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I am a feminist/aspiring public intellectual/ godmother/friend/diva/ free-spirit committed to eradicating racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, poverty, and other inequities and disparities. I am an Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies at University of Missouri-Columbia. I believe in the power of words, images and of informed action. My interests are broad and encompass the significant and the trite. Follow me and get the "diva feminist" perspective on what's going on in our communities!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

A More Perfect Union: Fighting for Equality

A Rant....

My excitement regarding the District of Columbia's 12-1 vote for recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states in the nation's capital was quickly diminished by California's most recent setback in the push toward "fuller" equality for the GLBT community.  

Let me first start this rant by affirming that the securing of the right to marry is by no means a "cure all" for the plethora of injustices confronting GLBT communities in the United States, particularly GLBT individuals of color and those from the working and underclass.  The right to marriage and the rights and privileges afforded those relationships recognized by our governments as legal unions, though desired by many, has many classist underpinnings that do not account for the daily struggles for equal rights that many GLBT individuals confront.  Nevertheless, at this crucial historical moment, the right to marry is pivotal for the future of our nation achieving the kind of democracy that embraces ALL of its citizens without prejudice.

President Obama's recent decision not to rescind the failed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy has left our country less secure and the well-being of millions in war-torn countries in fatal jeopardy.  Children across the country are being victimized for their perceived "sexual orientation", often with tragic consequences (Please see the horrific stories of Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover and Jaheem Herrera).  The movement against equality has gained traction through mobilizing the social conservatism historically associated with Black and Latino communities.  The stakes are high and the obstacles appear nearly insurmountable, but HOPE abides among those of us committed to a more perfect union.

The fight for "gay marriage" is symbolic of something much greater, though on its own merit carries a particular significance for those invested in civil rights and true equality.  With my eyes and heart fixated on the push for marriage in my hometown, the Chocolate City, I anxiously await what will happen next.  Will Congress approve what appears to be nearly unwavering support for fuller rights for GLBT couples?  Or, will Congress attempt to obfuscate this push toward democracy?  Will D.C.'s African American and Latino residents (many of whom oppose gay marriage) support the city council (with the exception of council member and former mayor, Marion Barry) and Mayor Adrian Fenty in securing the right to marry for all people in the District?  I wait with bated breath, as the fight for equality comes to my backyard.

signing off,
diva feminist

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