|The only exclusively lesbian-oriented publication in the Phoenix Area
|Marriage doesn't equal equality
By JJ Esplin
Gay marriage does not guarantee equality.
When New York approved gay marriage, my Facebook page was full of people cheering for
“equality.” However, if woke up tomorrow and gay marriage was legal in all 50 states, it would
still be legal in 29 states to fire people for being gay. In 39 states, people can be fired for
being transgendered. This is according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC),
Yes, in Arizona you could be fired tomorrow for being gay and would have little legal recourse.
You could be legally married and still be unable to pay for food, housing and clothing because
you are gay. Would your marriage survive that situation? Plenty of straight ones don’t.
Oh, and did you know that the Salvation Army, which is a church, not a social service
organization, has a set policy of firing gay employees?
You can be discriminated in a myriad of ways. You could still be a victim of a hate crime. You
could be discriminated against in getting housing. You could have trouble getting adequate,
appropriate health care.
It is obvious that getting legally married does not solve all issues of discrimination. In
focusing single mindedly on gay marriage, all these other important issues are being pushed
to the wayside. When was the last time you read an article or saw a TV show focusing on the
Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA)? I was amazed a couple of weeks ago at the
Santa Fe Pride when an HRC fundraiser stopped and talked to me not about gay marriage,
but about ENDA. Too be honest, I’d have blown her off if she started talking to me about gay
marriage. As it was, I made a contribution.
One of the earliest humanist psychology theorists, Abraham Maslow, created a triangle called
the Hierarchy of Needs. The basic idea was the lower level needs had to be achieved before
a person could really work toward higher needs. The lowest needs were food and water and it
is obvious that a person who doesn’t have food and water and has no way to get them is not
going to be able to focus on much else until he gets them. Other needs include shelter and
clothing. These are needs that a job can provide. Having a fulfilling relationship is much
higher up the hierarchy of needs.
So, are we focused on more advanced needs and ignoring the basic needs?
Just remember, marriage does not equal equality.
|Columns by JJ Esplin
|After Ellen - news,
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on lesbian & bisexual
women in entertainment
& the media
|Jib Jab - Hilarious
ecards for all
occasions - many of
them animated, &
|Here! TV - gay television on
|I Deserve to Live
By JJ Esplin
They defeated the Mississippi personhood amendment, but never doubt that this movement
of radical abortion opponents will slog on. Not only should abortion be used for birth control,
but even in medical cases the woman should be allowed to die rather than disturb a collection
of cells that would not be capable of surviving anyway. The abortion opponents have decided
that they have the right to decide whether or not women deserve to live.
Having had a medical abortion (ectopic pregnancy) I have a hard time not taking that
personally. They are telling women just like me that they should just die. How is that not a
personal attack of all women who have ever been in that situation? We produced and
imperfect fetus and we should die because of that.
Until recently, I had been vaguely pro-choice. It would take a book to list all the reasons why a
13-year-old girl who was raped by a family member should not carry the pregnancy to term. If
anyone doubts this, think about being 13 and whether that is something you would have
wanted for yourself.
Women have abortions for a wide variety of women and they should be allowed to make that
decision for themselves. Does anyone else really know what is best for her? She is an adult
human being. She can choose.
I was approached at the local farmer’s market by a woman asking for donations for the local
crisis pregnancy center. I asked her a few questions (They give girls “the truth.”) I finally told
her I knew very well about those centers and I wasn’t giving her a penny. I didn’t say more
because I didn’t want to cause a conflict in the middle of town, but I later regretted not asking
her if I should be alive.
I was pro-choice. Now I am pro-choice and angry. In a day and age when women are
considered mere incubators for collections of cells, how can I not be? Why is wrong with a
society where I feel I need to protest that I have a right to be alive? Didn’t we already come to
the conclusion that women are people? Why are we sliding into a not very positive past?
I had to make a choice. It was a difficult choice. I was depressed afterword. But it gave me the
rest of my life. I should not have to justify that choice to people who weren’t there and are never
going to be there. At the time, I simply went to a hospital in Scottsdale. Now, in some cases,
women have to travel to other states and face protestors. It takes an unbelievable amount of
self-righteous gall to stand and tell women they should just lie down and allow themselves to
bleed to death internally. I tremble to ask, but is that what they would want for their own
I am a person and I don’t have to justify my personal choices to religious fanatics. The same
goes for all the other women in the world. We are real people.
Keep an eye on the abortion opponents. They will keep trying.