A new day is dawning around the world. Hopefully the United States' recent surge in understanding that the color of your skin or your gender doesn't determine your ability to do the job of leading a country will continue to propel us forward to becoming a country where all of our citizens have equal rights. What? You mean you didn't realize that not all U.S. citizens have equal rights? Surely you jest. In 1954, the Supreme Court sent a message to all of its citizens in every state. That message was that "separate" rights are not "equal" rights. That message was called Brown vs. The Board of Education. So where in our country are we experiencing separate but unequal rights? In the area of same-sex marriage.
Only one state out of fifty offers same-sex couples the right to marry and enjoy the same (i.e., EQUAL) rights as heterosexual married couples. It's 2009, people, and discrimination still reigns supreme in 49 states when it comes to same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court sent a very clear message in 1954 with Brown vs. The Board of Education. It was 9-0. Now why is it that the 1954 Supreme Court got the message that separate does not mean equal, and yet the people of the United States in the year 2009 still haven't gotten that message? Sure, it's illegal now to make African-Americans sit at the back of the bus, use their "own" bathrooms, restaurants, and drinking fountains. But it's perfectly legal in 49 states to bar same-sex couples from enjoying the same rights, privileges, and, yes, responsibilities as heterosexual married couples. It's legal to discriminate against same-sex couples. LEGAL to DISCRIMINATE. LEGAL to treat ONE GROUP of CITIZENS as UNEQUAL to the rest. Why? How is it that more people in this country don't understand the concept of equality? How many centuries will it take before the United States grows up and into its own principles of equality? It's not about religious beliefs. It's about equal rights for all. Period. Same-sex couples pay EQUAL taxes. They should have EQUAL tax benefits and everything else that goes hand-in-hand with marriage rights.
I've often said that I won't believe that the U.S. has achieved a true state of egalitarianism (ALL are equal) until I see an African-American lesbian in the Oval Office. Now that we have a President who is partly of African heritage, I'm revising that to a Native American, Hispanic, or Asian-American lesbian, since we've begun to crack the racial wall that has kept African-Americans in second class status for so long. Geez, it took nearly 150 years after slavery ended to get this far. In another millennium or so, we ought to be on track.
But say, what would happen if we allowed ourselves to grow at a personal/social rate at a pace that equals the rate at which our technology is expanding? What would happen if we did something really radical and just passed laws that make us ALL EQUAL? You've already read my blog about it not being possible that same-sex marriage would lead to bestiality, since animal sex is already perfectly legal in more states than same-sex marriage and all the other forms of SEPARATE but UNEQUAL civil unions are legal. If not, go back and read it and be amazed that while it's not legal for adult, human, same-sex couples to enjoy the full rights of marriage, it is legal in a dozen or more states to have sex with your pets and livestock. That is so twisted and completely contrary to logic.
The United States has a long way to go yet, I'd say. A long way to be as advanced in our way of thinking as a country such as Iceland, where they have just appointed the modern world's first openly gay government leader and Iceland's first female Prime Minister. Yeah, their country is bankrupt and needs a strong hand to lead it away from the brink of disaster (sound familiar?). So who do they call in to fix it for them? In Iceland, it's Johanna Sigurdardottir, an openly lesbian governmental leader. In the United States, a man who is both of African and American heritage, an African-American.
A new day is indeed dawning, but it hasn't arrived in the United States just yet. Because, you see, PM Sigurdardottir is married to her same-sex partner, and if she comes to the United States with her spouse... Do you see where I'm going with this? In Iceland, this woman can become Prime Minister and no one blinks an eye. I quote from the BBC article linked in the title of this blog and again at the close, "'I don't think her sexual orientation matters. Our voters are pretty liberal, they don't care about any of that,'" Skuli Helgeson, Social Democratic Alliance's general secretary, told the BBC."
Now teleport PM Sigurdardottir to the United States, and even if she became a U.S. citizen, she wouldn't have equal marital rights. In Iceland, Prime Minister, in the United States, a second class citizen at best. I may say this a lot, but I'll keep saying it until this world changes. In what universe does this make sense?