Letter to the VTD

Our American Society is based on the ethic of Freedom.  Our country was initially founded for religious, social and economic freedom.  There was never a statement in the US Constitution or the Bill or Rights that some people were more deserving of Human Rights and inherent Freedoms than others.  This was underscored by the Abolition of Slavery and later by Women’s Rights and the Civil Rights movement.   Up until the mid-1960’s,it was illegal in 13 states for interracial marriages to occur.  When these laws were overturned it was truly a statement of who we are as an American People.  Why now do some, in the name of religion or "the natural way" want to block the ability of two people who love one another to form a union that is recognized in the eyes of the law as being equivalent to any other marital union?  I fail to understand how anyone else’s marriage, straight or gay, would impact mine that is in its 40th year.  In a society that, for the most part, views marital vows as revocable and even at times disposable when made between men and women, to prevent same sex couple from the opportunity to form a bond that transcends casual and proclaims to everyone its desire for permanency, is irrational.  To call marriage between a man and a woman "natural" and "God’s will" makes no more sense than to say that marriage is the destiny  for all heterosexual people living in the United States. To couch marriage as a requirement in order that there be procreation would null and void those marriages between couples that are unable to
conceive due to physiologic causes or age, or who desire not to have children.  Do we truly extol the virtues of people for their ability to reproduce or do we just accept that as a part of humankind?  Love is matter of the mind and heart.  It cannot be dictated or limited by political edict.  Constitutional changes that attempt to revoke the "inalienable rights" that the founders of this country so clearly wanted are "unnatural" and Un-American.

Our world is replete with problems, financial, international, environmental and political.  Why erect barriers to one of the most reasonably accepted concepts, love between two people?  Haven’t we
better fights to fight than that?

As one of the founders and President of PFLAG (Parent’s Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) of Tulare and Kings Counties, my goal and the goal of all PFLAG members is to Advocate for the LGBTQI community, to Educate an ill-informed public and to Support the families and
friends of the LGBT community. There is a large network of LGBTQI people living in our counties.  Many live shadow lives, attempting to blend in, cover their sexuality and be regarded as no different than the person next door.  In fact, they are no different than the people next door, but many have lived with exclusion, derision, prejudice and the pain of non-acceptance.  Many families have faced disruption to their entire value system (social and religious) when a member of their own "comes
out." Some LGBTQI people have tried or succeeded in ending their lives because of the societal stigma placed on them in our counties.  At PFLAG we strive to make the community whole and to involve straight advocates in the journey for complete Equality. We want everyone to feel secure
and valued.

The declaration that Prop 8 is unconstitutional is one step and the journey is not over.  I encourage all fair-minded people to join the movement of fairness.  Come to PFLAG or support Equal Rights for All People.  It’s the right thing to do.

Steven L Palmer MD -President:  PFLAG Tulare and Kings Counties


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