It always brightens my day to read a letter in the Post-Gazette section focusing on the civil rights of the gay community. Here's one example from Tuesday.
Electing Barack Obama to be our president is a step toward eliminating racism; for this I am joyous and grateful. But sadly, eliminating racism does not mean ending discrimination.
This Election Day, voters in several states chose to enshrine discrimination into their state constitutions; Arizona, Florida and California voted to outlaw gay marriage while Arkansas voted to end the right to adoption for a targeted group of people.
All of these states passed constitutional amendments to eliminate civil rights for same-sex couples. Unequal treatment under the law is being written into state constitutions across our country.
Shame on all of us.
Christine makes an excellent point about constitutionalizing discrimination against an entire set of people. The follow up point would be the fallout these actions have on our most vulnerable citizens – children. The law in Arkansas prohibits unmarried couples of all stripes from adopting or fostering children. Any foster care recruiter or adoption specialist can tell you how many children languish because there are not enough homes that meet the existing standards or willing to step forward. So now that state just wipes an entire class of people off the consideration board because they are in an unmarried relationship to restrict the rights of gay people. Who suffers? The teenagers living in residential settings because there aren't enough families. The teens living on the streets because there aren't enough families. The little children living in substandard homes because the pool of qualified homes has been reduced.
Shame is right.