Guest Blogger, reporting at Creating Change, Minneapolis 2011
Our movement has always been a civil rights movement, from the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis in the 1950’s to the Stonewall Riots of “69”, and the historic marches on Washington, all we have ever wanted was EQUAL CIVL RIGHTS! Civil Rights are Human Rights and according to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights of 1948, “Human Rights are supreme and universal” they are the Inalienable realm of personal dignity. It is the duty of government to REPSECT and PROTECT it’s citizens and the Human Rights they are born with. Yet in all fifty of our United States there are elected officials that show hostility to LGBT folks!
The 1964 Human Rights Act guarantees Equal citizenship based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, disability, age, Language minority, and Marital status. It does NOT include sexual orientation, expression, or identity.
Our movement has been splintered from the unifying call for “Equal Civil Rights” to working on various partial, piece-meal rights, marriage rights, domestic partnerships, the right to serve in the military, freedom from discrimination, housing rights, etc. etc. Working on so many fronts leaves us less unified and less committed. It may be time to re-evaluate just what it is we want, and how we are going to get it. What if we simply ask to get sexual and gender minorities included in the 1964 Human Rights Act which would protect LGBT folks under all federal legislation in housing, employment, legal system, public access, etc. etc.
EQUAL CIVIL RIGHTS is simple clear, and unifying. We want the same rights afforded every other citizen in this country! No more, no less! The freedom to be who we are is an inalienable right. We suffer harm when we are denied this most basic of rights. It’s time for our community to come back together under that banner of equal civil rights as the package, the deal, the bill that needs to be introduced guaranteeing the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice and peace not just within our movement but for all members of our nation.