Gays Get Unalienable Rights Too

re-criminalize-sodomy

Anti-gay Christian protestors outside the Supreme Court

Friends of Padre Steve’s World

In the next day or two, Kim Davis, the Recalcitrant County Clerk of Rowan County will go back to work after Federal Appelate Court Judge Jim Bunning released her from jail after holding her in contempt of court. He released her because other clerks were issuing the marriage licences that she had refused to Gay couples. If she does not interfere with clerks who have pledged to continuing to issue the licences this will probably blow over, but if she interferes with or punishes her employees the stage is set for her quick return to jail, something that her biggest supporters including Mike Huckabee seem to want to happen. 

But lost in all of the ranting of Conservative Christians regarding their right to discriminate in the name of Jesus amen against the legal rights of Gays, Lesbians and others of the LGBTQ community is what is happening to the gays.

From the supporters of Mrs. Davis you almost always hear the claim that Gays are trying to get special rights and persecute Christians. If that claim were true, which it is not it would be troubling. Likewise the claim that Christians and others who oppose Marriage Equality are now the victims of systematic government persecution and oppression is equally fraudulent. 

Their claims to being persecuted are an affront to all Christians who have really suffered and died for their faith in Christ. Likewise the claims of Mrs. Davis’s lawyers and the politicians, pundits, and preachers who support her, that she is “like a Jew in Nazi Germany” utterly demeans the lives of the Jews persecuted by the Nazis in the 1930s and the six-million Jews slaughtered by them during the 1940s. 

The claims of these so-called Christians are repugnant and embarrassing. Any Christian with a modicum of honesty, integrity, and ethics should publically repudiate then. Sadly, most, caught up in the emotions generated by the rabid anti-gay politicians, pundits and preachers, don’t know enough history, fact, or Christian theology to do anything else but to follow these charlatans as they lead the church to the abyss, just as the leaders of German churches did during the Nazi era. 

The fact is, that for the first time in our history Gays and others of the LGBTQ community have almost equal rights to all other Americans citizens, the rights so eloquently written in the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men….”

upstairs lounge massacre

Burned bodies of gay men after the Up Stairs Lounge in New Orleans was attacked in 1973, 32 men died. The suspect, a gay man who had been thrown out escaped police custody. Witness testimony was dismissed by investigators. Media buried the story while talk radio hosts mocked the victims. No one cared, even most churches which refused funerals for victims because they were gay

And which were finally enshrined in the Constitution by the 14th Amendment, an amendment which from the time it was ratified has been hated by the opponents of liberty for people that they despise, be it based on race, color, religion, nationality, gender or sexual preference. That amendment is precious and there are some co-called conservatives who actually want to get rid of it. I think that it should be memorized by everyone who believes in freedom:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

So, Gays are getting rights that they never had before and their critics whine about being oppressed and persecuted for trying to use their religion to deny those legal rights. But how is the right to deny legal rights to others a sign of oppression? I guess it is if you believe that your religious rights trump all other rights because God trump’s all, except maybe Trump.

Mini-StonewallGay Rights protest in 1965

But really, I want you to try to imagine what real oppression is like, that is the official, government sanctioned oppression that Gays went through, until very recent times. I guess if you never served alongside honorable people who put their lives on the line for their country, but who could be tried as criminals simple because someone outed them as being Gay it wouldn’t occur to you why this is so important. But government sanctioned oppression and even violence was a fact of life for gays until very recent times, and this is the kind of country that Kim Davis and the preachers, politicians and pundits who support her would like to return.

Imagine if your activities were monitored, catalogued and reported by local, state and Federal police agencies.

Imagine that police detectives and informants were allowed to spy on your activities.

Imagine that police, acting in the “name of the law” under the merest pretense or spurious accusation could invade your home, business or institution and use physical violence to subdue you, even if you had done nothing wrong.

Imagine if a business rival or a spurned lover desired to ruin you, your business, or your career and professional reputation with only an accusation.

Imagine if the price of your freedom was to name names and condemn others.

Imagine if even suspicion of your activities was considered as grounds for termination of your employment, or prevent you from receiving a promotion.

Imagine if those same suspicions could brand you as a felon with the results of being forbidden to vote, the loss of property and employment rights. 

Imagine that if you went to a bar that if you looked in any direction but straight ahead that you could be charged with accosting others.

Imagine that anyone, anywhere who had knowledge of your behaviors could use that knowledge to have you kicked out of the military, law enforcement or government employment, usually with a felony conviction. 

Imagine that your behavior, even discrete behavior in your own residence could get you locked in a psychiatric hospital and quite possibly the use of drugs and surgery to to include, lobotomy, castration or chemical sterilization “correct your illness” without your consent. 

Imagine if you were a faithful member of your church, were conservative in your theology and politics and supported all the causes of that body, but one aspect of your behavior could lead to your excommunication and banishment from that community. 

stonewall-riots

Police attack Gays in San Francisco during the White Night riot on May 21st 1979. 

I guess if it was your behavior or your beliefs that led to such treatment you would cry foul, you would protest, that you would claim that you were the victim of discrimination; and my friend I say that you would be correct. That would be persecution. Sadly the Kim Davis and those claiming to be victims of “massive anti-Christian” persecution are only being prohibited from crushing the freedom and liberty of people who they consider sinners, not from practicing their faith in any way.

That my friends was the America and Great Britain that Gays lived in the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s, portions of which remained enshrined in law until very recently and which a number of high powered and influential politicians, pundits and preachers of the Christian Right would like to go again.

Sadly there are young Gays and Lesbians who take the rights that those who went before them for granted. Thankfully, they have grown up in a more tolerant society, but few know what happened to people just like them in the not too distant past. It should not be forgotten. 

So, when you think about those special “legal rights” being given to a “vocal minority who want to destroy America” ask which America? The one where we all enjoy the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness or the one that denies those rights to certain types of people who have done nothing wrong other than being who they are. Of course those who seek to abridge these basic human rights and freedoms, almost all do so in the name of their God and religion which they use to buttress and validate their prejudice and hatred.

Think about it.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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7 Comments

Filed under civil war, History, laws and legislation, LGBT issues, News and current events, Political Commentary

7 responses to “Gays Get Unalienable Rights Too

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    These are not special rights!! These are human rights …. All gays are human and deserving of these rights. We are not asking …. we are demanding!!

  2. Thanks for the salute to growing recognition of our rights, too. But, with respect, three of your four photos are misidentified to one degree or another. Rather than “early 1960s,” the photo of John S. James walking with a picket sign in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia was taken during the first “Annual Reminder” on July 4th, 1965. The photo identified as being taken at Stonewall in 1969 in New York City is actually of the “White Night Riot” in front of San Francisco’s City Hall on May 21st, 1979. For those unaware, the riot was in response to the jury in the Dan White trial for murdering Harvey Milk and SF Mayor George Moscone finding him guilty only of “voluntary manslaughter.” I was there that night on those steps, and what happened dwarfs all accounts of what happened at Stonewall that I’ve read.

    The caption of the photo taken after the 1973 New Orleans fire is more problematic given the “common wisdom” about the event. The name of the bar is inexplicably routinely misspelled “Upstairs” even in a documentary which includes a photo of its entrance awning clearly showing it was spelled with two words, “Up Stairs.” While the caption is correct in that the bar was “attacked,” the problem is with the cavalier characterization by most of WHY it was attacked. As unequivocally homophobic as the behavior of many in the city was in its aftermath, the majority of evidence indicates that the motive of the most-likely arsonist—a mentally unbalanced hustler named Rodger Dale Nunez who later committed suicide—was not, he told friends, to hurt gays BECAUSE they were gay but revenge for being kicked out of the bar earlier after getting into a fight with another patron, and that he never imagined that it would turn into the inferno that killed so many.

    • padresteve

      Mike

      Thanks for your comments. I will correct captions. The mention of the Upstairs lounge attack is more for the response of the people and churches who did not care. The police were slack in letting Nunez escape and not going after him. The media for burying the story, or as talk radio hosts did, making light of it, and then the churches.

      I know the rest of the story and have mentioned it in other articles before. The point here was that no one cared what happened to these men. But Nunez was arrested, escaped from custody and was never apprehended. There was one witness who saw Nunez go in and out of the bar, but never actually saw the attack. The police dismissed that witness as a liar. A friend of Nunez said he later confessed to the crime times. Nunez committed suicide in 1974. While I totally agree with you that he was the arsonist and that he did so because he had been thrown out, we really don’t know the whole story.

      I was in college in Stockton when the judgment in the Dan White trial came in. I was shocked that he got off without a murder conviction. What happened to those who protested was criminal.

      Thanks again my friend, and I will change those captions.

      Peace

      Padre Steve+

  3. mrmoteeye

    When you refuse to love your neighbor because of how God made him you do not fit Christ’s mold. This is a “final frontier” for the “Saints” and they ain’t passing the test because they detest their gay & lesbian brothers & sisters. Sad to watch them stomp by the man on the side of the road (whom that Samaritan helped). Sad to watch them roll their eyes as Jesus heals the Centurian’s cuddle boy and lauds his faith. Guessing they’ll just turn their backs on that eunuch Philip is converting. They’ll probably cheer if Lot sends out his virgin daughters to be raped; after all, that’ll avoid sodomy (the story was essentially about gang rape & mistreatment of outsiders, angels though they be). These people don’t have the Holy Spirit as I understand it.

  4. Marty

    Will Trump trump God, do you think? I’m waiting to see what happens when his supporters have to choose.

  5. Pingback: Friday Links (asthmatic otter edition) | Font Folly

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