Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gayly Moving Forward

We learn hierarchical behaviors in any hierarchy, it doesn't matter which one. If we want to end hierarchies, we can't discriminate against any hierarchy as far as taking a stand.

The hierarchy of sexual orientation is our current 'hierarchy-du-jour." While we're in the middle of learning about it, it's difficult to see the same hierarchical attitudes and behaviors that are obvious in previously fought equality battles, such as gender or race.

There are those who find it difficult to support Hillary Clinton's message that the U.S. is going to use the tools of U.S. diplomacy to promote gay rights around the world. Decades from now, however, our grandchildren will understand that this declaration is as important as sanctions on South Africa years ago.

Charlotte lives in Springfield, Oregon. She is proud of her City Council for recently giving quick and unanimous approval to an ordinance that protects lesbians and gays against discrimination. Even thought the amendment is just "housekeeping," (the State of Oregon passed a anti-discrimination law in 2007), the Springfield act is especially sweet due to the city's history.

Springfield drew national attention in 1992 for becoming the first city in the U.S. to add anti-gay/lesbian rights language to its code. That year, 55% of Springfield voters approved a ballot measure that barred the city from taking any step to protect homosexuals from discrimination and stated that the city could not "promote, encourage or facilitate" homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism or masochism.

The current mayor of Springfield said that this recent charter addition was an important step toward ridding the city of some of the "stigma" it had earned through the 1992 vote. She said that the memory of the 1992 vote had lived on for many years, particularly in the minds of people outside the community.

When we weaken the sexual orientation hierarchy, we go a long ways to weaken all hierarchies.