Wednesday, October 17, 2012

One reason why I will vote for Obama

It will come as a surprise to no one that I have voted Democratic for years, although interestingly enough, it was only this year that I actually changed my voting registration to Democrat from Independent. Long ago I realized that with my convictions about women's rights and equality issues, social justice, and helping those in need, the Democratic party would almost inevitably be my choice. 

While I do not hold Evangelical Christian views, I was raised in the United Methodist Church, long known for its strong support of social justice issues. The things I was taught in church both as a young person and then later when I worked for the church  gave me a strong foundation of helping others and fighting for equality and individual rights, and also honoring beliefs different from my own. 

 As an adult I have been actively involved in many social issues, from answering suicide hotline phones to working for reproductive rights to supporting women's equality to advocating for mental health and most recently, to working with our county Democratic Central Committee. I have actively supported freedom of speech through jobs in education and libraries. For the last five years I have been deeply involved in programs  to end violence against women and girls. I also support arts programs in communities and schools through both participation and advocacy, and always have supported libraries.

I have always believed and was taught to believe by my parents and my church that we are all equal people. We all have the capacity (and indeed the command) to love each other, to help each other, and to accept each other where we are, although I'd admit that can be a real stretch of faith sometimes. 

Jesus didn't say that SOME of us are more equal than others, more deserving. He hung out with the thieves, the drunks, the outcasts. He treated women equally with men. He told us to do to others as we want them to do to us -- and did not add exceptions to that rule.

Today I saw a wonderful video from a variety of gay, lesbian and transgendered citizens who support President Obama, and why they are afraid of how their rights will change under a Republican administration. You can see it here. 

 I have many friends and loved ones who are gay or lesbian or heterosexual, who are women, who are men. I am indeed blessed to know so many people with such a diversity of opinion, education, talent, commitment, wit, and intelligence! 

One of them today posted on her Facebook page the following:
"We are three weeks out, the next President may very well have an unprecedented impact on the Supreme Court and henceforth my and my family's life.

To my friends who like Mitt Romney’s FB page, or are considering a vote for his election, consider the following:

When you read about his or his surrogates' comments about gays, please replace “gays” with my name (or your own)...

These are ON RECORD Statements:

G*** shouldn’t be allowed to marry.

G***'s marriage is invalid and shouldn't count.
G*** getting married is a threat to families.
G*** cannot be a good parent.
G*** doesn’t love, it’s only lust.
G*** is ‘fixable’ with electroshock therapy and psychological torture.
G*** is what is wrong with this country.
If G*** can marry, we should just let people marry animals.
Being G*** is a choice.

This is not just about politics, or job numbers, or healthcare...this is also about human rights, MY human rights.

I am not badgering, or cajoling, or begging, I am just asking you to take a step back and put yourself in my place.

How would you vote if you were me and more than just money was at stake?

How do you think I would vote if it were your
human rights on the ballot?"
It stuns me that people of faith can vote for the Republican ticket knowing that they believe that gay-lesbian-transgendered people are somehow not worthy of the rights that heterosexuals have. 

That's not what my faith taught me. And I ask you to put your own name in front of those statements and see how it makes you feel. Like a Christian? I sure hope not.

No comments: