Personhood and Dignity – It Has Finally Come


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“The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. “By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”  – Justice Anthony Kennedy 

There are a few watershed moments in history and in your life, but when the United States Supreme Court handed down decisions that effectively ended the discriminatory provisions of DOMA against LGBT citizens and also effectively open the door for same sex marriages in California on Prop 8,  June 26, 2013 will forever be seared in my psyche as one of  those moments.

I would never have believed that has a gay man who was closeted most of his life and had to go through a very difficult coming out process , that affected a marriage and a family, that one day I would see, under the law of the land, the very real validation of equality.

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Laws don’t curb hate or bigotry on their own , but they uphold a process that effectively weeds it out, kills most of it and  makes it clear that it is no longer acceptable in this great country of ours.

I realize there is still work to do. Equality must ring in every state in this country and eventually must prevail in the world. However, the fuse has been lit and given a big powerful igniting movement and direction that will break down all the barriers ahead.

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I remember the young boy I was who knew he was different from a very young age,  who many treated as different and some bullied,  who listened to those messages and learned to hate himself,   who felt so alone, whose knees were worn from prayers to be “normal”, who thought one day to take his own life, and who thought second class citizenship was his lot. Well, that young boy gained validation today about his worth and his rights.   All future young boys and young girls would no longer live in those shadows.

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Pure joy reigned on the streets of San Francisco, as friends, old and young, male and female, straight and gay, Republican and Democrat, Christian and Atheist,  and all those united in  equality celebrated in dance, song, hugs and tears.   I was there to see it.  I am here to live it.

The horizon looks wonderful. I see that glorious day clearly now where everyone can truly bask in the rays of equality.  We celebrate this great journey with Pride.

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