Friday, November 14, 2008

An E-Mail from The HRC

Here are parts of an e-mail that all members of the Human Rights Campaign received last night.

I thought I would post a few pieces from it since it exhibits the care and restraint I have been searching for.

In the face of JUSTIFIED anger toward those who campaigned to take away basic human rights and those who voted overwhelmingly to support obscene laws the HRC says ...

But as the LGBT community and its allies exercise our uniquely American right to protest, I hope we will remember that our actions in the streets will set the tone for the ongoing debate about marriage equality.

In responding to the Mormon Church and the Catholic Church and the African-American community (among many others) the HRC says ...

As we ask communities of color and religious communities to engage and partner with us, we must, in turn, demonstrate our commitment to the people and issues they care about. We must show that we will not turn away from the forty-seven million uninsured once we have domestic partner benefits, and that non-discrimination laws are not complete justice when legions of children are denied equal opportunity due to failing schools, violence, and racism.

And so every member of HRC has been asked to sign a pledge ...

I pledge today to:

* Model love and justice, even as I feel anger and pain.

* Show leadership by publicly investing in the well-being of others, including those who do not yet understand our cause;

* Demonstrate my commitment to communities of color and religious communities and issues they care about;

* Help others who have experienced discrimination understand that putting the rights of one minority up for a vote puts everyone's rights at risk; and

* Confront my neighbors with my love - especially my neighbors who come from backgrounds different from mine.

I hope we all learn a little about grace. I did.

You can visit the HRC by clicking their icon on my sidebar.

I found these photos HERE


Mrs. C said...

I always appreciate when people give me grace and understand when I don't think exactly as they do. I know as I try to extend that grace to others that it leads to understanding, even if it doesn't lead to agreement.

I view some of the things that have been happening to the Mormons, blacks and Catholics as a very small, angry segment of the "community." I understand that these ruffians don't speak for LGBTs as a whole, just as I'm sure the "gay community" as a whole understands that Fred Phelps doesn't speak for people like me.

Peace and love onto you this day.


CrystalChick said...

That's a great email. We can certainly all use gentle reminders sometimes, especially about kindness and grace.

Love those pictures. Looks like some happy families to me!

Have a nice weekend, Dianne! :)

gabrielle said...

As Joan Baez glowingly reflected when she took the state last night at the State Theatre in Minneapolis, "Yes we do".
What an inspiring post! Thank you, Diane.

Dianne said...

mrs c - peace and love to you and yours as well. I am so very glad we reached across the 'divide' and became friends. I value your voice (and love your kids!!) even when I don't agree with what you're saying.

crystalchick - sure looked like some happy families to me too!! thank you.

gabrielle - ahhhh Joan! she is timeless.
thank you gabrielle.

Anndi said...

Inspiring! Thank you for sharing the e-mail and the beautiful families.

bobbie said...

Great post, Dianne. I'm so glad to read these words coming from HRC. They are exactly what's needed.

I posted on this subject today too.

Sylvia K said...

Great and inspiring words from HRC and we need to hear them, repeat them, and practice them each and every day. Thanks for the post!

Dianne said...

anndi - they are such beautiful families!! there were so many photos to choose from :)
thanks Lady. Hope Chicklet is doing better.

bobbie - as a group the HRC has never let me down. I met some of the members of their executive board in 2007 at the 'True Colors' concert. Really active and inspiring people.

sylvia - the 'practice them' part is the hard one ;)

Sparkling Red said...

The smiles on the kids' faces say everything that I want to say. :-)

Bond said...

Excellent email you says so much to what many of us have been speaking about on our blogs and in real life.

It is time for everyday kindness...

Wonderful FAMILY photos

Dianne said...

sparkling - they do :) thank you. nothing in the world as wonderful as a child's smile.

bond - I love your emphasis on family. hugs and have a happy weekend.

maryt/theteach said...

Whoopie Goldberg said on the View today that each of us should get to really know a gay family, a loving gay family with children, and then maybe, just maybe, people would not think that marriage belongs to only straight people.

Daryl said...

I am convinced that 90% of the fools who voted the amendment down dont have gay friends or know gay families ... their loss

This coming week my friend Laura turns 10 .. her mothers married legally when MA enacted their law and she attended .. they've been a couple longer than a good many hetro couples have been together ...


Dr.John said...

In the face of JUSTIFIED anger toward those who campaigned to take away basic human rights and those who voted overwhelmingly to support obscene laws.
No anger is justified. Insulting those who disagree with you does not cause them to change but to harden their position.
Like you they are angry and like you they feel righteous.

Queen-Size funny bone said...

people need to remember how they vote, you never know how it might affect someone in your family someday. never say never.

RiverPoet said...

It's true that we need to show grace for the way other people think, but we can never, ever back down. We've come too far, and Prop 8 was a huge step backwards.

Hopefully someday minds will open in this country and mouths will close.

Peace - D

Travis said...

We simply must treat everyone with respect and tolerance no matter our politics, our gender, our religion, our color, our creed or whatever else we think makes us so irretrievably different from each other.

The philosophy of "I got mine but you can't have any of mine and I don't approve of you having any of your own" just has to stop.

Ron said...

You can actually FEEL the LOVE eminating from these photos!

Bless you for sharing this, Dianne!

And bless you, for your voice!

Knight said...

Thank you so much for posting this. You always seem to find the words I'm searching for.

Matt-Man said...

I have no problem with people being gay, I just wish they would practice it with people of the opposite sex. Cheers Di!!

Dianne said...

mary - Whoppi is right except of course there will always be those like Elisabeth Hasselbeck. I had to stop watching the view after Ro left. I had watched from the start, even taped it when I was at work but the combination of Sherri being stupid and EH being EH became more than I could stand.

daryl - you're right. it's part of the problem of people living in their little insular worlds.

dr. john - I think this is more than a disagreement. this was a vote to deny people human rights. in CA it was a vote to take away what had already been given. When someone tells you your marriage isn't worthy and they have decided for you that it doesn't exist then let me know how you feel. Anger is a human emotion and often has valid reasons. how we deal with that anger is the important part. as for feeling righteous, I am flawed person just as everyone on the planet is but I do know that I have never intentionally hurt anyone or taken anything from them. those who campaigned against human rights can not say the same thing.

queen size funny bone - exactly!! or how it will affect you directly.

riverpoet - I agree!! I think the HRC is trying to diffuse the bad feelings that were causing some of the marches to be so tense. It is such an extremely personal assualt to have your marriage just wiped away and feelings are so raw. I know if it were me I'd be having a hard time feeling love towards those who voted against me. Hell I'm having a hard time now.

travis - I always imagined, when I was young and foolish, that the US would be a beacon for progressive thinking. And in many ways it is, or it certainly has the potential to be but then there are those who would catapult us backwards. As Keith O said - 'what is this to you' - and I do wonder what it is to them other than a way to feel superior or to be controlled by their churches.

ron - they are lovely families and to think there are so many more children who could be part of homes like that were it not for those who, I think, either don't realize what they're doing or are hateful asshats. 500,000 children in foster care. Shameful.

knight - I was searching for them as well kiddo, and I'm still searching. the words came from the HRC. I did feel joy at posting the photos. But I'm still searching - especially when I read comments like Dr. John's - I am righteous!! really? I'll stop there kid, I'll just keep on trying to follow the pledge I took.

matt-man - then they would be bi. I'm cool with that ;)

Jeff B said...

It always amazes me how opponents of gay marriage will espouse to how damaging a same sex relationship is to the children involved. Yet when you talk with the kids, they are no different than those of heterosexual marriages.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Being gay or straight doesn't change that one bit. The intolerance only hardens ones heart and further divides us. Sad

Good stuff Dianne

SnoopMurph said...

What beautiful photos of loving families.

Continue your message of grace and tolerance. It is hard work, but it must be done. I will visit the HRC too.

Anonymous said...

Dianne, as you know I hail from South Africa. A place that is painfully emerging from a dark place into a land with rights enshrined in it's enlightened constitution, including recognising same sex couples rights to live and love. SA's new democracy has issues to overcome, but the basics are in place. Sadly the painful truth of transition to Democracy has resulted in weak governance and crime is at pandemic levels. Wanderlust and self preservation mean my Fabulous Other Half and I have been searching for somewhere we can call home. Somewhere we can live and love. We have chosen Canada because here we are valued, our contribution welcomed and our commitment honoured and accepted.

Your beautiful country didn't/couldn't feature as a possible choice. How does this fit with a nation that claims to be a beacon of democracy calling for others to heed human rights while clearly it's own people don't believe the same rules apply at home?

I grew up in a place that seemed like it would never change, but hope, love and the support of good people moved mountains and now South Africa is on that bumpy journey from dark to light.

Keep believing that hope, love, grace and tolerance will make a difference.

Raven said...

I love the pledge points. Great post. Did you hear the Keith Olberman rant on Prop 8. It was eloquent. Maybe I'll go find it and post it.

I look forward to the return of Finola and her friends and family next week. Hope you get your project finished more easily than you anticipate.

Rambling Woods said...

I too loved what Keith Olberman had to say about boiled down to the right to have a little happiness and love in this world...

new location of
Rambling Woods

Dianne said...

jeff - thanks for saying that, especially since you're such a good Dad, your words carry extra weight.

snoop - thanks, the photos are so lovely and there are so many at the link. thanks for checking out the HRC

rob - I will keep believing :)
I'm sorry my country wasn't a possibility for you, we need more people like you - voices of intelligence. I'm hopeful for the upcoming years now that we have new leadership and ignorance and fear will not be my country's main exports any longer.

raven - I have played Keith many, many times. He always makes me feel better.

rambling - exactly!! how can that possibly be a problem!?

Claire, said...

Aww, great post, tugging heart strings I hope, tugged mine.

the walking man said...

It seems it is ever the voice of moderation and reason that is always ignored.

DivaJood said...

I'm giving you a new award. It's pretty. C'mon over.

Dianne said...

claire - thanks, I too hope some hearts are tugged :)

mark - true.

jood - I will be over soon :)

Bob-kat said...

I agree, beautifully put. The fourth point is especially pertinent I think in that the people who are voting against equality now, should not assume that they're 'rights' are untouchable.

I honestly have trouble understanding how anyone could vote against equality for someone else. It's not as if they are even being asked to forego their own rights or compromise them in any way. What are they afraid of? When the right to civil marriages between same sexes in the UK was introduced a few years ago, it was generally embraced by society here (individuals grumbled but that was it). I wish these oragnisations would put they're fear aside and practice the love and tolerance that the HRC advocates.

CG said...

What wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What BEAUTIFUL pictures....! I know so very many Gay Couples with children. Long-time Committed Couples...It is very very heartening. Especially Heartening, when it seems that the Divorce rate among so called "straight" marriages----between Hetrosexuals is at an ALL time high! It seems to me, these couples..These Gay Couples, have more stability in their relationships than straight couples.....! Human Rights must always be first and formost,
GREAT POST Dianne, as always!

Deborah Godin said...

Kudos to the HRC for their statement, and to you for posting it!

Dianne said...

bob-kat - the same with Canada!! Not anywhere near the drama we're going through here in the States. Which brings me to one of my greatest fears - the US will struggle for many many years to come to be a truly Progressive nation due to the workings of the right wing and organzied religions. Makes me freaking nuts!!

oldold lady of the hills - first and foremost!! You got it :)
thank you!!

deborah - thank you :)

Linda Reeder said...

Wonderful post. Grace under fire is hard to practice, but it is almost always the most effective means to achieve a purpose in the long run.
I continually find that hetero people who have no experience with gays and lesbians are the ones who judge them harshly, and honestly think they don't know any. Ignorance is always the enemy.