In my family, I am the leader of the "Half Full Glass" club. I don't have to try hard -- it comes kind of naturally. I am a silver-lining kind of gal.
But not today. I think I've just had it.
The New York Times reports this morning that 66 countries around the world supported an unprecedented declaration seeking to decriminalize homosexuality.
Let's take a short quiz, shall we? I will list five countries. Pick the country that did NOT sign the declaration. Ready?
2. Czech Republic (that country John McCain kept calling Czechoslovakia)
4. United States
OK, time's up. The correct (and reprehensible and sad and demoralizing) answer is the UNITED STATES.
I know I am supposed to be thrilled at the precedent setting nature of this declaration, but the truth is that I'm fed up. The lame excuse we gave is as follows:
We are opposed to any discrimination, legally or politically, but the nature of our federal system prevents us from undertaking commitments and engagements where federal authorities don't have jurisdiction
I am reminded once more of something a therapist said to me long ago. "When you insert the work BUT into a sentence, it invalidates everything that comes before it." (Examples: I love you BUT... You look beautiful BUT... This is a great memo BUT...) (you get the idea)
My representative to the U.N. reads this text of the declaration:
Just like apartheid laws that criminalized sexual relations between different races, laws against homosexuality "are increasingly becoming recognized as anachronistic and as inconsistent both with international law and with traditional values of dignity, inclusion and respect for all.
A declaration that is, btw, NOT EVEN BINDING! And my country can't sign it.
Combine this slap in the face with President-elect Obama's decision to give Rick Warren a place of honor at the Inauguration and I sit here feeling sad and angry. These last 24 hours stand as a painful reminder to me that I am a second class citizen. That I am thought of as less than. And that my country seems OK with that.
I see no silver lining in that.
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