Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Gay Rights Advocates to Protest Date Violence Bill

From the Associated Press:

COLUMBIA — Gay rights advocates are protesting the exclusion of gay and lesbian relationships from a South Carolina bill meant to curb teen dating violence.

Republican Greg Delleney of Chester said he pushed for the change because he believes it would lead to school officials teaching children about same-sex relationships.

“I don’t want the Department of Education or school districts to teach children in grades six through 12 about (same-sex) relationships,” Delleney said.

Democratic Reps. Gilda Cobb-Hunter of Orangeburg and Ken Kennedy of Greeleyville are among those criticizing last week's vote in the House to bar any mention of gays from the proposed program for middle and high school students.

They plan to join members of the South Carolina Progressive Network and the local chapter of Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays on Tuesday to protest the amended bill. It requires another vote before moving to the Senate.

From Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters
this quote sums it up for me:

He doesn't want to help us combat potential violence in our relationships because he doesn't care about us. It's bad enough when this comes from an ordinary citizen but the fact that a legislator publicly voices this notion without any shame is awful.

Delleny wasn't elected for his personal and religious beliefs. He was elected to serve the people of South Carolina regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation. He can't pick and choose who to serve. Or, in this case, who to protect.

His words emphasizes just how difficult it is for gays to live not only in South Carolina but in the United States in general. No other group is subject to the level of disrespect that we generally receive. Delleny wouldn't have gotten away with his public "screw you" if he had made any other group the subject of his tirade.

He will probably get a pat on the back by like minded homophobic individuals. Yes, Delleny is homophobic. I don't really see how anyone can use buzzwords to defend his actions. He isn't protecting traditional relationships or upholding morality.

Delleny is making it acceptable for South Carolina to cover it's ears so as not to hear the pleas of help coming from victims of relationship violence.

In a broader sense, he is making it acceptable to discriminate against South Carolinians simply because he has a personal problem with their sexual orientation.

Sometimes one should question the logic of an action before it is made, and here is such a case. What is up with the Republican Party? In New Hampshire they are so against GLBT rights they are practically goose-stepping together in unison while reciting the joys of communism. Do we all have to be the same, look the same, and act the same in order for America to be one people? Where is the moderate middle and why have they lost their voice? In the old days extremism was always foo-food away or laughed off, but now it seems like no one has the grapes to step up and say their minds unless they are extremists.

So long as we try to ignore an aspect of our society we will be our own handicap. So long as we try to stick our heads in the sand and pretend LGBT people do not exist we will surely be cursed with a world where we struggle to come to terms with our own stupidity. People of South Carolina, it's high time you woke up and read the words under the Statue of Liberty:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

by Emma Lazarus, New York City, 1883

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