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.
Iâ€™m relieved that this year we can celebrate our nationâ€™s founding absent the tyranny of George W. Bush and his gang of thieves. I am pleased that we have a Congress controlled by a Democratic majority, although sometimes I question what that really means since neither progressive or liberal can be applied to the definition of Democrat in Congress. I am pleased that we have a Democrat in the White House.
What I am not pleased about is the fact that I do not have the same right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness as all other Americans.
I am not pleased that, as an openly gay man, I donâ€™t possess the same unalienable rights that non-gay Americans have when it comes to Life, Liberty, or Happiness. I do not have the right to Live free from employment discrimination or even the same benefits of legal protection afforded opposite gender partners. I do not have the Liberty to marry if the person I love is of the same gender. And because of these things, I have no tangible right to the pursuit of my happiness.
Now, â€œtraditional marriageâ€ enthusiasts argue that my right to marry would infringe on their special privilege, and bring about the downfall of marriage as an institution. They argue that their marriages are threatened if I am allowed to marry someone of the same gender. They argue that I should be happy with the ability to have a civil union or domestic partnership. It does not matter to them that the federal benefits of marriage are not afforded to domestic partners, or persons in civil unions.
So I guess my right to drink from the fountain of Liberty and love the person I choose is fine with them, as long as I drink from a different fountain fed by Liberty that is not as pure as theirs.
So here is my wish for this Independence Day.
I wish for the same rights of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness that everyone else enjoys. I hope that our Congress and President repeal Donâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tell; the Defense of Marriage Act; and either require all States to marry same-gender couples or get out of the marriage business altogether, and start granting only civil union licenses to any two individuals of the age of consent.
Whatâ€™s so hard about that?
Happy Independence Day!