By Richard Ammon
It doesn’t happen often in today’s contentious culture wars, but our LGBT worldwide community has achieved–along with our allies–a double win this month against blatant homophobic forces that refuse to recognize our equality and dignity.
First, highly symbolic and very real is the restoration of “sexual orientation” to a UN resolution against extrajudicial executions of minorities. Read the full story in the Washington Post:
Gay advocates win victory at UN
“Gay rights advocates scored a hard-fought victory at the U.N. on Tuesday when member states restored a reference to sexual orientation, dropped last month from a resolution opposing the unjustified killing of minority groups. The removal of the reference, at the urging of African and Arab countries last month, alarmed human rights advocates who said gay people are among minority groups that need special protection from extrajudicial and other unjustified slayings. U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice at the time said she was “incensed” by the change and announced she would sponsor the measure to restore the language...”
Second is the voting down of the egregious and blatantly discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell’ prohibition against gays in the U.S. military. Read the full story in the New York Times:
With Obama’s Signature, ‘Don’t Ask’ Is Repealed
“The military’s longstanding ban on service by gays and lesbians came to a historic and symbolic end on Wednesday, as President Obama signed legislation repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the contentious 17-year old Clinton-era law that sought to allow gays to serve under the terms of an uneasy compromise that required them to keep their sexuality a secret…”
Thus do civilizations move forward, slowly, to recognize the humanity and equality of all people on this planet. As much as there is celebration this week, there is an ever-present shadow that moves to deny, repress and harm person against person, individually and socially. How joyful and poignant is the struggle of light and right against darkness and danger. It is sadly the way of the world, the way of humanity, that people can be so in love with family and hateful to strangers who are ‘other’ races, beliefs, wealths or sexualities.
How did this happen? Tribe against tribe? We no longer see (if ever we did) the ‘divine’ in one another. A few resilient charitable folks make great efforts to spread love and care but often it’s conditioned on being straight (non-gay). The human spirit should be the guiding force, not religion, politics, economics, race, age, gender or sexuality.
I can only hope we see the wisdom of compassion before ‘civilized chaos’ overtakes us. This week is a hopeful sign that light will outshine darkness.