Thursday, July 5, 2012

TN Rep. Ragan Feels the Heat

Knoxville Tennessee's paper Knoxnews is reporting that LGBT issues are taking a center place in this years race for Tennessee State House District 33. State Representative John Ragan, a notable enemy and antagonist of the LGBT community, is running against Democrat Jim Hackworth, whom he beat by almost 1,300 votes in the  2010 election. 


Democrats and the Tennessee Equality Project have leveled numerous accusations against Ragan, including:
- He worked to give school bullies a "free pass" by exempting politically or religiously motivated actions from classroom behaviors deemed disruptive.
-  He responded to a constituent's letter by calling sexual orientation "a description of feelings," adding that "feelings do not control the behavior of a mentally healthy adult human being."
-  In the same response, Ragan allegedly compared homosexuals to murderers, prostitutes and pedophiles.
The letter that Knoxnews is referring too, can be found here


Though Representative Ragan's comments are offensive, unfounded, and baseless, it is heartening to see that the Democrats in Tennessee feel comfortable enough to voluntarily bring up this issue. It shows that though there is a long road ahead for that states equality movement, extreme rhetoric and blatant hatred towards our community is no longer a politically safe option for Republicans, and instead will be used against them in legislative races - even in the states of the South. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

An LGBT Deceleration of Independence

I posted this last year for Independence Day and thought it appropriate to do it again this year. Let us continue to proclaim to the world that we will not take the denial of our rights without a fight.

 A Declaration For Equal Rights

 When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for an oppressed minority to declare for themselves the full rights and responsibilities that the laws of reason, nature, and natures God entitles them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to demand as such.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women of all sexual orientations and gender identities are created equal, and are endowed by the Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the duty of the oppressed to deny any allegiance to it, and to insist upon the establishment of a new government, one which shall be most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Prudence, indeed, dictates that government should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience has shown that humans of all sexual orientations and gender identities are disposed to suffer, when such evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same end, evinces a design to reduce them to absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such a government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient suffering of LGBT people under this government, and why they now demand their equal place at the American table.

The history of humanity is a history of continued persecution on the part of the heterosexual majority over those with differing sexual orientations or gender identities, having the direct consequences of leading to a complete and utter tyranny over LGBT people. Let the following facts be submitted to a candid world,

They (which from here on refer to the most – but not all – of the heterosexual majority) have required LGBT people to hide their true sexual orientations and gender identities in order to be accepted and validated by society, family, and government.

They have required them to submit to laws, to which they did not have a legitimate and honest voice in making. They have, based upon sexual orientation alone, excluded them from one of the foundational social and religious institutions of all time - marriage. This exclusion imposes not only social and religious stigma upon LGBT relationships, but also imposes legal and financial hurdles not faced by their heterosexual counterparts.

They have forced LGBT people into the closet at their place of employment, for they have allowed employers to discriminate against them, based not upon their actual work, but instead because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

They have required that LGBT people hide their sexual orientations and gender identities in order to serve the United States of America through its armed forces.

They have spread vicious and harmful lies about LGBT people and their relationships; in order to ensure that LGBT people are not accepted by mainstream society.

They have contributed to the psychological abuse of LGBT people by continually informing them of their differences; yet instead of validating these differences, they use them as subjects of derision and ridicule, leading many LGBT people to suicide, depression, and despair.

They have forced LGBT people to undergo psychological treatments like “reparative therapy” in order to change what they believe is a deviant nature, a process which causes irreparable psychological and emotional harm to LGBT people.

They have, using religious texts, validated hatred against LGBT people, and instilled in their children the notion that this hatred is legitimate, as it is the will of God.

They had made being LGBT a criminal offense, which, though the law may be only recently lifted, still informs many citizens thinking regarding LGBT people.

They have allowed landlords to refuse accommodation and services because of the sexual orientation and gender identity of LGBT people, leading many LGBT people to lives of homelessness and economic hardship.

They allow LGBT people to belong to some religious organizations, yet though doing so, restrict their access to the leadership and deem them unworthy to participate in the ministry.

In each of these oppressions, we have appealed to the very humanity of our heterosexual brethren; for we have raised our voices and demanded countless times that we be counted, validated, and allowed to have a seat at the American table. Yet, though there have been some who have listened and responded to our plight, the majority, despite our continued pleas for respect and equality, have turned a deaf ear; instead choosing to validate the above despotism through the force of law.

We, therefore, as equal citizens of the United States of America, demand that LGBT people be afforded the same rights and privileges as their heterosexual counterparts. We will stand no longer for LGBT people to be the subjects of ridicule, religious and sexual conversion, or political inequality. We demand that these walls of hatred and condemnation be torn down and be replaced instead with the bonds of equal rights, respect, and affirmation.
Related Posts with Thumbnails