“To Be One With Each Other”
What greater thing is there for two human souls
than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen
each other in all labor, to minister to each other in all sorrow,
to share with each other in all gladness,
to be one with each other in the
silent unspoken memories?
George Eliot, 1819 – 1880, used her pen name to be published. As Mary Ann Evans, she would have died in obscurity. As George Eliot, she is arguably one of the most influential authors of the 19th century.
We’d like to think we have evolved since the time when women had to disguise themselves as men to even earn a living. But today, Republicans have excluded women from a panel where contraceptives are in question. Claiming their discussions are about religious freedom is only a smokescreen for back door bigotry. These same people, so ready to return women to their “place” are, in a not-so-strange coincidence, the first to cite LGBT equality as the quickest way to Hell.
I see their contrivances of control as being IN Hell.
Just as the majority of American women are not willing to revisit a time when birth control was an aspirin between the knees, the majority of Americans have come to believe that love, marriage, and raising a family have absolutely nothing to do with one’s sexual orientation and everything to do with “strengthening each other in all labor, ministering to each other in all sorrow, and sharing with each other in all gladness, to be one with each other in the silent unspoken memories.” The majority of Americans understand that bigotry and discrimination should not dictate the law.
But right wing radicals are determined to fight for control. Figuring if they tell enough lies and yell loudly and often enough about the erosion of family values and the decline of our nation’s morals, the masses will be duped into believing that a separate-but-not equal set of standards is the road to safety and security. It is not; it is the road to perdition. We have come too far to go back. LGBT individuals work, shop, pay taxes, and contribute to society. Woven into our cultural composition, they are like their heterosexual counterparts in all ways but one; they lack equal rights in all states. And that is not acceptable.
While many Americans may not be immediately affected by the discrimination perpetrated against LGBT individuals in this country, they no longer see them as a threat either. Maybe it’s because they’ve learned that it’s their neighbor or the woman checking groceries, or the garage mechanic who loves someone who is gay. Maybe it’s because they know in their hearts that arguments against equality today are the same ones used to consign people to second class status in the past. Maybe it’s because bigotry and hatred just don’t hold sway with the American public.
Millions of Americans go to work every day. They take out the garbage, pick up their kids from day care, and worry about the rising cost of gas. Those Americans are the ones who have figured out that the threat of societal collapse is NOT from that cute gay couple who are doing the same things they are to keep their heads above water; rather, it’s from those who would relegate them to a separate and unequal status. Those Americans realize that if inequality can happen to that cute gay couple, it can happen to them too. And those Americans are not ready to give up their rights without a fight.
The majority of Americans are ready to embrace equality for all persons regardless of sexual orientation. It may be uncomfortable and disconcerting – this “alternate lifestyle” – but by all that makes us American, equal rights are part and parcel of our national fabric and, what the heck, we haven’t gone to Hell yet with women voting and minorities sitting and working and living right next to us. And, in this great nation of ours, regardless of who we are or where we came from or who we love, equal is the one opportunity we should all be granted!
…And I’m just a mom who loves her son…