Another major victory for civil rights was celebrated this morning at the Interior Department before an overflow crowd, as President Barack Obama signed into law the ending of the policy in the military of “don’t ask, don’t tell”.
It was an emotional moment for many, and shows what the constant battle has been throughout American history: to overcome discrimination, prejudice, favoritism, elitism, based on race, ethnicity, gender, disability, and now sexual orientation.
There is absolutely no justification to deny any American the same rights and liberties that every other American has, but in the past, only white men of property had any rights.
If we were to go by the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the concept of “originalism”, we would still have denial of equality for African Americans, other ethnic minorities based on religion and nationality, gender, disability and sexual orientation.
Instead, we have had the expansion of equality over many generations of struggle, whether those who were privileged at the time liked it or not.
There is no negotiation on basic human rights in this nation, and we must all remember that when one looks at history, whether in the 19th, 20th, or 21st century, who was it, broadly based, who fought “tooth and nail” against civil rights and civil liberties for all Americans?–the conservatives of each time frame, not always identified by political party, but by an attitude of privilege and entitlement! 🙁
And who was it that fought for human rights in each time frame, not always identified by political party, but committed to justice and equality?–progressives and liberals who were committed to principles that come from the Constitutional Convention, but developed beyond the “originalism” view so vehemently espoused by conservatives!
And sooner than we think is possible, gay marriage will be accepted, as interracial marriage was adjusted to in the 1960s, and it will not be a question whether everyone approves it, as basic human rights, including marriage, are not to be seen as negotiable due to one’s personal or religious beliefs. After all, no one demands that a person like what is going on in society, but simply that he or she accept the fact that it is none of their business to interfere in a basic human right!
Personal freedom is an inviolable right that is not subject to the whim of public opinion polls!