This I Believe

Terence - Kansas City, Missouri
Entered on January 8, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
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Gaia Community is a Unitarian Universalist Congregation and a part of the world’s community.

Editorial opinion:

Gaia community believes, that civil union of consenting adults is an inalienable right of the people, that should not be legislated away by government on any level.

We feel the current arguments against gay and lesbian civil union, or attempts to define marriage (as only between one man and one woman) are generally based in bigoted, misunderstood, and fear-based sociological misconceptions. These same misconceptions have surfaced through out our country’s history whenever social, and religious change has come to the fore front of our culture.

For example, the same moral objections were presented as, unquestionable facts, in the 1950s and 60s as more people began to challenge the laws forbidding interracial marriage. Even earlier, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, giving women of this country, the right to vote, was first dismissed as a silly, and ridiculous. A folly, by what was then considered mainstream America. The women who were fighting for equality for all citizens were told to go home and take care of their children. The common belief was that women could not understand the complexities of politics and the nation’s issues.

It was assumed that they should let men look out for their interests in this nation. As you know, the battle to give women, in the United States, this first taste of equality as citizens was a long and hard-fought struggle. A struggle to achieve equality that persists in some quarters to this day.

The recurrent sounds of “they do not need this” are still echoed today.” God, and the Founding Fathers did not intend for women to vote.” are the revamped arguments being echoed today. The same choirs, with just a slight change in verse, are singing the same song, clamoring that change will disrupt and cause the downfall of the nation.

The Gay, and Lesbian communities, is not asking, to change, or upset, the mainstream world. They are not demanding acceptance in your church. They are simply asking the right to be who they are. They are asking, not to be discriminated against because of their sexual preferences. They are asking for the right of expression of their feelings towards each other in loving, and committed relationships between consenting adults. They are asking the right to benefit in every way from those commitments, as do heterosexual couples.

We of Gaia Community believe, that it is sad that the rights of individuals, based on ethnic, gender, social, and religious issues have had to be legislated, before they are respected by mainstream America. It says a great deal about us as a nation of equality, that we embraced slavery Then justified it as a biblical right, that we had to have a Presidential Decree,( The Emancipation Proclamation), to right the wrong. After freeing a people from bondage, we had to further legislate their citizenship with the Citizenship Act of 1866.Then almost a hundred years later, we had to reaffirm that these citizens should be given equal rights, with the Civil Rights act of 1964.

From the famed 21st Amendment, to the Fair Housing Act, we have as a nation had to legislate doing the right thing. With every issue from African-Americans being able to serve in the military to women and gay and lesbian citizens being able to fight and defend our nation’s freedom, the same questions have been asked and answered. Women did do well and could understand the issues of our nation. It did not disrupt the country. African-American soldiers, both men and women, did serve their country with both honor and distinction. Women in the military have done the same by making the armed services stronger, not weaker. Just as importantly, interracial marriage did not result in the moral or economic downfall of America. Giving equal treatment to minorities in this land has unified us, not, spiraled us into chaos, anarchy, or poverty/perversity.

Gay and lesbian citizens of the United States are simply asking for “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” that we all expect as Americans. We of Gaia Community proudly support and stand with Gay and Lesbian American citizens in their request and pursuit of these inalienable rights.