Discrimination

So this post has absolutely nothing to do with pregnancy, babies, or anything that I normally post about here on this blog.

This post has to do with ignorance, discrimination, and hate.

I’m on maternity leave (I lied, there’s a mention of something baby-related) which means I have to surf through hours of bad daytime television to find something to watch now that Ellen has moved to the afternoons here. So in my desperation, I landed on The Tyra Show. I have watched Tyra before, and instantly felt dumber for it. I vowed I wouldn’t watch it again, but the subject matter today caught my attention.

Recently, The Advocate put out an issue that claimed that “Gay was the new black” in the ways of civil rights and discrimination.
Before I begin this part of my post, I do have to say that I’m not ever sure which term to use when talking about race. I know that some people prefer “black”, while others prefer “African-American”. I usually use the term “black”, just because I know a lot of black people who have a problem with “African-American”.. Because they’re not from Africa, nor are their parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents. I’m also loathe to use the term “people of color”, because that too is just odd to me. Caucasian is technically a color, too, so why use the term “people of color” when we ALL have a color to our skin? I apologize in advance if the term offends anyone.
With the inauguration of our first black President, people have considered that to be a gigantic milestone in American history – something that many blacks never, ever thought they’d see in their lifetime. And they’re right. It was monumental, world-changing.. It was huge. Obviously discrimination against blacks is not “over” – it will never be over, unfortunately. Discrimination runs rampant in our world and I fear a degree of it always will.
Obviously, the civil rights movements in the 60s changed a lot of things. Interracial marriages are allowed where they were not in years past, same with voting.. Blacks are no longer sent to separate bathrooms and water fountains in public. So, I suppose what the Advocate means is that now that the civil rights movements for blacks have come so very far, they are now focusing on the rights of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender communities.

So the argument on Tyra’s show was if “gay was the new black”. They had three gay rights advocates, and three anti-gay advocates as sort of a “panel” on the show. The GLBT advocates were saying how unconstitutional it was to deny gays the right to marry, which I agree with. Completely. They brought up the legalization of gay marriage in California, and then the over-turning of that right known as Proposition 8. Think about it. The government gave gays and lesbians the right to legally sanction their unions with their partners; to join in marriage not only in the eyes of themselves and their friends and family but finally in a legally binding sense. I remember when I heard California passed that law, I was floored. I honestly never truly thought I’d see gay marriage legalized in my lifetime. Can you imagine what it’s like so be so in love with someone and have the desire to join with that person, share a last name with them and declare your love publicly and have that love recognized as something valid and legal….. Only to have that right ripped away from you? It’s not fair.

On the opposite side, the anti-gay rights advocates were hollering how “marriage is a holy union between a man and a woman” and talking about how the bible condemned gays, and all about God’s word says this, and God’s word says that. Two of the women on the panel actually said that gay cannot be “the new black”, because “gay people make a choice to be gay. Black people do not make a choice to be black.”

And here is where my big, fat problem comes in. When people say this… It enrages me. GLBT rights are something very near to my heart and they have been since I was young. I cannot fathom why people think being gay is a choice. Why in the hell would someone wake up one morning and think, “Boy, I think I’m going to live my life so that people see me walking down the street and want to beat me, hate me, and call me “faggot” or “dyke.” THAT sure does sound like fun!” Why would anyone in their right minds choose to live a life where they could be beat to death JUST because they happen to love someone of the same gender? It makes me sick. One of the GLBT advocates asked one of the other women, “So you made the choice to be straight if I made the choice to be gay, right?” and the woman said, “I didn’t have to make a choice, I’m a woman, I’m SUPPOSED to be straight.”

I consider myself a tolerant person, and I truly believe that everyone has the right to their own beliefs and morals. However, when your beliefs and morals cause someone else to lose their civil rights AS A HUMAN BEING, there is something WRONG with that. If you choose to believe that homosexuality is a sin.. I don’t understand it nor do I believe in that, but if you live your life in a way that is kind and courteous to all human beings I can’t truly begrudge you of your beliefs. But when you see a gay person and tell them they’re going to burn in hell, or that they shouldn’t have the right to live the same life as you, there’s something wrong with that.

Another thing that the “I’m supposed to be straight” woman said was in response to one of the GLBT advocates saying that “gay was the new black” and was comparing the fact that gay marriage is illegal in the constitution to the days when interracial marriage and owning slaves were also in the constitution. The “I’m supposed to be straight” woman (who was black) balked at that, declaring, “You can’t compare gay rights to slavery. Gays aren’t hung from trees just because they’re gay!”

I was sitting alone on my couch, and I actually yelled at the television. I’m sorry, gays aren’t what? They’re not beaten, raped, and tortured just because they’re gay? This woman has obviously never heard of Matthew Shepard, who was beaten, tormented, tied to a fence and left to die just because he was gay.
She obviously has never heard of Barry Winchell, who was beaten in the head with a baseball bat
while he was sleeping (and later died due to massive head injuries) just because he entered a relationship with a transgendered person.
Then, of course, there is Angie Zapata who was beaten to death – first with fists, and then with a fire extinguisher – by a man whom had just found out that she was transgendered. Her murderer said things like he had made sure he had “killed it” before leaving in her car and that “gay things must die”.

How can a person hear these stories and not feel sorrow? These people, and countless others have lost their lives just because they are different than “the norm”. It makes me angry. It makes me so angry that there are people out there that think that just because a person is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender that they don’t have the same rights as heterosexual people. I have a family member who is a part of the GLBT community. Stories like this turn my blood cold in the realization that people hate this member of my family so much, they would like to kill him.

Why can we not live in a world without hate? Without discrimination? Why can’t we just give everyone the same rights and have that be the end of it? I know that sounds idealistic and naive.. But seriously, why? Who am I, who are you, who is anyone to judge how someone lives their life? Love is love, people. Gay, straight, in-between, love is just that: love. How can the love that someone feels for another human being be wrong? Love is the one thing that exists in this world that is pure and good; you cannot spin love into an evil or ugly thing.

This post turned out to be longer than I thought. I just really cannot express strongly enough how disgusting I find it to be that in the year 2010, people are still discriminated against because of who they are. I hope one day to live in a world where discrimination against people of the GLBT community is a thing of the past. I want my daughter to be amazed that I lived in a world where gay people were denied the right to marry – just as I cannot fathom living in a world where blacks and whites were segregated and not allowed to marry one another.

One day, hopefully, love will overcome hate.

Comments

  1. Busted Kate says:

    MWAH! You are such a gem, I couldn't agree more. I was thinking of doing a similar post today, I should instead just post a link to yours and says "ditto". Excellent point on Matthew Shepard. I don't know how many years its been, and it still breaks my heart. No matter our race, color, religion, nationality, or who we love… we are all humans with the right of dignity, respect, and equality.

  2. Fidgeting Gidget says:

    Wow. This was a very powerful post to read. And how appropriate that you posted it on MLK day! I agree with everything that you said. The thing that absolutely kills me about the fact that gay marriages aren't recognized is when someone in the relationship is deathly ill in the hospital and that sometimes the significant other is not allowed to be in the room because they are not "family." They are not allowed to share benefits with their partner in the insurance sense. They are not allowed to make decisions about funeral arrangements. In my opinion, a relationship is a relationship. Like you said, why would someone CHOOSE to be gay? It's a life of being discriminated against and ridiculed. I just hate that some people are so completely ignorant and unable to see things from the point of view of others. Thanks for such a powerful post!

  3. Well said.

  4. AMEN!!!!!!! You said it perfectly and I have nothing to add. Some of my closest friends are a lesbian couple and they just had a child together. They get things said about and to them all the time and they have it EASY compared to some. I can not imagine a world where my husband and I could not be married and I hope to someday not have to imagine a world where anyone who wants to get married would be denied that right!

  5. First I would like to say that I truly enjoy your bog. I would like to share my take on "Discrimination." Before I share where I disagree, I would just like to say that I do agree that hatred is ugly and wrong. The Bible instructs us to hate sin, but love the sinner. I would also like to share that I too have a close relative who is homosexual. Although I love him very much, I am very sad for him. I believe it is very dangerous, when we choose to live a sinful life. I realize that a growing number of people do not recognize homosexuality as sin. Even some Christians that I know support homosexuality. I believe the Bible is God's word & that we are not to pick and choose what we want from it.(As a Christian, I realize that I too am sinful. The difference is that I pray to God to change me. I can not change on my own. I am human. I was born into sin. My Savior, Jesus Christ, died for my sins. Sometimes I do not understand God's ways, but I trust that my Creator's plan is better than my own.) Many people feel that love is love. But, love was created by God. Therefore, shouldn't we let God define love's terms and conditions?? It is our natural tendency to want to do things our own way. However, when we follow God's plan for us it always turns out better.Many people argue "who does homosexuality hurt??" Homosexuality hurts God. God created our bodies magnificently. When we sin (in anyway) and misuse our bodies, we are saying that our plan is greater than God's.Why would someone "choose" such a hard lifestyle? Because, we were born into sin. The temptation of sin is very powerful and very real.I don't think that a homosexual person can just wake up one day and not struggle with that temptation. The beautiful thing is, as with any sin, when we give our lives to the Lord, He has the power to change us.I just wanted to share my opinion because, many people who do not support homosexuality are ignorant and hateful. Hate is also sinful. These people could better use their time examining the sin in their own lives. I respect the views of others and am thankful for the opportunity to express my own.

  6. KarmaPearl says:

    Thank you, everyone, for your comments! I debated writing this post because it is a controversial subject matter, and I usually don't write too much about that in this blog. I don't go very deeply into my own personal beliefs unless I know people very well, as I tend to "think against the norm" when it comes to religion and other matters.I would like to say something to the Anonymous poster. I debated on ignoring your comment completely, of rejecting it and letting it go unread.. But I figured that would make me a hypocrite. I believe everyone has a right to their own voice.However, I find it interesting that you choose to hide in anonymity. Not even a name to post by. Why? Why hide?I could argue with you about your religion (yes, YOUR religion as I am not a Christian) but I won't. It wouldn't do any good, and we'd just go round and round in an infinite loop of theological debate. There are a few comments I cannot ignore, however:You said: "I believe the Bible is God's word & that we are not to pick and choose what we want from it."So do you believe that an eye for an eye is the way to justice? What about "spare the rod, spoil the child?" What about premarital sex? Have you managed to abstain until you said your vows (assuming you're married)?You said: "Many people argue "who does homosexuality hurt??" Homosexuality hurts God. God created our bodies magnificently. When we sin (in anyway) and misuse our bodies, we are saying that our plan is greater than God's."I don't agree. The god I believe in isn't so narrow-minded that he would condemn someone just because they chose to love someone of their own gender. I think it's sad that you are "sad" for the close relative of yours who is gay. He doesn't need your sadness, and he doesn't need (and probably doesn't want) your pity. He doesn't want you to pray for his soul, because there's nothing wrong with his soul.The bottom line is this: You have a right to your opinion and beliefs. Everyone does. But I disagree vehemently with yours. I always have, and I always will. You may be respectful to gays and lesbians, but pitying them and "praying for them to see the light" isn't really respectful at all, in my opinion.

  7. For any of you interested, there's a creative and practical take on Orchid Children and Dandelion Children on the Committed Parent blog <a href="http://(http://committedparent.wordpress.com)(http://committedparent.wordpress.com)<br />this week. This somewhat revolutionary way of identifying children and their needs, and what we as parents can actually DO, is clearly and simply addressed on Dr. Brady’s compelling blog. Although nothing is ever black and white in the world of child development, it does seem that depending upon the environment they're raised in, our kids can turn out as superstars or psychopaths. As the mother of two “adult” boys still struggling to come into bloom as they approach 40, I can attest to the importance of being able to make the Orchid/Dandelion distinction early. I would urge anyone who is interested in the latest information on early childhood (emotional and brain) development to read and bookmark the Committed Parent blog.

  8. Well spoken! I couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you for posting this!

  9. Worrybook says:

    Love your response to the anonymous poster!!!!Love love love it :)

  10. I just wanted to put in my own two cents esp. since I enjoy your blog and thoroughly believe in being able to have rational discussions on controversial topics without getting angry or being judgmental. Thank you in advance for allowing me to give my opinion.First of all, I am a devout Catholic. My beliefs definitely have a profound effect on my stance on many issues, including homosexuality. However, I also think it is essential to understand what I believe and why, and not just do it or believe it because I'm 'supposed' to. I don't want to 'argue from religion' because I know that not everyone is the same religion as I am and therefore does not believe the same things I do. I believe that discrimination against anyone for religion, gender, race etc is wrong. I am opposed to abortion (which I know is another issue altogether but as an example) and thus, am opposed to anyone who tries to violently oppose it (beating people up, killing doctors etc.) I am extremely angered when I hear of such things because I truly believe that life is sacred. Likewise, I am horrified when I hear of such atrocities against people who are gay. Every single human being has an intrinsic dignity and therefore worthy of love and respect. That being said marriage is, by nature, a union of a man and a woman. That has been the understanding for thousands of years and that is also the major reason why the state cannot change it; the state did not create it. Marriage pre-dates the state. You are not married by the state but rather by each other and it is the state that recognizes it. Marriage is not a matter ruled by the state nor should it be under the state's control. However, if we are talking about purely legal privileges like power of attorney and hospital admittance I think a person should be able to name anyone he wants to these positions. It may seem like I am splitting hairs here but there is a distinct difference between changing the definition of marriage and giving a gay couple a tax break. I know a lot of what I am saying may seem radical but I am more than willing to take my convictions to their logical conclusions. I do not just look around and pity gay people because 'they are lost' rather, we are all in the same boat. We are all humans who desire happiness.I agree with much of what Anonymous said and while you are definitely right about the potential of endless theological circles, I just wanted to respond to a couple of your comments. For what it is worth, I believe the Bible is God's word but it is essential to view it as a whole and not just in little pieces. Without going into too much detail, Catholics believe Christ came and fulfilled the Old Testament and gave a new law which clarified the old law. For example, instead of 'an eye for an eye' he told his followers to 'turn the other cheek' etc. Also, as far as premarital sex goes: yes, I abstained until I was married and No, it was NOT easy (not by any means but my husband and myself were both convicted). Finally, the Catholic Church does not condemn homosexuals but rather asks them to live chastely (as it asks all single people to do.) They do not claim that this is easy. All I know is that the gay Catholics I know who practice this do find it a struggle but also say that they have found happiness. I apologize for writing so much and I really do appreciate you reading and considering what I have to say even if you 100% disagree with it. I honestly would be happy to answer any questions you have or if you just enjoy a discussion with someone of a very different mindset. Take care and thank you again.

  11. enomodnar says:

    First of all, HGTV has some delightful things on in the middle of the day. I particularly enjoy catching reruns of HouseHunters International. :pNow that I'm done being trivial – I appreciate your perspective and I definitely agree. The part about whether or not homosexuality is a choice resonates with me, in particular. I wish people would take a second and try to figure out why the heck anyone would choose that. It's a hard life, much harder than mainstream heterosexuality, period. I don't really think that temptation plays a role. Being homosexual isn't a trip to Disneyland, for crying out loud.Even if your friends, family and coworkers are accepting of you, you will always be meeting people and you will be on square one with them.I wish that the religious community would realize that they are on the wrong side of this issue, period. I believe that "gay is the new black" inasmuch as generations will look back at this era with confusion, much as we look back at previous generations with regards to civil rights.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I choose to be straight as well as I chose to be gay. I'm glad there's a bi category. :)I think Christians get a bad rap when they discuss sin. I wouldnt be so upset with the anonymous person, if love is the answer to it all then maybe that's where we should start.If you want discrimation to change, then change it through yourself, starting with love. That's the message that Jesus brought. He didnt come to change the law but understood that it could never be upheld. He came to love and would have shown no less of favor or love to anyone based on their sexuality or the relationships there in it. He spoke of repentance, He spoke of change, but He never condemned anyone for loving.Sometimes people dont leave their names for fear of ridecule. Even though I disagreed with the person I thought he/she was very kind to your post. And to go and post about this anonymous reader in a rude/mean way on other platforms shows no love at all. Tammy

  13. KarmaPearl says:

    Ashley -Thank you for stating your beliefs, even if they are going against what the majority of my other readers are saying. It's never easy to be in a minority in the ways of your beliefs, or to have the "slightly less popular" opinion. Thanks for coming forward and taking your stand for what you believe in.I understand your beliefs, though I do disagree with them. I am often curious as to whether people who have a problem with gay marriage have a problem with the act itself, or the concept and word "marriage" used in a homosexual sense. I wonder if people would be more comfortable using the word "union" than "marriage". I don't really agree with you on your statement when you say that the state can't change the definition of "marriage", because the state didn't create it. The government sanctions marriage and makes it legal, and in this country we have separation of church and state. My marriage to my husband had nothing to do with god. It had to do with me and him, professing our love to one another, promising to honor our vows and binding our lives together in a legal sense. We were not married in a church, and we weren't married by a minister. Again, we could go round and round in an endless theological circle! I respect your beliefs, and I get the impression you respect mine. Again, thank you for your comment even if I don't happen to agree with it. :)

  14. KarmaPearl says:

    Tammy -You are absolutely right in your comments. I find myself very, very easily put on the defensive about this subject because of how close to a GLBT person I am. I have the tendency to bite back when I receive a comment about members of the GLBT needing "prayers", because to say that alludes that there is something wrong with them, and that they need salvation. I vehemently disagree with this, and it offends me to read it.. My first instinct is to respond in a manner that may be less than friendly.

  15. Thank you for posting my comment. My name is Jessica. I’m not sure what difference it makes if I’m known as anonymous…..or Jessica….. I really didn’t think my name mattered here. My opinion is influenced by my faith. Many peoples beliefs derive from their own thoughts, feelings, & life’s experiences. When Jesus Christ called me to be His follower, I chose to stop making choices based on my “feelings.” I am not perfect, and often fall short, but I do try to consult my Bible (Life Application Study Bible, New Living Translation) as my how to guide for life.You said: I could argue with you about your religion (yes, YOUR religion as I am not a Christian) but I won't. It wouldn't do any good, and we'd just go round and round in an infinite loop of theological debate.I could not agree more. I do not enjoy arguing and I don’t push my beliefs on others. I do enjoy sharing my voice & debating with others. I think that it is healthy when 2 disagreeing parties can agree to disagree and respect each other despite their differences.You said: So do you believe that an eye for an eye is the way to justice? What about "spare the rod, spoil the child?" What about premarital sex? Have you managed to abstain until you said your vows (assuming you're married)?Here are the footnotes in my study Bible that I would like to share in response.“The “eye for an eye” rule was instituted as a guide for judges, not as a rule for personal relationships or to justify revenge. This rule made the punishment fit the crime, thereby preventing the cruel and barbaric punishments that characterized many ancient countries. Jesus used this principle to teach us not to retaliate (Matthew 5:38-48). Judges, parents, teachers, and others who work with people must make wise decisions in order for discipline to be effective. A punishment too harsh is unfair, and one too lenient is powerless to teach. Ask God for wisdom before you judge.”*Matthew 5:38-48“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury. ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.”*Footnotes from study Bible :“When we are wronged, often our first reaction is to get even. Instead, Jesus said we should do good to those who wrong us! Our desire should not be to keep score but to love and forgive. This is not natural–it is supernatural. Only God can give us the strength to love as He does. Instead of planning vengeance, pray for those who hurt you.” * (sorry this is a long response, I have to post it in 2 parts)

  16. (part 2)I will try to make my response more brief for your next two points. As for “spare the rod, spoil the child,” My husband and I were raised in Christian homes. We were both spanked growing up, however this was not the primary form of discipline in my home. I grew up respecting my parents and respecting authority. Does this mean that I was beaten with a rod??? NO. I was not beaten at all. I was disciplined and I thank my parents for that. I do not resent them for the occasional swat to my bottom. I too am expecting my first child. I believe that discipline is a very important aspect of being a parent. Discipline is for a child’s own good. It helps shape them and guide them. Many people have become very relaxed when it comes to discipline. As a result, it appears that there are many children in schools these days that are out of control. They do not have respect for authority. As for What about premarital sex? Have you managed to abstain until you said your vows (assuming you're married)?I did have sex with my husband before we were married. I truly wish that I had not. I was in a different place in my walk at that time in my life. I regret doing things my way and have asked God for forgiveness. Looking back, I see the harm that premarital sex can cause. I am far from sinless and I am so thankful that God is loving and forgiving. I am thankful that my salvation does not rely on me being a “good person.” By God’s standards we all fall short of that. I am thankful that God sent his Son to the cross, so that I could be forgiven. You said: I think it's sad that you are "sad" for the close relative of yours who is gay. He doesn't need your sadness, and he doesn't need (and probably doesn't want) your pity. He doesn't want you to pray for his soul, because there's nothing wrong with his soul.I pray for him because the Bible, which I believe makes it clear that if he doesn’t change, he will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. My prayer is that he and I will spend eternity together. Again, thank you for letting me share my opinion. These controversial debates can get ugly pretty quick. It is refreshing to have a respectful debate. Although we disagree entirely, I truly do value your opinion.*scripture and footnotes taken from Life Application Study Bible. New Living Translation Second EditionTyndale House Publishers, Inc. Wheaton Illinois

  17. In my opinion God created gays as well as every other category of human being and animal alike. When God gave us the ability to choose He made it so we could choose every aspect of our life. But He also made things we couldn't help, like who we were born to, illnesses and syndromes, and who we choose to love. In my opinion this world could use a little more love and I don't care if you love a man, woman, animal, or plant, as long as you choose love over hate. I think what people do in the bedroom is private and should be between them, not the entire world. God loves ALL his children, and like any good parent He accepts his children for who they are. Oh and I love the "one man one woman" argument. 99% of people have never read the passage in bible that says that, and if they had they would also see that not only does it say one man one woman but that you must kill all rabbits you see because they are satans creatures, as well as a ton of other thing people would never do and laugh at if someone went around doing them. No one says we need to go erradicate bunnies so why do we need to stick to the opposite sex?

  18. Great post . . . .I think I might have a hetero-crush on you . . . does that offend God?Kidding.

  19. Teresha@Marlie and M says:

    Great post! you took the words right out of my mouth. As a black woman who has to deal with racism AND sexism, I am perplexed when someone from a population that faces prejudices chooses to practice discrimination…hello anti-gay black woman on Tyra!As a Christian, I find it amusing when others start quoting God and cherry-pick the Bible to suit their argument. God also said judgment is mine, which means man is not to go around deciding who and who is not in favor and who and who is not deserving of basic human rights. This is the fundamental problem with mankind…we always want to separate and categorize. when will we learn?

  20. I heard in through the blogvine that little miss Nellie is on her way! I will be praying for all of you for a safe relatively comfortable delivery!!!!

  21. As one of Natalie's LGBT identified family members (I'm her brother), I would like to first say that I have several family members who are Christians. While I don't approve of some of their lifestyle choices, I do love and tolerate them–I just don't always understand some of their choices. Natalie and Josh have been my voice in situations where there is needless hate and violence against transgender, gay, lesbian, bisexual people. Natalie and I have supported each other through so many challenges and I can't imagine my life without her strength and fearlessness in the face of ignorance. Congratulations on the birth of your daughter and my niece. I can't wait to love her up!

  22. Busted Kate says:

    Congrats Natalie!!! Welcome Nellie!!!

  23. Diet DP Loving Mom says:

    I have a completely different view of marriage based primarily on my politcal views. I don't believe the government should have any right to say who can marry who. I don't think it's the governments business to know if I am married, who I'm married to, how many children I have, etc. It should be none of their business. However, due to money/taxes they believe it's their job to interfere. Because I am legally married to my husband we receive the marriage tax penalty, but I can now be under his insurance and a whole slew of other legal things I now have access to. I don't believe that we should have marriage licenses or have to legally delcare my marital status on forms. Marriage is a relational commitment made between two people and I don't understand why the government needs to be involved at all. If someone wants to marry man to man, man to woman, etc, then it should be at the discretion of the person marrying them, not the government. I do have my own personal beliefs on homosexuality, but it does not affect my view of marriage.

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