Friday
February 3, 2006
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Volume 34
Issue 05
 
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Anderson-Murray Civil Rights Bill: Let's not sit on our laurels just yet, but prepare to fight
Anderson-Murray Civil Rights Bill: Let's not sit on our laurels just yet, but prepare to fight
'Just as racism still rears its ugly head from time to time...homophobia will not go away with the passage of this bill. In fact, you can bet your butt...that forces...are already mobilizing to fight for a repeal of the law and to push us all back into our respective closets.'

by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN Staff Writer

From celebrating with hundreds of friends and others who gathered in the lobby of the Paramount last week, after the passing the Gay Rights Bill, to defending the stepped on rights of a Black man who was the victim of racism on the bus; a reminder of where we are and where we still have to go. Watching that idiot driver rake the man over the coals to 'save face' after his little 'turf war' over the man's bus pass became public to the rest of us on the bus, I realized that as a Dyke who is also Black, it was important to be ever vigilant about the issues of equal rights. It made me realize, we have only started to fight for our rights by winning passage of the Gay Rights Bill last week.

Just as racism still rears its ugly head from time to time in the most subtle and insidious ways, homophobia will not go away with the passage of this bill. In fact, you can bet your butt that forces within the right wing campaigns are already mobilizing to fight for a repeal of the law and to push us all back into our respective closets.

As far as I'm concerned the passage of that bill was like a gauntlet, in some ways, to engage the right wing and fight even harder for the rest of our rights. The right to marry who we choose and to have those unions respected, and, celebrated in the same ways that hetero unions are now, and, to have our spouses protected under the law, the same as heteros are.

But that battle isn't going to be won overnight, as this bill wasn't won overnight. And keeping it on the books isn't going to be easy. Nope, you can guarantee more people like hind-headed Reverend Ken Hutcherson (I'm so mad he's Black and I'm Black too, and he doesn't see the relationship between racism and homophobia the way I do) are going to pressure the other rightwingers in government to step in and demolish this hard won victory.

Just as right wing bigots have been trying to repeal civil rights laws under the Bush administration in the name of 'homeland security.' So, we must not rest just yet, but continue to be present and vocal in our own defense and the defense of our community and of our natural, not 'special' rights.

I know I certainly had a cold slap in the face witnessing that bus driver's racism, and it was a wake up call that, yes, we live in an extremely dangerous time where our basic rights are concerned. So, even as we are celebrating victory, let's begin making coalitions with other groups and going into churches that are Gay friendly, making allies, because we will need them, very soon.

And let's not drop the ball, but work even harder to insure that we are equal in all ways, including the right to marry and celebrate who we are, who we love and what we do. Trust me, at my new age of 50, I know, down in my core, only by continuing to be 'the squeaky wheel' will we win the true victory, and not lose the one we have won.

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