One Less Stone
May 15, 2006

I have been told by numerous people that I ask for special rights. I do not ask for "special" rights. I simply wish that I did not have to be afraid, when everyone else around the lunch counter is discussing what they did with their families over the weekend. Will someone ask me about what I did? When will they get around to asking me the inevitable questions about the ring on my left hand? Is it okay for me to mention in passing that A and I took her mother to the Build-A-Bear Workshop for Mother's Day? Should I play the pronoun game? All of this for fear of losing my job.

When I articulate these fears to those who tell me I ask for special rights, I'm usually told, "Oh, you can't be fired for that." The truth of the matter is that within most companies in the United States, I can. I don't ask for much. I ask to be as safe as is possible in this world ... I ask to have the chance to prove that I am a hard worker like many other people.

In South Bend, Indiana, the city council is currently considering adding an ordinance banning discrimination solely because someone is gay. We're not talking about quotas. We're not talking about having to put up with someone incompetent. In fact, this particular ordinance even has a specific disclaimer allowing churches to be exempt from this ordinance, so that those churches can comply or not according to the dictates of their faith.

Unfortunately, people like Patrick Mangan from (I won't give him the status of a link, but you can copy the URL if you're curious) have made horrible accusations about gays. One person at a Common Council meeting even went so far as to claim that all gays were disease-ridden, HIV-spreading heathens.

I hope the ordinance prohibiting discrimination against gays passes. It would be a relief to not have to completely pull away from everyone at work for fear one person will discover and be horrified with my home life. It would be a relief to be able to go into the emergency room with an asthma attack and know that even though I don't have the breath to explain what's happening, the nurse will listen to my partner and will get me the treatment I need instead of telling her to wait outside because she's not "immediate family."

The rhetoric against gays goes too far. To say that gays are disease-ridden, that myself and others like me willfully choose to be immoral and to force our immorality on others - these are the daily stones thrown at me, regardless of whether or not the people throwing stones are without sin themselves.

It would be nice were there one less stone on the pile.

Posted by Red Monkey at May 15, 2006 9:08 AM | Struggles | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


HannoverFist said:

Ugh, I didn't realize what I would be reading when I started. My thoughts go out to you. That has got to be a horrible shadow to have hanging in your mind - not being about to be free. My wife and I are behind you, and I truly hope that you find a day when you don't have to concern yourself with such inhibiting factors.

May 15, 2006 11:58 AM


Mr. Matt said:

In some ways I understand this post yet, in others it bewilders me. I guess it's because of where I grew up in Pennsylvania. In Monroe County not far from my house is a gay resort called Rainbow Mountain and there is a lounge/nightclub called Secrets about 5 miles away from there. You always have the people that understand how and what is happening although as far as the discrimination goes no matter who/what/how you are it will always effect you because people are not able to keep an open mind about others or they are to bible washed believing that people that don't live by the book are wrong.
People need to open thier minds and teach thier children that just because people are gay or of another race that there is nothing wrong with them. I didn't mean to bring in the race card but that fits the discrimination part.

BTW. I hope your doing well. :camo:

May 15, 2006 12:00 PM


a feminist said:

Man, reading entries like this makes me so sad. And then I just get angry that the world is still like this...

May 15, 2006 12:06 PM


michele said:

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
Mankind needs to pay attention to that bibical law.

May 15, 2006 12:17 PM


blueyes said:

Whats really sad is that the people who have an "affliction" to what's outside the norm bases these thoughts and feelings on what they might see in the news via tv or newspaper or just by word of mouth without taking the time to understand and/or actually getting to know someone. What's that saying you won't know what the other person feels without walking a mile in their shoes?

May 15, 2006 12:19 PM


coolbeans said:

I hope when they ask about your weekend, that your answer is met with kindness and understanding.

May 15, 2006 12:49 PM


candoor said:

I love you... I love the idiots out there with closed minds who've bought into ignorant fears too, but not nearly as much as I love you... cuz you are special, you are honest... and honesty is oh so very rare in this world... and precious to me... I wish everyone was honest, but until everyone is, I'll love honest people more... and thank you for the butterfly :)

May 15, 2006 3:06 PM


Dawn said:

It was always my understanding that the EEOC protects all people against descrimination.

Besides, an employer doesn't even have to have a reason to fire someone.

Red Monkey said: Sadly, this is not true. The EEOC protects against discrimination based on: age, disability, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex (male/female) and against sexual harassment. Sexual orientation is not covered.
And it is true that some states are "at will" employment states, in which someone can be fired or let go for no reason whatsoever. The company doesn't like that person any more, whatever. In my opinion, this is also wrong. I don't think a company should let someone go without "just cause." That might be that the position has been eliminated or it might be that the person is incompetent in some way.
But that's just my opinion. :)
May 15, 2006 8:00 PM


Radioactive Jam said:

The company I work for expanded on the EEOC in its anti-discrimination policy, and included sexual orientation. There's no excuse for workplace discrimination. Policies and laws can help keep mean, hateful people under control. It's sad but if that's what it takes to reduce fear and anxiety in the lives of their "targets" then so be it.

May 20, 2006 8:49 AM
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