Random thoughts and copies of emails that I spend way too much time on.
Saturday, July 22, 1995
Opposing Discrimination in Washington way back in 1995.
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 1995 21:32:30 -0400
Did you get my article? Here's another one that might interest you. It's
from the Gay Pride issue of my store newsletter.
Discrimination is defined as "the act, practice, or an instance of
discriminating categorically rather than individually." This definition is
from the online dictionary from America Online. It means using stereotypes
to define a person instead of true knowledge of them as an individual.
Two initiatives are currently going around Washington State that directly
affect anyone who has dealt with legal discrimination based on sexual
orientation. These initiatives are 166 and 167. Hands Off Washington,
Citizens for Fairness is an anti-discrimination political force that sprang
into being when 608 and 610 came up a few years ago, and is now working to
fight these new initiatives to ensure they do not get a chance.
Initiative 166 is a retry of Initaitive 608. This initiative would void the
few legal protections that already exist against discrimination based on
sexual orientation on local levels like Seattle's city ordinance. It would
ban the future enactment or enforcement of such protections. Further, it
would censor employees, students, and guests in public schools of any grade
level from any discussion of sexuality issues except in negative terms or
condemnation. There remain serious questions about its impact on parenting
by gays and lesbians, contractual relationships (i.e. co-ownership of your
home with a same-gender partner), and wills and other legal arrangements
regarding decisions in the event you become incapacitiated or die.
Initiative 167 is even more misunderstood and dangerous. This initiative is
being discussed in the press and elsewhere as a "ban on lesbian and gay
adoption". That description is incomplete and inaccurate--this initative is
an attack on the entire adoption and foster care system. While it does
contain a ban on gay & lesbian adoption and foster parenting, it also bans
such parenting by any unmarried couples, gay or not. It also sets a
preference for placing children with married male-female couples over single
people. (Forget the fact that currently, the vast majority of foster care is
provided by single women!) To quote the text of the initiative, "The people
further find that there is a compelling state interest in the adoptive and
foster care placement of minor children, if at all possible, in sound,
married, male-female households." This means that, even if you make
custodial arrangements for your child, the state can override those
arrangements if your chosen godparent is not married to someone of the
opposite gender. In other words, the state would rather put your child in a
home with married strangers rather than allow a widowed grandmother, a
heterosexual uncle who lives with his girlfriend, or a lesbian aunt to raise
them per your own wishes. Amazing but true!
I have the entire text of the bill if you would like to see it. Basically,
anything less than the Brady Bunch is just not acceptable.
Initiative 167 also says this: "A person residing in the state of Washington
or a nonprofit entity doing business in this state has standing to enforce
the provisions of this act." This means that individuals or non-profit
entities (i.e. Churches) who disagree with where a child is living can call
the state and request to have the child removed from where he/she is living.
I really need to talk about this, but I'm wondering how to put it in words.
I hope this works: Some people are under the impression that discrimination
against Gays and Lesbians is not the same as discrimination against Women,
Blacks, Jews or Native Americans. But being a woman is not defined by how a
female dresses, or thinks, it's who that person is. Being Black is part of
someone; it doesn't wash away. Being Jewish or Native American is not
primarily defined by genetics, but by culture; the way a person is raised to
follow a certain set of values. The way I understand being Gay or Lesbian is
the same way. It's not important what a person does or does not do, or how
that person thinks or works or lives. Being Gay or Lesbian is not "just a
phase." Nor is it an act. It just is. Being Gay is not what I do, it is
WHO I AM, and there is a definite difference between the two phrases. Being
Gay defines me as a person, just like being American defines me as person. I
was raised to find my own way to my own brand of happiness. And I have found
it. No one has the right to try and take it away from me because they don't
agree with it. Anyone who tries is wrong.
These two initiatives and many others nationwide affect me directly. My
husband Kyros and I have been together for 6 years as of May 6th, and we are
damn proud of that fact. So I am spending some of my energy to fight these
initiatives, and stop them or anything like them from ever bothering me or
mine again. As far as I am concerned, anything that advocates discrimination
is a direct violation of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United
States. I was born here, so I have my rights. No one is going to take them
Chad A. Lupkes
Orion at Twilight
2934B Colby Ave
Everett, WA 98201
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Chad Lupkes is a progressive political activist in Seattle, Washington. After fighting cancer in 2003 and realizing that 47+ Million people in the United States didn't have access to health care he determined that that will change.
The conservative movement is wrong, and they know it.