Wednesday, April 4, 2012

In Anchorage, Alaska, Voters Choose Discrimination

Voters in Anchorage, Alaska, chose discrimination against the LGBT community when given the chance to make things right.  Proposition 5, a ballot initiative that would've added the LGBT community to protection under their existing anti-discrimination law, was struck down. With 90% of the ballots counted, 58% voted against it.  Fifty-eight percent of Anchorage's voters feel that it's okay for its gay, lesbian, or trangendered citizens to be discriminated against, or bullied.

If you thought this was going to be an easy battle, think again.

This marked the third attempt at getting the Anchorage legislature to right a wrong and provide protection for all of their citizen; however, it was the first time it had been taken to the voter.  Sadly, each time up, it's been knocked down.  Does this say that all people from Anchorage are mean-spirited and bigoted?  Of course not.  I once had a very dear friend who still lives in Anchorage, and he has a heart of pure gold.  And, 42% of the voters obviously agreed with it.  What it says, however, is that the misinformation, the narrowmindedness, and the intolerance still exists at a level that borders on lethal.  More to the point, in the so-called "red" states, it's ingrained into the psyche of the citizens.
Giving extra or special rights to certain groups is discriminatory to those who don't get those special rights. Please don't be selective in your anti discrimination stance.
That's what one bigot had to say.  Let's make this point as crystal clear as possible:  wanting the same rights as every other tax paying, hard-working citizen is NOT a special right.  Expecting to be protected UNDER THE LAW against hate crimes and discrimination is NOT a special right.  It doesn't matter if the citizen is gay, straight, black, white, and everything in between, these are just simple, basic HUMAN RIGHTS!!!

This goes back to what I've been laboring on for a while:  one of the biggest problems in this struggle is that there is an overabundance of people in very powerful positions who exact their own prejudices, their own hatred, their own narrowmindedness on the very people they were hired to work for...and, protect.  This is the land of Sarah Palin, and we know how much she's for equal rights.  Once again, it's that hardcore, extreme right-wing faction that's working to sanction the extermination of a group of people they don't like because of their warped understanding of Christianity.
Opponents, campaigning as Vote No On Prop. 5, complained that the law was vague and poorly written and would impinge on the religious freedom of residents opposed to homosexuality. The proposition included an exemption from the law for churches and religious organizations.

Read more here:
"...would impinge on the religious freedom of residents opposed to homosexuality."  What does that mean!?  Can you read between the shallow lines here?  This is just one more state, "red" state mind you, that believes that discrimination, hatred, intolerance, and bullying against a group of people, the LGBT community, should be their right as Christians.  Wait.  I have to read that again, myself.  Is it me, or is that just purely insane!!??  "I'm Christian (which is to say "I'm a follower of Christ"), so I should be able to be as intolerant, evil, and violent towards the gay community as I please."  I'm sorry.  That just sounds insane.

Fortunately, I know from my own personal experience that not ALL Christians think like this.  Nor do all Republicans, for that matter.  It's just that extreme group way over there on the right who takes it upon themselves to speak for every Christian and every Republican.  Don't let them fool you.  They don't speak for all.  Reverend Samuel Tuttle left a marvelous comment on a recent blog post.  Read it when you get the chance.  And, in the midst of this madness in Anchorage, a true Christian left this comment on the online news article about the vote results.

I'm a devout Christian who has lived in Anchorage for over 45 years.  I am the chairman of my church and led a Bible Study in which Jim Minnery participated occasionally.  I have never been more disappointed in my community than I am today.  This community would be better if we didn't thrive on the misinformation and fear sown by the few.  My faith directs me to stand up for the downtrodden, to stand for what is right in the face of injustice, and to show love to my fellow mankind, regardless of whether we share similar views.  Supporting discrimination is contrary to my faith.  My heart goes out to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender members of our community.  I grieve with you today.
Get it?  It isn't about their rights as Christians.  It's about them being bigots who are full of hatred and intolerance.  Religion is simply their shield.  And, never be fooled by the rhetoric:  it's not about special rights.  Never has been; never will be.  It's simply about basic human, equal rights.  That's all.

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