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A Green Call for Equal Rights Regardless of Sexual Orientation

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There has been an overwhelming amount of controversy in this country regarding the

rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The GLBT community has been

under fire for wanting the same things that everyone enjoys - freedom from job

discrimination, freedom to marry, freedom to start a family - the freedom to be

themselves whenever they want. As a member of the Green party, this isn't exactly brain

surgery. This is what our country is all about, freedom and tolerance. So why are so

many people in a fuss about who marries whom, or if a same-sex couple wants to adopt a

child? The freedoms from discrimination should not be denied to anyone regardless of

sexual orientation.

When Massachusetts approved gay marriage in their state legislature in 2004, it

sparked a huge chain reaction that pitted conservatives against the GLBT community, and

almost led to a constitutional ban known as the Federal Marriage Amendment. It failed,

fortunately, but conservatives have promised to bring it back. So what's the big deal?

Conservatives say that they are "protecting the sanctity of marriage." Who are "we"

protecting it for? And from what?

It's been more than 10 years since the U.S. military's ban on gay and lesbian

personnel, known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue, Don't Harass," became official.

This was signed by former president Bill Clinton. There have been many discharges of

homosexual personnel since this bill was signed, and many of those troops have been

important links in the current war in Iraq. For example, 24 linguists, most of them trained

in Arabic or Korean, have been discharged in recent months. Donald Rumsfeld said,

"You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want." It seems the Army we

have wasn't good enough either.

Many conservatives look to the Bible and point to the book of Leviticus - the story

of the city that was destroyed by God because of its sinful behavior. One of the sins that

condemned the town was the practice of homosexuality. Now while this seems like the




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