Less than a year after winning marriage equality, we are fighting again in state after state for our civil rights.
Being gay is anything but that. Being gay means standing tall, fighting on, and making your voice heard from city halls to congressional offices. It means electing a president that will move us forward, not set us back. That means supporting Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, and rejecting the Republican candidates.
No one ever promised us a rose garden. No one ever said it would be easy. Abraham Lincoln may have freed the slaves with an Emancipation Proclamation, but it was not for one hundred years later that the U.S. Congress had to pass a Civil Rights Act to help march us forward.
We may have won a Supreme Court victory last year, but it will take us decades still to win the hearts and minds of the American people. But remember this always: we don’t want to be tolerated, and we do not need other’s approval to be who we are.
So it’s clear, we are a good and decent group of wholesome and loving people, and we owe apologies to no one. We stand for the essence of all American principles- that we come together as a society not to restrict the rights of any, but rather to embrace the rights of all.
The battle for civil liberties is an ongoing struggle, taught to us by a U.S. Constitution that once treated African-Americans as three-fifths of a citizen, and women as second-class citizens. It is however, a powerful document, interpreted over years by learned jurists who have carved out rights that cannot be taken away from any of us, but rather which must be protected for all of us.
There are zones of privacy where government cannot reach, and one of those is in our bedrooms, another with whom we choose to love. We have also won equal rights in the military, protections in the workplace, and emerging recognition in professional sports.
Homosexuality is not stealing anyone’s children away; it is making us good parents.
Homosexuality is not hurting society, it is expanding it, making the rainbow that defines us reach all parts and aspects of our community.
The laws, which once arrested us, today now arrest those who abuse us. There are zones of privacy where government can no longer reach; where laws cannot intrude. We are legally entitled to have zones of privacy that no one can tread upon.
Therefore, to North Carolina and Mississippi, and any other states that wants to step backward in history, let me say we will meet your challenge, with our arms locked, our heads high, and our spirit undaunted.
We will march on, from Miami Beach to the most northwestern corners of our country. We will not be denied, and we will not have you deny us our rights anymore, anywhere, or ever again.
We have come to far to let you take us back to where none of us should ever have been. We are going to the future, proud and unafraid. Join us as partners, or stay behind as relics of the past.
But we are moving forward, gaily forward…