Why Gay Rights Matter

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There are so many other issues to tackle, especially with the 2008 elections looming.

Why Gay rights?

I’m not a person one would typically count as a stakeholder. I am straight. I am, if not religious, deeply spiritual. So why Gay rights, and why now? Why me?

Because homophobia exemplifies hate born from religion. Because it is a hate that drives a splintering wedge into our shared humanity.

Religious extremism, we liberals tell ourselves, is wrong. But it goes beyond that. It is a false belief, that the followers of other religions are in some way doomed. That those who find themselves attracted to the same sex, or gender identify off the beaten path are somehow less human than the rest of us. That they are somehow sinful. These beliefs, themselves, are behind so much of the hate and violence roiling our world.

We are one. One humanity, one spirit. This is our fundamental nature. And when we forget that, when we actively work against that unity, we provide a gulf that excuses and encourages violence. Spirituality is fundamentally incompatible with separation. The ethical role of religion and spirituality is to bring us all closer together, not drive us further apart.  It is natural for the spiritual and the religious to support gay rights.

So when I take up the cause of Gay rights, and encourage more to do the same, I am simultaneously working at a greater cause. At its very core the struggle for equal rights is a struggle to realize unity. It is the active, social aspect of the spiritual journey.

The cause of Gay rights is the same battle fought during the civil rights movement.  It is our fight for universal health care, and a foreign policy that puts peace before war.  When we champion Gay rights we stand against Church’s efforts to overtake State.

Future generations are losing the hatred of those who came before, and moving beyond tolerance to acceptance.  When they look back on us, they should see women and men of principle who fought for equality when it mattered:   Now.

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3 Responses

  1. homophobia is a sickness that has existed since civilization began. exposing it will be quite a feat.

    i remember someone telling me that he wasnt a racist, some people like chocolate ice cream and some vanilla, i like white people and dont like black people.

    there is no limit to human denial.

    when one is liberated we all are liberated.

  2. john,
    Quite.

    There is no limit to human denial. People who are deeply racist often don’t want to see themselves that way (or be perceived that way at least).

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