Monday, January 17, 2011

Does it matter that Daniel Hernandez is gay?

The quick thinking of Daniel Hernandez, an intern in Rep Giffords' office, may have saved her life. He's being called a hero by the President as well as many others.

If you read the comments to the articles, people are saying "why does it matter that he's gay?"

It matters. Because this brave young man is nevertheless a second class citizen.

Daniel cannot serve in the military. DADT repeal is a process, not yet complete, the Department of Justice is still defending DADT in court, and service members are still at risk if they come out.

Daniel cannot marry the person of his choice in Arizona. If he does marry in one of the few states that allow it, there is no legal recognition by the US government, which continues to defend DOMA. He will be described as "single" on his tax forms and his passport; and his marriage is simply viewed as nonexistent in at least 41 states of the Union.

Daniel can be fired simply for being gay in most states, including Arizona.

Republican candidates fall over themselves to explain how much they despise people like Daniel, how they aren't deserving of rights or protections. Religious figures compare the gay rights movement to the works of Satan.

Daniel Hernandez is a fine young man and we should be proud of him. And the fact that he is denied full civil rights is certainly germane to the discussion of his selfless and brave acts in Tucson. Once we have equal rights, then indeed our sexuality will be irrelevant. How I long for that day. But since the nation MAKES us different, that difference matters.

1 comment:

Pagan Sphinx said...

You are so right that it matters. Thanks for this post.