Common Ground Ignored. Now what?

me1Today, the most prominent, and likely to pass of the Common Ground Initiative Bills was defeated in a motion 8-5, the Fair Workplace and Housing Bill.

Testimony was beautiful, Rep. Christine Johnson was (as always), eloquent, funny and moving.  Members of the Utah community spoke: from a transgender minister, to a local (straight) business owner, to a gay member of the LDS church. Stories were told of an LDS man, who is married to his wife and has 5 children but was fired from his job after over a decade of work on suspicion (because of his feminine voice) of being gay. Rep. Hansen gave a beautiful speech about how bills tend to be either against people or for people, and let’s do something for people. Rep. Johnson gave a beautiful summary stating that voting for this bill did not mean that you were pro-equal marriage, or even pro-homosexuality/transgenderism; but voting against this bill did mean that you were pro-discrimination.

And still, the nay vote came.

So now what? I’ve had 14 emails, 9 texts and 8 voicemails today asking if it’s over, asking if that’s all she wrote. My answer? Never.

What we are at is the beginning. This is the beginning of the rise to equality in Utah, this is the rise of equality in our country. One by one, states have seen the innate evil of refusing to protect their citizens, of denying people what is “inherently” theirs. And Utah will be no different.

We all know what kind of state we live in, of the raging ultra-conservatism that guides us. And yet we do not stop. We do not give in just because some nobody like Gayle Ruzicka says so. We do not stop fighting because the Sutherland Institute or the Utah Eagle Forum claims to have won do we?

I say never. I say that I will never stop fighting for my rights, and the rights of all Utahns and Americans who are oppressed or and beaten down for being themselves. I will never stop fighting for myself, for you and for all the “rest of us,” who they think don’t matter. Our voices will be heard. Our faces will be known, our memories shall be cherished. And long after you and I have turned to dust, our children’s children will thank us for the stand we make today.

I make no apologies for who I am. I make no apologies for who and what I believe in. I believe that I will be fully recognized and protected under the law as my straight brothers and sisters. I believe that I will no longer worry from day to day about losing my job or my home. I believe (yes, I’ll say it) that someday I will have the option of marrying another man legally in this state. But these changes will never come if I do nothing, and I will NEVER do nothing. Who stands with me? Who believes with me that we shall see these changes in our lives? Who stands with me?

Advertisements

19 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Scott on February 17, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Well said Eric!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Lu Prickett on February 17, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    I DO

    Reply

  3. […] RMW wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptFebruary 17, 2009 by ethingtoneric “The Pig“. me1 Today, the most prominent, and likely to pass of the Common Ground Initiative Bills was defeated in a motion 8-5, the Fair Workplace and Housing Bill. Testimony was beautiful, Rep. … […]

    Reply

  4. Posted by Dominique on February 18, 2009 at 12:05 am

    My heart has been sliced to ribbons today. I listened to Eagle Forum, Sutherland Institute, and the American whatthefuckever he is, talk about ugly gay sex. Everything that comes out of their collective mouths refers to how icky gay sex is and how that icky gay sex is the doom of the world.

    Everything they said was based on lies, innuendo, and made up bollocks.

    Two of them even said that although “every credible source” (their words, not mine) has reported that children raised in homosexually parented familes are different than children raised in heterosexually parented families.

    “They’re all wrong,” they emphatically stated. Because they don’t agree with God’s law.

    Are you kidding me? WTF?

    Again, lie after lie after lie… all the while claiming moral superiority.

    And the experts they quoted? Themselves. Yep, themselves. They printed and distributed reports that they themselves wrote. Reports that have not been accepted or verified by any reputable source, nor printed anywhere but by themselves.

    One of them bragged about how he and his wife have 21 children, yet conveniently left out the part where he is under investigation for molesting some of them.

    Again, explain to me how they are morally superior???????

    Reply

  5. Posted by Rhonda on February 18, 2009 at 12:18 am

    I agree. I am going to be there bright and early tomorrow, at the Capitol for HB160. I will be there for me and to show them I will not give up. I know I deserve these rights and I know we all deserve these rights. We have to keep up the energy and fight again. I hope, through this fight it might make it a little easier for the ones that are raising up.

    Very well put Eric and thank you.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Thomas R on February 18, 2009 at 1:44 am

    Beautifully written, Eric. I didn’t think I had it in me to fight another battle like this, having done it for so long in California. But as long as there are people with passion who will continue to fight, I realize now that I will continue to fight until the day I die. Ill stand with you.

    Reply

  7. At the risk of sounding like a rabblerouser, it sure sounds to me like Utahns have grounds for showing up at Francine Giani’s office and demanding some answers.

    “America Forever” broke Utah law with their recent ad that ran in the Utah papers seeking donations.

    Enforcing those laws is Francine Giani’s job.

    Why does Giani get a pass when it comes to doing her job?

    Is there some “unwritten order” beyond the rule of law that the rest of us outside of Utah should be aware of?

    Reply

  8. Posted by White Married Man on February 18, 2009 at 10:34 am

    This will not end, throughout the history of our country we have seen that those fighting for a just cause win. It does not matter who’s God says that a minority should be discriminated against. In the end that view of God is seen as wrong and gets changed. In 50 years our children and grand children will wounder how such discrimination ever took place against the gay community.

    At this point most of Utahans support the rights captured in the common grounds bills. This comes down to one minority persecuting another minority. The leaders in the committees are afraid that their constituents would not support them if they supported gay rights. We still have some bills that we can try to get passed this time, but we need to get the vote for these rights placed in front of everyone who cares. We have the support of the people, now we need Utahans to show that to the our government.

    Reply

  9. Eric,

    This is def the beginning of the fight, and it is a fight that will be won. Two years ago it would have been unanimous against. It takes time to move minds, but it will be done.

    Shawn

    Reply

  10. Posted by Jenn on February 18, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I’m sending follow-up letters to all of the representatives today, with particular emphasis placed on those who opposed these measures. I am heartbroken for our community, but completely agree with you, Eric. None of us, gay or straight or any other individual, should or can give up. There is no smooth sailing, but there is a successful end in sight, somewhere out there, and hopefully it’s closer than any of us could have imagined.

    Reply

  11. Posted by Anna Whitfield on February 18, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Eric,

    I am a straight active member of the LDS faith. Please know that there are many of us who support you. Your rights are my rights. When your rights are being trampled on, we all are. Keep on fighting. We will not agree on all of the same things morally, but I believe with my whole heart in your right to follow yours. Stay strong!

    Reply

  12. Posted by Dominique on February 18, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Eric,

    America Forever’s license expired long ago. It is not the 1st time it has expired, and they were given a pass last time, too.

    The license they did have, from what I’ve read, does not allow them to participate in the political action type activities they are engaged in.

    They also were investigated for, and found guilty of issuing false documents to undocumented immigrants. They were also given a pass for that.

    Reply

  13. Posted by Rachel on February 18, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    I stand with ya’, man.

    Reply

  14. Posted by Cyanide on February 18, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    It’s coming to a boil…

    Reply

  15. Posted by Jared on February 19, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    “I say never. I say that I will never stop fighting for my rights, and the rights of all Utahns and Americans who are oppressed or and beaten down for being themselves. I will never stop fighting for myself, for you and for all the “rest of us,” who they think don’t matter. Our voices will be heard. Our faces will be known, our memories shall be cherished. And long after you and I have turned to dust, our children’s children will thank us for the stand we make today.”

    WOW. You gave me chills and brought a tear to my eye. That has to be the most beautiful statement I have read regarding Equality in a very long time. I applaud you.

    Reply

  16. Posted by Eric on February 21, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Very heartfelt, if a bit of a non-sequitur. I admire your tenacity in fighting for your rights, but if you hold to the positions you currently say you do, it will not be your “children’s children” thanking you for the stand you take today.

    That would simply be a mathematical, generational, and genetic impossibility.

    Reply

    • Posted by ethingtoneric on February 21, 2009 at 4:09 pm

      Eric;

      Thank you for your thoughts. But you’re conclusion isn’t really reality-based. Are you saying that if you adopted a child, that it wouldn’t really be your child? Or if you and your partner were to use the services of a birth mother, that it wouldn’t actually be your child? I’m afraid you’re not really thinking things through my friend.

      Cheers,
      Eric Ethington

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: