… We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. …
You know, as hard as it was for me to believe that my country – the one I was raised to cherish as “the land of the free and the home of the brave” – took nearly two hundred years to recognize that Black Americans were created equal too, I find it amazing that we’re now allowing the homophobes to use the same arguments that the racists used against Black Americans to deny equal rights to Gay Americans. But what absolutely stupefies me is the fact that so many Blacks – the “culture” to which I was born – seem to have no problem with that at all.
Well, unlike many it would seem, I have a conscience that keeps me up at night for as long as I remain silent on important issues…
…and I do believe that the Gays Marriage case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court represents the fundamental civil rights issue of the 21st century. So, despite my reluctance to hop back on that tired old horse, I feel compelled to quote, again, from that singular voice of reason that has helped me to maintain my belief in a rational world through all these years (bold type mine):
… The policy of the Southern states toward Negroes was and is a shameful contradiction of this country’s basic principles. Racial discrimination, imposed and enforced by law, is so blatantly inexcusable an infringement of individual rights that the racist statutes of the South should have been declared unconstitutional long ago.
The Southern racists’ claim of “states’ rights” is a contradiction in terms: there can be no such thing as the “right” of some men to violate the rights of others. The constitutional concept of “states’ rights” pertains to the division of power between local and national authorities, and serves to protect the states from the Federal government; it does not grant to a state government an unlimited, arbitrary power over its citizens or the privilege of abrogating the citizens’ individual rights.
It is true that the Federal government has used the racial issue to enlarge its own power and to set a precedent of encroachment upon the legitimate rights of the states, in an unnecessary and unconstitutional manner. But this merely means that both governments are wrong; it does not excuse the policy of the Southern racists.
One of the worst contradictions, in this context, is the stand of many so-called “conservatives” (not confined exclusively to the South) who claim to be defenders of freedom, of capitalism, of property rights, of the Constitution, yet who advocate racism at the same time. They do not seem to possess enough concern with principles to realize that they are cutting the ground from under their own feet. Men who deny individual rights cannot claim, defend or uphold any rights whatsoever. It is such alleged champions of capitalism who are helping to discredit and destroy it.
The “liberals” are guilty of the same contradiction, but in a different form. They advocate the sacrifice of all individual rights to unlimited majority rule — yet posture as defenders of the rights of minorities. But the smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. …
Now I’m fully aware that, despite the number of you who will agree with me on the Gay Rights issue itself, some will still manage to find a reason to deny the philosophical underpinnings on which my stance rests, and most will reject, outright, the teachings of Ayn Rand from which they are drawn. You will excuse me for not apologizing for my choices, or for yours to be among those who “do not seem to possess enough concern with principles to realize that they are cutting the ground from under their own feet.”
I will, however, admit that I don’t like the position this leaves me in…
All alone, or in two’s,
The ones who really love you
Walk up and down outside the wall
Some hand in hand
And some gathered together in bands
The bleeding hearts and artists make their stand
And when they’ve given you their all
Some stagger and fall, after all it’s not easy
Banging your heart against some mad bugger’s wall