Tag Archives: legal rights

Adding Insult to Injury

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Adding Insult to Injury

He waited there

in all black

With a copy of Burrough’s Naked Lunch.

He didn’t read it.

It was a prop.

I, in my best work dress, came in

With every pay stub for the past six months

In chronological order,

Proof of insurance, day care bills,

Government assistance,

My lease, birth certificates, social security cards,

And a host of other documents

That I was threatened to have.

When we were brought in

to see the magistrate

She complimented him

For showing up.

She asked him about his unemployment issues

Then likened him to her own son

Who had to move back home with her.

She opened our case folder

With the big red “Domestic Violence”

Stamp across it.

“I really sympathize with your situation.”

She said to him.

“I hope it gets better for you soon.”

She didn’t look at my folders

Painstakingly gathered and formed

By my O/CD and fear

That I didn’t have every required document.

Finally she looked at me.

And awarded me

$50 a month for our two baby girls.

.

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(de)liberation

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“I had only been four days in Iraq” Jamie began, “when I was walking back to my barracks one night and was suddenly surprised by a group of guys surrounding me saying things like, ‘I’m getting’ a piece of that…we’re ALL getting a piece of that, aren’t we?’  I wanted to laugh it off and just keep walking because they had to just be messing around, and I kept thinking that until I was pinned on the ground as each man took his ugly turn while the rest were holding me down and egging him on until I finally passed out.  Broken, bruised, and barely able to function, I practically crawled to my supervisor’s place and explained the whole thing, but in a whirlwind, he had me ‘escorted’ to a storage facility and locked in there with armed guards carrying uzis.  After about three days, one guard, Ali had a nice face, and seemed to feel for me, so when I begged him for the opportunity to at least call my father, he handed me his own cell phone.  From the moment of my call to my father contacting our senator, to the senator gathering a rescue crew to save me took about five more days to the best of my estimation, but when I got back to the U.S. I couldn’t even bring them up on charges because there was some clause in the fine print of my contract.”

After hearing this, the Congress was asked to vote over not giving contracts to companies who have these clauses, THIRTY (Republican) Senators voted against it, because regulating business is such a ‘Liberal’ idea.

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Loving, Loving day, and other civil rights…

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wedding14“It’s not natural.”  “It goes against the Bible.”  “It is not what God intended.”  These are things we hear so often today, but didn’t we hear these very same things just over 40 years ago?  Except then, no one was referring to gay marriages; they were referring to interracial marriages.  Religious people had their reasons, politicians had their reasons, and average citizens had their reasons.  It was toted as some HUGE unnatural sin that would be judged by God, and would bring down society as we know it.

It’s interesting how we are seeing the exact argument today about gay marriages.  How in the world do gay marriages affect straight marriages?  We don’t arrange marriages in America anymore, so why would a stranger think they can decide if any couple can get married?  More importantly, why is the government even putting it up to a vote?  The government didn’t put interracial marriages to a vote because it would have never passed.  It really only effected a small percentage of the entire population.  Very much like gay marriages.  The government had to take upon themselves to decide that citizens’ rights are for all citizens.  That no one else should be able to decided who you can fall in love with, who you can marry, and who you can have children with.

When Eartha Kitt was born in South Carolina under so much controversy and legal issues, he mother had to send her to New York City when she was 8.  Her mother was Black/Cherokee and her father was white.  This is the exact same mix my own daughters are.  In some states in the 50’s and 60’s they could have been taken away from me for being mixed.  My marriage would have been considered illegal, and we would have been put in jail.  It seems crazy now, but it was very serious then.  We all know that black men were killed for touching, talking to, or even looking at white women in the south.  Miscegenation in all of it’s forms was illegal. Even against great opposition, the Supreme Court passed a decision.  The Loving v. Virginia decision in 1967 overturned that stating that race-based legal restrictions on marriage were unconstitutional.

I asked one of my lesbian friends why this issue was so important.  She said that when her lover was sick in the hospital, she was not allowed to be there and the doctors wouldn’t talk to her because she was not related.  Had they been married, there would have been no restrictions.  She said she had a friend once who died in a car accident.  Her parents, who hadn’t talked to her since she came out to them, decided where to bury her, even though she wanted to be cremated, automatically received all of her property and money, and wouldn’t even allow her long-time partner to the funeral.  They had lived together over 10 years.  My friend has lived with the same woman for a very long time.  Her lover has a good job with full-benefits.  My friend owns her own business.  She cannot be under her lover’s health-care plan, and has never been able to have insurance.

I have a lot of gay friends who have children, and I rarely see better parents.  They have a lot of money to provide for everything, and their children are never surprises; they are well-planned for.  And unlike popular myth, being gay does not rub off.  You are born with it.  All my friends “knew” around 3rd or 4th grade.

My issues are always with civil rights and justice.  If it doesn’t affect you, there is no reason you should have a say on how others live their lives.  Every citizen who calls themselves American should be afforded the same rights and responsibilities of that privilege.  We all pay taxes, and we expect paved roads, and good schools for our children, police protection, and all of those other rights and freedoms that most Americans get to enjoy.