Thursday, March 28, 2013

An Order of Rights: Separate And Not Equal

As the Supreme Court and activists weigh in on same sex marriage, I'm struck by the order in which rights are given in America.

For whatever reason, men always get them first. Of course, white men always have them. Then men of other races get them. Then come women. Finally, the LGBT community gets them.

We see this time and time again. The right to vote was given to black men before it was given to women. Granted, blacks (and other supporters) had to fight tooth and nail to make it *truly* the right to vote, but it was legally given first.

The civil rights movement started as an issue of race, and was joined later by feminists, and LGBT activists. While it is largely accepted that a person of any color can work at any job and make equal pay (I would cite our beloved president), women to this day do not make equal pay, and are not given paid parental leave or ensured childcare at their workplaces. This effectively removes them from the labor force for years at a time.

LGBT individuals have been plagued by all kinds of discrimination. They are STILL not a protected group from workplace discrimination across our country! It was only recently that "Don't Ask Don't Tell" was repealed. And now, years after "Separate But Equal" was thrown out as bollocks, we're still debating about whether two people of the same sex can get married.

As it has been said before, I will say it again: We still have a long way to go, baby.

As a woman, and as a person who has friends and relatives touched by these issues, I wonder at those of us who hem and haw at social change. As a Christian, I believe God wants equal care and protection for all of humanity. I also believe it doesn't matter what I think God wants because church and state should be separate. If we say that we are a nation of equality and fairness, we are required to make all things equal and as fair as the law can possibly allow.

Same sex marriage seems like an easy one. Then again, I thought paid maternity leave was easy too.

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