My daughter is three. She loves pink and princesses and ponies. One day, if she’s lucky enough, she’ll fall in love and want to get married. And I’m going to want to throw her the biggest craziest most absurd wedding I can muster. Maybe she’ll bring her fiance home for dinner and he’ll be a man. But maybe, just maybe my little girl will come home one day and tell me she wants to get married to a wonderful woman. It is my hope that by the time that day comes for my daughter it won’t matter what her sexual preference turns out to be. It is my hope that she’ll know unequivocally that she can bring whomever she loves home to Mom and Dad, and that it will be our greatest honor to help her celebrate that love in front of her friends and family.
Civil rights legend Julian Bond spoke about Marriage Equality on Anderson 360 yesterday evening –
“There is not a black civil rights movement and a gay civil rights movement. There are civil rights. All Americans have civil rights. All Americans should enjoy civil rights.”
What’s especially daunting about this current phase of American Civil Rights, is that it presents a divisive and damaging legacy within even nuclear families. While the early and epic struggles of the civil rights movement was often endured as a family unit through generations, there are families currently fighting against Marriage Equality who have no idea that their child, cousin, sister, or grandchild are amongst the throngs of Americans they seek to prevent from gaining full access to their civil rights.
When we look back at the women’s suffrage movement, the civil rights movement, at any of the spectacular citizen-led movements that have defined and changed our collective history we often hear from the descendants of those who stood on the side of change, singing their ancestor’s praises, telling their story. But there are some family albums we’re not so keen to look at. There are some family photos that tell a story of ancestors fighting to stem the tide of equality.
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I want my children to know that I love them for being them, not for being straight (or not). I want to be sure that when my Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren look back in search of their legacy, for evidence of my voice and my thought process during this historic time, they know without question that their ancestors stood for equality for all human beings.
Everyone deserves civil rights. It’s time. It’s way past time.