On the eve of a great decision, with hope…

On the eve of a great decision, with hope…

On Friday I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my evening and I spent well over an hour browsing through Netflix in the hope I would find something interesting. Rather than one thing, I found many, but couldn’t decide, and in typical fashion I complained on Facebook. (First World Problems, I know.)

I received instant feedback from three or four friends who were paying attention when I posted, and I followed through on one of the suggestions last night instead of attending a party because I was simply not in a party mood. Mad Men was a disappointment in just two episodes. Between the overt misogyny and the smoking, I couldn’t handle a third episode.

Now I know the series I want to see, but I don’t have HBO. So far, of the clips I’ve seen, I would LOVE the show The Newsroom because in as much as I’ve only caught snippets, Jeff Daniels’ character is dead on right about his assessment of our country, meaning Aaron Sorkin, the show’s creator has it absolutely right. The clip near the bottom of the article linked below is in the opening salvo…I mean first episode of the series.

thoughtcatalog.com: 10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America

The article’s author, Mark Manson, also has it right.

I am terribly tired of the jingoism and the reliance on our past successes as predictors of our rosy future as a country. I feel like I have to apologize whenever I visit Canada. I learned an awful lot about perspective last summer during a family road trip to Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. Seen from the other side of the U.S. border, the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 look very different.

Read and learn. And if you don’t like what you’ve read, consider that we are not what we once were and do something about it. Many, many  lives are at stake here.

I hope to be less embarrassed by my alcoholic country than I have been when I visit another’s in the future. I still hold my hand over my heart when I sing the Star Spangled Banner or say the Pledge of Allegiance, but it’s increasingly difficult to be proud of that allegiance.

Tomorrow marks what will likely be a historic set of opinions handed down from the Supreme Court. I hope the justices, and we all by extension, can rise above the filthy rhetoric of the far Right and recognize our duty to all citizens regardless of their orientation. The Prop 8 and DOMA decisions will not fix everything, especially as long as Citizens United, the Patriot Act and ALEC are the guides by which our laws are created in at least a third of our states, but they could go a long way toward addressing equality for all Americans, regardless of whom they love.

Between the Debates – Maryland’s Question 6 and Marriage Equality

Between the Debates – Maryland’s Question 6 and Marriage Equality

Obama Pride: LGBT Americans for Obama

With only a few weeks to go to get the word out, rhetoric on my Facebook friends’ pages has heated up. Today’s issue seems to be Marriage Equality (aka Gay / Same Sex Marriage). Here’s what Maryland’s law says: http://mlis.state.md.us/2012rs/chapters_noln/Ch_2_hb0438T.pdf

Maryland is one of four states voting on the question. Two others (Washington and Maine) are also voting to support Marriage Equality, as Minnesota votes on a ban. http://www.towleroad.com/2012/09/thefour.html

I came out a very long time ago as a Straight Ally for Marriage Equality and I will be voting FOR Question 6. This ought to come as no surprise to anyone who knows me or my politics. I have many friends whose relationships with long-term partners have outlasted my straight friends’ marriages and my own. We should not have to vote on a matter of human and civil rights based on sexual orientation. The vote should be unnecessary and those rights should simply be recognized for what they are: basic and fundamental to each individual.

These questions should not be necessary but we still fight about context, putting words into the mouths of our founders even as we try to view and interpret our ruling documents in historical context.

I am often shocked and saddened by the claims I’ve heard from the other side of Equality questions, of why we shouldn’t support what is clearly a civil rights issue. Marylanders for Marriage Equality has a whole series of ads which are not seeing wide release because advertising is expensive (http://www.youtube.com/user/MDers4MarriageEqual).

There is no argument that is as valid as a human being’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, especially in the United States of America, where these are considered basic rights granted by birth and not privileges granted by government.

LGBTQ people have begun to recognize a level of freedom that, until very recently, they believed was unattainable except in the narrowest confines of private space. They are becoming less concerned about their safety, job stability, family reaction or bullying because of a fundamental shift in the views of society that have increased rapidly in the last few years. If we remove these rights, we become guilty of shoving these people back into the dark who might otherwise be welcomed as contributing members of society, for something as basic as the color of their eyes, size of their bodies or texture of their hair.

Beware the restriction of your rights and those of others.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. –Ben Franklin

[Edited to add]

It must have been something in the air this morning, because shortly after I posted the commentary below, news items began popping up on my feed declaring that the Federal Appeals Court has Struck Down DOMA. It’s only a matter of time before the question goes to the Supreme Court. And here’s the thing: Whoever sits as President in the next term will help decide whether DOMA will be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, because it’s more than likely that at least one, possibly as many as three members of the Supreme Court will need to be replaced by the President as they retire.

This issue is far too important to leave to Romney or Ryan. Please consider this as you go to the polls and make your choice!

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