Friday, December 11, 2009

Consequences of 2nd-Class Citizenship

Today mark's the 8th day since the start of my blog.  Looking back over the last week, you'll notice that many of my posts deal with the issues of marriage equality and human rights for GLBT Americans.  I trust my current circle of friends and family to understand why this is important to me, but those of you who are old acquaintances from high school or my days in the U.S. Air Force may be perplexed or downright apathetic.  You might be asking yourself...
What's the big deal?
Why do "those people" keep harping about "special rights*?"
I can't speak for everyone, but I'll tell you my reasons why.

I unequivocally believe those who use their position of religious or political leadership to advocate discrimination and bigotry have blood on their hands.  From Matthew Sheppard to Lawrence King, our fellow Americans are being targeted and killed for no other reason than because of how they were created.  Treating a small subset of Americans as second-class citizens devalues us all and makes tragedies like this all too common.
In 2007, Ryan Skipper was stabbed to death in Central Florida because he was gay . In 2009, two men were found guilty in separate trials of butchering Ryan, and were sentenced to life terms in state prison. Prosecutor Cass Castillo and Circuit Judge J. Michael Hunter powerfully and explicitly stated in a Bartow courtroom that Ryan Skipper was murdered because he was gay. (Produced by Vicki Nantz; more info at

Credit to Nadine Smith at The Bilerico Project for bringing this to my attention.

*Special Rights: a.k.a. the rights every heterosexual person in American already enjoys, such as:
  • the right not to be fired from your job as long as you perform it well
  • the right to form legally recognized familial relationships with the consenting adult you love and cherish
  • the right to visit your spouse in the hospital or make medical decisions for them when they are incapacitated
  • the right to have the open support of your loved ones and friends while you risk your life in service to this country
  • plus many many more

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