Thursday, June 3, 2010

If not now, when?

Today was the Multifaith Pride service that kicks off the Austin Pride weekend for 2010. I had the great pleasure to be on the planning committee for the service and got to meet and work with a wide variety of people.

Our speaker for the event was Bishop Yvette Flunder, and ladies and gentlemen, she made all our work worth the effort. If you ever get the chance to hear her speak, I encourage you to do so.

Bishop Flunder related a Martin Luther King, Jr. quote that she used as a call to action.
..."We must answer and deal with one or two myths that are still disseminated and often block powerful social action in order to grapple with the evils of society. One argument is the myth of time. This myth says in substance that only time can solve problems that we face in the area of human relations. So there are those who say to individuals struggling to make justice a reality. Why don't you wait and stop pushing so hard. If you will just be patient and wait 100 or 200 years the problem will work itself out. Well this argument still goes around. The only answer that one can give to this myth is that time is neutral. It can be used either constructively or destructively...Somewhere along the way we must see that time will never solve the problem alone but that we must help time...We must always help time and realize that the time is always right to do right."
This notion that now is not the right time to fight for LGBT equality is one that we've heard over and over again, most especially from our government. If we wait for the time to be right, nothing will happen. Change only occurs over time because there are those who will fight for it. Minds are not changed unless someone speaks out about injustice.

Now is the time to continue to fight. Federal legislation to kill DADT is only the first step. The policy is still in place and we need to continue to push for its full dismantling.  DOMA needs to be revoked. Same-sex marriage should be a right. Why should LGBTs accept the conditional justice of civil unions? Why should they accept something that is second best? We need a trans-inclusive ENDA to become the law of the land. No one should fear losing their job because of their sexual orientation or gender expression. Why should they accept that they are second class citizens?

Now is the time. We have the momentum. We must continue the fight. Gay or straight. Black or white. Male or female. If as a nation we believe that all men are created equal, now is the time to live up to that statement.

If not now, when?

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