We Stood in Protest – Now Begins the Quest for Full Equality


There are moments in my life that will always stand still in my mind.  Saturday, November 15, 2008, in front of City Hall in San Francisco was one such moment. Gary and I join thousands of others, gay and straight, from all races and creeds, to stand together, in protest and unity, against the recent passage of Proposition 8.  This was a nationwide event, as similar protest gatherings were held at the same time across the states.  

Photo by Paul Chinn San Francisco Chronicle

Photo by Paul Chinn San Francisco Chronicle

 

 

As my emotional reaction has been tempered somewhat by time since the Nov. 4th elections, I am now more resolved to focus on the positive effort to educate and to debate the reasons that civil rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation, cannot be impeded in this great country. That such an act is really a bad precedence for all of us.  In light of the driving force behind the anti same sex marriage movement, we must make sure we remind ourselves that this democracy is not a theocracy.  

Photo by Paul Chinn San Francisco Chronicle

Photo by Paul Chinn San Francisco Chronicle

I am not for the advocacy of attacking anyone’s faith. Everyone has the right to their own religious belief.  However, if a religious institution finances and lobbies for a constitutional amendment to deprive a group of citizens of rights, they have to be held accountable for their actions. I am not advocating hate. I am advocating accountability. 

I held the hands of my partner of 10 years, my beloved Gary, on the lawn fronting the city hall. I thought of our journey together and our life together.  We have participated actively in the democratic process, paid taxes, and have endeavored to be good citizens.  We have tried to be good neighbors.  We like many couples (straight or gay), have worked each day to be better at loving each other. With him, I have been really happy and fulfilled in my life in ways I have never been before in my life.  So when our relationship is marginalized or reviled, I know the truth – that it has been the most sacred and the most sublime thing I have known.

 

In the realm of personal opinion and religious belief, I have been able to weather the intolerance.  However, Gary and I will not step down when our civil liberties and rights are threatened.  In this arena of democracy, where action must be taken we will take on the political debate, not to exchange biblical scriptural interpretation and bashing, but on the foundation of a government based on the idea that all men are created equal.   

So, my fellow citizens, this civil rights movement is sweeping the nation. One day, I hope to hold Gary’s arm and cross over the bridge to that place of full Equality.

 

 

Photo by Paul Chinn San Francisco Chronicle

Photo by Paul Chinn San Francisco Chronicle

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