In years past, the United States of America has fought for the emancipation and equality of various peoples. The States fought wars for the rights of these people; they nearly tore themselves apart over the very idea of equality. Beginning with the Revolutionary War, the United States of America has fought for independence and equality of all people. The very document that sparked the war included one phrase that many seem to ignore: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.” All men—regardless of wealth, color, religion, even sexual orientation—are created equal.
It is because of this idea that I urge, nay, demand that my people be treated with the dignity and respect that we deserve as fellow human beings. The States fought for the right to practice any religion one so chooses. The States fought for the rights of African Americans. The States fought for the rights of women. Why, then, must the people of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community be treated as less than equal?
As it stands, there are forty-four states that do not recognize marriage equality. Even in the six states that do, the federal policy known as The Defense of Marriage Act forbids the federal government from acknowledging marriages between same-sex couples. This prohibition means that even in states that recognize unions between two men or two women, one partner must pay increased property taxes on any estate left to him or her in the event of the death of the other partner. Also, the marriage does not guarantee citizenship to an immigrant partner. Same-sex couples don’t even have the right to make medical decisions for the other partner if that partner is too ill or injured to make such decisions; the well partner does not have spousal visitation rights.
People often ask, “Aren’t civil unions enough?” To them I must say, “No!” Were separate schools, restrooms, and drinking fountains gd enough for the African American people? No! In fact, the discrimination against African Americans was so great that the Supreme Court of the United States had to step in. They ruled, in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, that separate is inherently unequal. Until The Defense of Marriage Act is taken out of law—or is ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court—lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people will be considered second class citizens. That is anything but equal.
In addition to being discriminated against in matters of love, many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people face discrimination in the workplace. Many states do not include sexual orientation in their list of traits that employers cannot discriminate against. In such states, one can be denied employment or even terminated simply for being different.
It is because of these inequalities faced by my people that I write this declaration on their behalf. From this day forward, I declare war on the injustice that is forced upon the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. I declare that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community is equal to the straight community. Because of these declarations, I demand we be treated as such. I demand that all states adopt a policy of marriage equality. I demand that the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act be repealed. I demand protections for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in the workplace.
If you agree with me, join the fight. If you dissent, I question your patriotism. How can you call yourself an American—someone who supports freedom—when you believe that not everyone is equal?