Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Are gay rights civil rights?

Julian Bond speak at HRC Dinner

Here are a few choice statements from his speech:

When someone asks me, “are gay rights civil rights?” my answer is always, “Of course, they are.” Civil rights are positive legal prerogatives: the right to equal treatment before the law. These are the rights shared by everyone. There is no one in the United States who does not, or should not, enjoy or share in enjoying these rights. Gay and lesbian rights are not special rights in any way. It isn’t “special” to be free from discrimination. It is an ordinary, universal entitlement of citizenship.

People of color ought to be flattered that our movement has provided so much inspiration for others. That, it has been, that our movement has been so widely imitated. That our tactics, our methods, our heroes, our heroines, and even our songs, have been appropriated or served as models for others.

Now, no parallel between movements is exact. African-Americans are the only Americans who were enslaved for more than two centuries and people of color carried the badge of who we are on our faces. But we are far from the only people suffering discrimination; sadly, so do many others. And those others deserve the law’s protection and civil rights too….

Like race, our sexuality isn’t a preference. It is immutable; it is unchangeable. And the constitution protects us against prejudices and discrimination based on immutable differences.

Just like Harvey Milk, Julian Bond could not be a stronger advocate in our fight for dignity and civil rights for all people. Civil Rights to receive the same benefits of other married couples, the civil right to be free from being fired from you job, just because you are gay or trans. It is our civil right to go to the bathroom without being questioned or be placed in physical harm for being who we are.
Any person who considers themselves to be trans is not the person who will stalk children, you probable will not realize that the person in the next stall is trans.
Trying to Rule others by exciting the FEAR factor only complicates the issues.

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