Research This, Fella

From the Huffington Post, Palm Center Research Fellow Nathaniel Frank on ‘separate but equal’:

America, the birthplace of freedom and the source of that bold and noble assertion that we are all “created equal,” offers no such right, and in fact barred that right proactively just twelve years ago: no matter how many states allow same-sex marriage, the 1996 “Defense of Marriage Act” makes sure the feds do not recognize a gay marriage.

Here, perhaps more than anywhere, words are not merely symbolic. Unlike Britain, which still has titles and a Queen, our nation was born of rhetoric that contained an idea–one that explicitly swore off the value of blood, birth and the past, and embraced the proposition that all have equal dignity. When African-Americans refused to sit at the back of the bus in the Jim Crow South, it wasn’t because walking a few extra steps was a material deprivation, but because it said to the world that they were second-class citizens.

This is why the Supreme Court declared in 1954 that separate is “inherently unequal.” A law that denies a group of citizens equal access to a public institution serves no other purpose than to declare that group to be lesser. And this is why it is nonsense to say gays and lesbians can enjoy equality before the law while they are barred from taking their place in one of the most fundamental institutions in American life–the one and only “marriage.”

Howza ’bout the E-word: employment?

And howza ’bout the T-word: transsexual?

If you’re going to rant about ‘separate but equal’, don’t forget the separate-and-inherently-unequal status that non-trans gays have created for trans people in several states and, if St. Barney has his way, would also be established at the federal level.

Research that, fella.

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