Equality

As momentum continues to build regarding praise for a film about two gay men – men who spend a lifetime suffering their own self-imposed exiles from love – that is now widely recognized by critics and audiences as an outstanding achievement in film-making, I can’t help but remember the words of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America stating that all men (and women) are created equal…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Now, what disturbs me is that basic inalienable rights, such as the right to join in union with a partner of choice despite that individual’s gender, are currently prohibited in the United States of America, not to mention my current home of Japan, and well sadly, most of the world (bravo Spain , Canada, UK, Belgium, Norway, South Africa, Denmark, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, France and The Netherlands).

But what is even more disturbing is the belief and actions by the very citizens of this nation who because of their own discomfort or philosophical beliefs refuse to transcend these beliefs and support the equal rights of their neighbors, co-workers and family members. Shame on you.

How such people can turn a blind eye to the history of their brothers and sisters and their quest to freedom and equality is even more startling. We as humans have a very far way to go indeed if we ever hope to live in a world of peace, prosperity and compassion. How we can still choose to hate and deny each other after all that has come before is a very confusing and sad statement about our current humanity. Shame on you.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Why my fellow Americans should find it appropriate to sit in judgement as to what constitutes the right of individuals’ pursuit to happiness regarding the desire to love and have this love recognized just as any other individuals’ union is recognized by its government both pains and troubles me. How long must we live in a world where one’s own beliefs about the limits of human love must also serve to prevent others from having this love recognized. How can we elevate ourselves so, only to prevent others from this same right.

…all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which
they are accustomed.

Ah, but here I can recognize that my thoughts are terribly naive, aren’t they? History and governments have proven time and time again just how naive my line of thinking is…. A thousand and one parallels may be drawn, each presenting an argument of various facets.

But when my own government representatives propose to pass legislature that directly seeks to prevent it’s citizens from exercising their rights, the shadow is lurking and gaining ground.

And that’s a good thing, for when the pendulum swings…well, you know the rest. I remember writing a paper while in school in London proposing that Freud was actually one of the Fathers of Feminism. Think about it for a moment and consider Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of Physics – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Could George Bush, Jr. possibly become one of the Father’s of 21st century Human Rights, albeit unwittingly?

While some argue the semantics of language, the religious and historical meaning of union, and the monetary and political ramifications of recognizing homosexuality, others of us are living day to day, proudly and loudly embracing our identities and in so doing, teaching others about our lives, for a quiet life can offer very little example.While searching for a photo for today’s blog entry, I came across “HelloAaron” and would like to share one of this writer’s own blog entries with you…. What follows is a sentiment that so many of us have uttered before, while walking the path to equality.

HelloAaron.com

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Equality

As momentum continues to build regarding praise for a film about two gay men – men who spend a lifetime suffering their own self-imposed exiles from love – that is now widely recognized by critics and audiences as an outstanding achievement in film-making, I can’t help but remember the words of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America stating that all men (and women) are created equal…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Now, what disturbs me is that basic inalienable rights, such as the right to join in union with a partner of choice despite that individual’s gender, are currently prohibited in the United States of America, not to mention my current home of Japan, and well sadly, most of the world (bravo Spain , Canada, UK, Belgium, Norway, South Africa, Denmark, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, France and The Netherlands).

But what is even more disturbing is the belief and actions by the very citizens of this nation who because of their own discomfort or philosophical beliefs refuse to transcend these beliefs and support the equal rights of their neighbors, co-workers and family members. Shame on you.

How such people can turn a blind eye to the history of their brothers and sisters and their quest to freedom and equality is even more startling. We as humans have a very far way to go indeed if we ever hope to live in a world of peace, prosperity and compassion. How we can still choose to hate and deny each other after all that has come before is a very confusing and sad statement about our current humanity. Shame on you.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Why my fellow Americans should find it appropriate to sit in judgement as to what constitutes the right of individuals’ pursuit to happiness regarding the desire to love and have this love recognized just as any other individuals’ union is recognized by its government both pains and troubles me. How long must we live in a world where one’s own beliefs about the limits of human love must also serve to prevent others from having this love recognized. How can we elevate ourselves so, only to prevent others from this same right.

…all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which
they are accustomed.

Ah, but here I can recognize that my thoughts are terribly naive, aren’t they? History and governments have proven time and time again just how naive my line of thinking is…. A thousand and one parallels may be drawn, each presenting an argument of various facets.

But when my own government representatives propose to pass legislature that directly seeks to prevent it’s citizens from exercising their rights, the shadow is lurking and gaining ground.

And that’s a good thing, for when the pendulum swings…well, you know the rest. I remember writing a paper while in school in London proposing that Freud was actually one of the Fathers of Feminism. Think about it for a moment and consider Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of Physics – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Could George Bush, Jr. possibly become one of the Father’s of 21st century Human Rights, albeit unwittingly?

While some argue the semantics of language, the religious and historical meaning of union, and the monetary and political ramifications of recognizing homosexuality, others of us are living day to day, proudly and loudly embracing our identities and in so doing, teaching others about our lives, for a quiet life can offer very little example.While searching for a photo for today’s blog entry, I came across “HelloAaron” and would like to share one of this writer’s own blog entries with you…. What follows is a sentiment that so many of us have uttered before, while walking the path to equality.

HelloAaron.com

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Justin says:

    Recently, in my British Literature class, we covered On Liberty by John Stuart Mill. In his work, Mill wrote something that I believe to be of the utmost truth, and I believe the passage may also apply here.”It is not by wearing down into uniformity all that is individual in themselves, but by cultivating it and calling it forth, within the limits imposed by the rights and interests of others, that human beings become a noble and beautiful object of contemplation; and as the works partake the character of those who do them, by the same process human life also becomes rich, diversified, and animating, furnishing more abundant aliment to high thoughts and elevating feelings, and strengthening the tie which binds every individual to the race, by making the race infinitely better worth belonging to” (On Liberty Chapter 3 paragraph 9)The work in full can be found at http://www.bartleby.com/130/3.htmlIn addition, Mill says,”But to be restrained in things not affecting their [other human’s] good, by their mere displeasure, develops nothing valuable, except such force of character as may unfold itself in resisting the restraint….To give any fair play to the nature of each, it is essential that different persons should be allowed to lead different lives.”Marlen, sorry about the very long comment.

  2. marlen says:

    Justin – Wonderful addition. Thanks so much for sharing this brilliant insight! Please keep reading and posting!

  3. Kim says:

    I keep revisiting this post, Marlen. Thank you for posting this. It makes me think. There are so many “isms” in this world…racism, sexism, (insert any)-phobicness…why? is it because some people don’t stop and think about humanity in general?There are some things in this world I just cannot understand. Thank you, Marlen, for being so open.

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