Written long before the terrorist attacks on America, this opinion is now stronger than ever in the light of the new world in which we are living. There is a theory one in every three people is or has homosexuals tendencies. If this is true 2111 homosexuals or people with homosexual tendencies died in the attack on the World Trade Center. Ignorance and fanaticism killed many more, and they didn't have the rights to same-sex marriage, or many of the benefits the homosexual community is still fighting for, and it's about time we had those rights.
A Gay Opinion 5/29/00
by R.A. Melos
May 30th, in the United States, is Memorial Day. This is the day we remember those who fought and died in the various wars and police actions over the years, all in the name of defending freedom and the rights of democracy. As we now know, some of those who fought and died were homosexual. And, as we also know, they were fighting for rights and freedoms the homosexuals were, and still are, denied.
These brave people, who lived in fear of their lifestyle being discovered, were raised by heterosexual society, be it the church or state, to believe homosexuals were deviants, perverts, abnormal. In spite of heterosexual societies rejection of their way of life, they fought and died in order to preserve the heterosexual society. These people were born and raised before the time when the obvious answer to a call to arms would be "what's in it for me?"
I say this because, quite frankly, while I live my life in a country founded on freedom of religion and the separation of church and state, I have a more limited freedom than a heterosexual. Our nations ancestors fought and died in countries around the world in order to preserve the freedom we have here in the United States, and yet I, and all those like me, are denied the basic rights they fought to preserve.
I am denied the respect and acceptance of my sexual orientation. I am denied the right to a same-sex marriage and the benefits of marriage itself. I am denied the protection under many laws in this country, and in each individual state, simply because I am sexually oriented to love someone of the same sex.
One of the major issues of my lifetime is the right to same-sex marriage. Many heterosexuals have been quoted as saying they are in favor of some kind of civil union, as long as it doesn't have the same connotation as the heterosexual marriages. In fact, the Governor of New Hampshire was quoted in the Advocate as say just such a thing.
I find this thinking hypocritical. Our basic constitution states "All men are created equal," yet we as a people, and more specifically heterosexual society, is claiming superiority over homosexual society. The parallels between the treatment of African Americans and Native Americans, now being put upon the homosexual is a telling tale of the inability of the human race to learn from their past mistakes. African Americans and Native Americans were thought of as Godless savages, and treated as less than human.
Times have changed, and heterosexual society can't call the homosexual a Godless savage, but they still believe we are not entitled to the same rights as they enjoy. On this Memorial Day, heterosexual society should remember all the homosexual who died so they can enjoy their freedom, and remember that one day the homosexual community will have equal freedom and rights. After all, if homosexuals of an era of selflessness were willing to fight for the rights of all, it should be apparent to heterosexual society those of us raised in a "what's in it for me?" world will fight for those same rights, with more of a vengeance, for we have more to gain.
On this Memorial Day I choose to remember the warriors who fought for the rights of the homosexuals, and those who didn't even know they were in a battle for their human rights. I remember those who were slaughtered by homophobic heterosexuals who felt it was their God given right to destroy another human being because that person had a different view point on life. I remember men and women like Matthew Shepard, and Brandon Teena, and Billy Jack Gaither, and all those who have been oppressed, forced to live in a closet, and condemned, and killed for the simple act of living as God created them to live.