Friday, November 7, 2008

An open letter to Barack Obama about the civil rights of queer Americans.

My book-industry colleague Rose Fox has written an eloquent and impassioned letter to President-Elect Barack Obama reminding him that queer Americans are still Americans, Americans whose civil rights deserve to be defined and protected.

A brief excerpt:
This election, which was such a tremendous success for progressives, was also a disaster for the gay (and bisexual and transgender) Americans you made a point of thanking in your acceptance speech.

We made phone calls for you. We knocked on doors for you. We voted for you. In return, all we ask is this: Be our president. Protect our rights.
Read the whole letter here, and pass it along to your friends


Joe Iriarte said...

Stupid work filter for blocking LJ. >:(

I'm sorry my state is one of several that sucks. >:(

Deaf Brown Trash Punk said...

Obama is a great man and he mentioned gays and lesbians in his victory speech. that was freakin' awesome.

Scott said...

Great letter - thanks for posting! Not only did I read the full letter, but I also followed the links and shared my vision with President-Elect Obama. In addition, I made my own response on my blog as follows:

President-Elect Barack Obama made the following statement in his victory speech: "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."

I doubt that "America is a place where all things are possible". The passage of hate legislation that dares to deny the love between two men, or two women, that dares to decree that marriage is only acceptable between a man and a woman, does not represent a "place where all things are possible". The passage of hate legislation proves that America, for the most part, in some States at least, is a place where equality is denied to people on a daily basis, and where only the allegedly heterosexual people of this country can expect equality.

So, President-Elect Obama, I issue this challenge: change the policy of discrimination and non-equality against the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community. Stand up for the rights of all citizens of the United States, and not just the rights of the allegedly heterosexual. Erase my doubt that "America is a place where all things are possible"!

annerallen said...

Thanks for this link. I've sent the letter around to my address book. Nice.

Here's a quote from a letter to the Chronicle by Dr. Shirley Allen of Walnut Creek:

The "Yes on 8" people express a view held by many persons not familiar with history: that "Traditional marriage has stood for thousands of years."

In fact, marriage originated as a tribal institution, a step forward from the absence of any social recognition of sexual relationships. The elders of a tribe decreed what women should marry what men. In later civilization, contracts of marriage were used to stabilize peace between tribes. The system was continued by the patriarchs of Biblical times and by families in Greek and Roman society. Up until recent times, for women, marriage was a form of slavery. And even today in many countries marriage is between one man and many women.

Marriage has always been a civic institution, not a religious one. It was not formally recognized by the church as a sacrament until the Council of Trent in 1545.