Thursday, July 2, 2009

U.S. Representative Robert Wexler says: "Support Gay Pride Month with Equal Rights"

I was very moved to read Rep. Robert Wexler's letter, sent today to his constituents and supporters. Maybe we should send his letter to President Obama, to give our President some ideas about what he needs to say to America's LGBT community. We've waited a long time to hear from President Obama, and to get action, but nothing yet except nice sounding sound bytes and smiles, while our lives and families are ravaged by the effects of religion-inspired hatred written into the law.If Robert ever runs for President, he'll get my vote for sure. Check out his website. You can tell that this guy is with the times, and truly cares about people.

From the bottom of my heart, "Thank you," Congressman Wexler!


Support Gay Pride Month with Equal Rights

Dear friends,

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots - which occurred in reaction to anti-gay raids by NY police in 1969 and are considered by many to be the beginning of the modern gay rights movement in America.

My parents, compassionate people, taught me that it's not enough to be tolerant of people different than ourselves: We must go beyond tolerance, and accept others as equals.

In my lifetime, the struggle for equal rights has made significant progress. Yet today, even with an African American president... even as we continue to break gender barriers and reverse the effects of centuries-long discrimination against African Americans, Native Americans, religious minorities, the disabled community, and others.... our laws actively discriminate against men and women who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered.

Throughout the country, this discrimination manifests in different ways.

In my own state of Florida, gays and lesbians are not allowed to adopt children, even as thousands of kids languish under state guardianship and in group homes. In Florida and most other states, no provision exists that grants legal recognition of civil unions - leaving many without benefits or visitation rights when their partner becomes ill or passes away.

This national lack of compassion and concern for our fellow Americans is immoral.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, honored combat veterans, desperately needed in the field, have been discharged from duty because it was disclosed they were gay.

Across America, couples who have lived together for decades in stable, committed relationships are denied health care benefits - because they are gay.

No one should have to uproot their family and move to a different state to gain these simple legal rights. It is fundamentally a denial of justice.

Like with so many issues we've discussed, we risk being defined by our inaction. Make no mistake -- there will be a time when the children of this country ask their parents why we allowed things to be this way - why we allowed decisions such as to who one chooses to love to be used as cause for denying a job, right of survivorship, or access to an ill companion.

On this issue, I have felt a moral obligation to stand on the side of compassion and justice. Long after my career ends, I hope to be proud of where I stood and of the support I gave for those who have made achieving equal rights their life's work.

I hope you see it as I do, and continue to push for equality for every American, including for our LGBT brothers and sisters.

With respect,

Congressman Robert Wexler

Washington, D.C. Office
2241 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
phone: (202) 225-3001
fax: (202) 225-5974

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