Pride …

You don't have to be a certain age to be proud ...

I’ve been talking a lot in this blog lately about national issues that affect all Americans, not just the LGBTQ community. I’ve focused particularly on health care because I believe it’s a disgrace a country as rich as ours refuses to provide healthcare to all those who need it; indeed, if anything, that we seem to be going in the wrong direction.

But I don’t want to let this last night of June pass without noting that June is a month that has always been special for the LGBTQ community in the United States. It’s the month when the Stonewall riots took place back in 1969 and it’s that uprising gay people celebrated at the Pride festivals held in so many communities across the nation this month.

In recent years it’s also a month that has traditionally been designated Gay Pride Month. President Bill Clinton was the first American President to do so back in 2000; and President Obama designated it as such every year he was President.

Unlike his predecessor, however, Donald Trump refused to do so this year. No Republican President ever has. Neither they nor other GOP leaders seem to have any interest in offending the conservative and religious bigots who hate us and continue to do everything in their power to strip of us rights other Americans take for granted.

Two years ago the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that marriage equality is the law of the land. But earlier this week the same Court confirmed that the fight for same-sex equality is hardly over. You can read more about that here, but especially troubling was the voting behavior of the Supreme Court’s newest Justice, Neil Gorsuch – a man who shouldn’t be on the Court at all.

It’s not just at the national level we have to worry, however. According to USA Today, the Washington Post, and other reputable organizations scores of anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures around the country since the beginning of this year.

Some have already passed. Others are poised to do so in the coming months. The point is that gay people are under attack all around the country today – and throughout the world as well.

Personally I’m glad Donald Trump refused to toss us a crumb by designating June as Gay Pride Month. For one thing, we don’t need Donald Trump to be proud. We were proud before he became President and we’ll still be proud once he’s consigned to the ash heap of history where he belongs.

But pride is not enough.

You have to actually stand up to the bullies and bigots who have nothing but contempt for us and will do whatever they can to undermine our fight for equality.

If you’re reading this post I hope you’ll consider joining us in that fight even if you’re not gay. We need friends to help us in our struggle for eqaulity. Here is a good resource for tracking state legislation that would discriminate against the LGBTQ community (and a few bills that would help our cause as well).

If you believe in justice as something to strive for, not something given, check to see what’s happening in your state and then take a stand for equality. That’s what being proud is all about.

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2 thoughts on “Pride …

  1. For all Canadian readers here’s to a Happy Canada Day.

    Also a little history for our American cousins. Prime Minister Trudeau has marched in gay pride parades since he took office. It was also Trudeau’s father that first introduced a bill to legalise homosexuality. Many don’t support Trudeaus liberal views but it does seem to run in the family. It was Trudeau Sr. that said in 1967: “that the state has no place in the bedroom of the nation”.

    Had one of those situations yesterday when I was asked to meet with friends of friends that have just moved to Canada. Turned out they are from the States and their two young teenage sons will be starting school here in September. Asked why they decided to move expected the answer we often hear today and that is they could no longer stand the embarrassment of having to admit who the President is. In this case it was different. They left their home in Louisiana as they felt their 15 year old openly gay son was no longer safe. I have no idea how many others families have moved due to LGBTQ issues but it is the first that I have personal knowledge of.

    Anyway was able to text a young kid that I know and was able to introduce their son to an openly gay lad that is fully supported and respected by his teammates. And as both boys enjoy the same sports should make it a lot easier come September to start school with friends that they already know.

    But have to admit that I was shocked to hear that one family at least feels the negativity towards gays in the states has leapt backwards so far that they felt the need to uproot the family and move. It was not just for his immediate safety they were concerned but for what the future would hold. Just felt that the opportunities for a happy and productive life was greater on this side of the border and that both boys would be better off.

    1. Thank you for sharing this, James.

      The situation for gays is very uneven in the United States and it doesn’t surprise me that someone living in Louisiana would run into that kind of hostility, especially outside of New Orleans. After a period when we made some serious progress, I’m very concerned we may be moving backward now.

      The appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is looking more and more like a complete disaster for gay rights. Should Anthony Kennedy retire from the Court as rumored, we will likely end up with a majority of the Court actively opposed to gay rights.

      They will probably use religious freedom as the guise under which to roll back recent gains and turn us into second-class citizens once again.

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