM or THEIR bodies, but could affect thousands of women.

This is the reality, so many people (mostly legislators it would appear) think that abortion is easy. That it is a decision that women come to lightly and without reflection. This is NOT TRUE! Women come to this decision because they KNOW that, for whatever reason, they CAN NOT accept the financial responsibilities that pregnancy, birth, and upbringing carry. These women KNOW that they, for whatever reason, CAN NOT provide for the health and well being of a fetus, a baby, or a child. These women KNOW that, for whatever reason, it is in the best interest of ALL parties involved, to terminate a pregnancy.

Kentucky Senate bills 4 and 5 serve to prevent a woman from exercising the right to do what SHE KNOWS is best.

We stand here today, not only to speak for the rights of women to be free from the mandates of rape, but also to speak for the rights of our brothers, our sisters, our sons and our daughters, our friends and ourselves. For too long we have been expected to fight for the equality of our LGBTI family by going city to city, begging for equal treatment one commission or council at a time.

While I salute the leadership of Louisville, Lexington, Covington, and Vicco for trying to secure the equal rights of all of their citizens, it is time to bring equality to all Kentuckians. It is time that we no longer have to wonder if we have crossed the city boundaries and are now fair game to those who would see us left homeless, jobless, and afraid.

KY Senate Bill 28 extends the hands of equality across the Commonwealth. While it does not prevent prejudice, it does prevent discrimination. It lets ALL Kentuckians see that our Commonwealth and its legislators recognize all of us as people FIRST and demands that others do the same. KY Senate Bill 28 shows our YOUTH that, even though we sometimes have to fight for is, it does, in fact GET BETTER!

We stand here today at OUR Capital in common cause. That our rights as individuals not be denied by the majority or by the privileged. We are all here today to stand up and to BE COUNTED!