Harjant Gil Makes Me Smile – A Message of Hope

It is such a good thing he goes somewhere besides Pov U b/c I try very hard not to fall in intellectual love with students no matter how much I love their beautiful brains.

Just when I was hitting full on cranky, about the state of the universe, I open my mail and there is this link to an inspiring speech by Harvey Milk (see below) and a message from Mr. Gil reminding us all to vote and have hope. Good on you!

Please think long and hard about equality in this coming election. Several states including CA, FL, and Arizona have ballot measures to define marriage as between a woman and a man. Governor Sarah Palin has said that she voted and would continue to vote for such definitions at the state and, if possible, national levels. Both John McCain and Barack Obama have said they think it is a state’s rights issue, but according to anti-gay-marriage groups in California and Arizona, McCain has privately written to them in support of their causes. I don’t doubt that Obama’s evangelical background is keeping him from taking a much stronger stance in support of gay marriage, while as I have written before, he does support queer immigration rights, partner benefits, and other key issues that McCain does not.

While I question the politics of those who believe marriage equality will automatically lead to other forms of equality, those who have ignored the ongoing problems with marriage as an institution, those who have ignored other major issues in the queer community to exclusively focus on this – particularly those who argue this is the way to get couples health care as if everyone has 1. a job and 2. a middle class job that extends benefits to families, or those who have dared to claim homophobia over racism as if racism was cured when they let interracial marriage happen AND as if there are no queers of color (I’m standing right here sweetie!), I am very clear that excluding anyone from marriage or any other state sanctioned right will continue to foster inequality and abuse of queer people. As I have said here before, gay bashings are the third highest hate crime in our nation, outpaced solely by racism and intolerance to certain religions. Recently, it became the number one hate crime in Washington DC, outpacing all other forms of hate crimes in the nation’s capital. The legacy of inequality and the lack of commitment to ending it on the part of both major parties in this election has translated to an atmosphere of fear and loathing coupled with violence that could easily take us back to much darker days in this nation’s history.

Ultimately, it does not matter who is targeted. It does not matter why. Either we live in a society based on equality for everyone who is able to give consent or we do not. Increasingly over the last 8 years more US citizens feel comfortable with the idea that we do not.

If you live in one of the states mentioned, read the bills carefully, as they have been written to confuse you and vote not only with the vision of the world you want to live in, in mind, but also one in which your children might one day grow up to be the benefactors or targets of your decision.

PROP 8 (in California)
PROP 2 (in Florida)
PROP 102 (in Arizona)

And if you live in the DC area, go give Harjant Gil a hug for me and tell him the Prof says thanks for the reminder and the message of Hope.

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