A few weeks ago I posted about the passing of Prop 8 in California.  More accurately, I posted a video of Keith Olbermann going off on it along with an excerpt from Atticus Circle’s website.  Well, I called that post “That’s Not All I Have to Say About That…but It’s a Start…“…so hang on to your hat…’cause I’ve got some more to say now!

Tomorrow, December 10th, is Human Rights Day and coinciding with it is a movement happening called Day without Gay in order to raise awareness of discriminatory legislation.  An excerpt of the letter I got from Atticus Circle explains it best:

This month, Join the Impact is asking for the members of the LGBT community to call in “gay” to work on December 10th, Human Rights Day, and devote their day to a non-profit organization.

Atticus Circle understands that for many in the LGBT community, calling in “gay” would jeopardize their job; for others, it could cause financial problems. We also want to give an opportunity to the thousands of straight supporters who want to participate in this event, but are unsure of how to do so.

Therefore, all we are asking from our friends and supporters on December 10th is to write at least one straight friend, asking him/her to stand with you in this civil rights struggle. You don’t need to write your own letter; we have a program on our website (www.AtticusCircle.org/DayWithoutAGay) which will send out an already drafted letter to your friend. All you need to do is fill in his/her email address. The process only takes 5 minutes, but it is really an effective way to raise awareness of discriminatory legislation, and promote Atticus Circle’s mission to advance equal rights for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression.

day_without_gay_08

I live in western Washington State, as some regular readers may have already guessed.  Of a pool of the 50 largest cities in the U.S., The Emerald City (aka Seattle) is second only to San Francisco in its per capita gay population.  The Seattle Times ran an article only two years ago that estimated that 12.5% of our city’s population identifies as gay/lesbian or bisexual…seriously, check it out

Seattle is a very progressive city.  A very Eco-friendly/Green city, we place in the top 20 in the world, and the top 10 in the nation.  We have a bustling “gay district” and an activist-minded gay community.  (Closet?  What’s a closet?  We don’t need no steenkin’ closets!  Wait…yes, we do, but only for all our Fabulous Clothes!)  Seattle’s big Gay Pride Weekend is held every every year in June, culminating in the Pride Parade downtown and attended by hordes of people, straight and gay and otherwise.  Not to mention that the original Join the Impact organization is based here in Seattle…and at the demonstration march last month, we had an estimated 12,000 people march down Broadway from Volunteer Park to Westlake Center downtown!  I mean, we’ve given the world Dan Savage, for Zeus sake!

Now, Seattle/King County, in the western part of Washington, contributes the largest percentage of population to the state as a whole and this results in creating a pretty progressive state.  In the 20 years I’ve called Seattle my home, Washington State has as a whole has consistently gone Blue/Democrat across the board, even despite those what-ever-they-are-s on the other side of the Cascades (aka the mountains).  Being more agriculturally focused, Eastern Washingtonians sometimes make it hard to get some things all us Western Washingtonians want legislated state-wide, but the truth is the numbers are on this side of the mountains…and we usually all get along eventually.

My point is, even as progressive as we are, Washington State does not have legislation in place to equally protect all its citizens…no okay on gay marriage.  This breaks my heart.  This pisses me off to no end!  This makes me want to frakin’ scream and shout and quit my job to help make it happen!  (Wait…I don’t have a job right now…hmm…)  WTF is WRONG with this picture!?!

Okay, I think you get the picture.  I’ve said my piece…for now.  That said:

I am thankful I live in Seattle, the Emerald City.  I love its openness, its greenness (both eco and vegetation).  I love that I don’t need a car to get where I want.  I love that we have an exuberant gay scene, that we have a vocal activist scene, that we have a thriving kink scene.  I love that the summers ROCK and are the best  and most beautiful of any of the many places I have lived…ever. 

And that’s all I have to say about that…for now.

 

© 2008 D. Kessler

Olbermann calls out support for Prop 8…and it’s worth a watch.  How can you argue with this logic?  (Don’t worry…no yelling on this one!)

Add to that, this from the Atticus Circle website…they make the case better than I could ever hope to:

Research shows that there are over three million gay or lesbian people living in the United States in committed relationships in the same residence.

Here are just a few of the ways discrimination affects the lives of these families:

Parenting
Because they cannot legally marry, same gender couples are denied the automatic right to function as equal partners parents out in the world – in places such as their child’s school or the hospital emergency room. Same gender couples are also denied the right to joint adoption and joint foster care.

Divorce
The children of same gender couples are denied the guarantee of child support and an automatic legal relationship to both parents – possibly leading to no contact with the parent who is not on the birth certificate.

Health:  Unlike spouses, unmarried partners are usually not considered next-of-kin for the purposes of hospital visitation and emergency medical decisions. In addition, they can’t cover their families on their health plans without paying taxes on the coverage, nor are they eligible for Medicare and Medicaid coverage.

Death
Same-gender couples are denied the right to inherit from each other like a husband and wife. They are denied the right to receive Social Security survivor benefits. A surviving partner could never file a wrongful death claim, and is not entitled to bereavement leave from work.

It is also worth remembering that there are no “accidental” children in gay and lesbian families. Their families are created with conscious intention. We must honor these relationships by giving them the rights they deserve.

So I ask you…When are people going to get their head out of their ass and just do the right thing?  Isn’t this just Common Sense? What are people so afraid of?!

We are way overdue to top the hate, fear and bigotry of this mentality.