Through These Eyes: The Last Acceptable Prejudice

We stand now at a pivotal moment in history, on the eve of ending the last acceptable, widely institutionalized prejudice in the Western World: prejudice against members of the LGBT community.

We are indeed in the twilight of this baseless and terrifically erroneous era in American history. We are undoubtedly on the precipice of finally realizing the third of the most important tenants of our inalienable rights: that of our pursuit of happiness. We WILL soon have in our hands the hands of our loved ones, professing to one another our love at the altar of hope in legally recognized ceremonies. And with our subsequent tax benefits, property rights, and visitation rights finally granted, we will also welcome their drawbacks: we’ll have even further incentive to take out the trash when our spouses ask us; we’ll have to pay more attention to just how much money they’re spending at Macy’s with our shared credit; and, if my grandparents were any indicator, we’ll probably get grumpier with one another a little more easily.

And while, in relation to the age of our nation, we are on the verge of this pivotal moment, we still have many battles to fight, many debates to win, and many minds to change. For Minnesota, our battle hits a milestone on November 6, when voters across the state will voice on which side of history they stand: those who vote “yes” to ingraining prohibition of same-sex marriage in the state constitution will find themselves in the shadows cast by the latest era of the Civil Rights Movement. Those who vote “no” will find themselves in its sunlight, moving toward a more perfect union in which our sexuality does not undermine our status as creatures born with human rights.

Election Day this year will not mean we are reshaping marriage. The truth of the matter is, our spousal love for one another still will be legally unrecognized. But this Election Day grants us the opportunity to show America and the rest of the world that Minnesotans are ready to progress rather than regress. We will become the first state in the union to reject electorally an amendment that paints a narrow-minded vision of America as a democracy in which our rights are discriminatory ones, on the basis of our sexuality.

Forget the campaign fodder and the overwhelming statistics for a moment, and think of our values. We are a nation of immigrants, a nation that finds invaluable the diversity we have in thought, religious tradition, and cultural influence. We are a nation that values not what we are or where we are, but who we are. It’s “We the People,” not “We the Few.” We are not a nation founded on “We the Rich,” “We the Whites,” “We the Christians,” or “We the Muslims.” We the People, a nation of immigrants who founded a country on a belief in shared citizenship: a brotherhood, a sisterhood, a family of diversity that shan’t be ignored or undermined, but celebrated and admired.

And if still this does not resonate, consider our solidarity. Despite our differences and our sometimes hate-filled vitriol spewed in anger and protest for however trivial or paramount a disagreement, we are a people who, when times get tough, will unite when we are in peril. The neighbors you so despise for their political signs and their rants you will help at a moment’s notice were they faced with a life-threatening event. We hold these values because it is innate within us to protect when we can our brothers and sisters in times of peril. Shouldn’t it, then, come to life that we are also a people who find solidarity in love? For those of you reading this who oppose same-sex marriage but who are married yourselves, you need look no further than your own spouse to understand exactly what I’m talking about.

I implore you: vote “No” on November 6 and proudly stand with us at the dawn of a new and long-awaited American morning, and watch with us the sunset on the last acceptable prejudice.

Please visit MNUnited.org. 

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