Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Visibility, Anniversaries & Allies

"When a match has equal partners, then I fear not."
- Aeschylus

All of us at PFLAG want to wish Pam Spaulding (over at one of our favorite sites, Pam's House Blend) and her partner Kate a very happy 4th anniversary. Pam and Kate tied the knot in Vancouver on July 1, 2004. And today, at the Blend, Pam has some thoughts on why visibility matters, and how simply talking about our families, and sharing our stories, can help find more allies in our work for LGBT equality.

"Our marriage is recognized in a few states (and as a civil union or domestic partnership in others), but we're second class citizens in NC," Pam writes. "Here at home we still have no hate crimes or employment protections (never mind benefits); there isn't even an anti-bullying law that protects LGBT students yet (more on a critical vote today here)."

"Marriage equality continues to thrive in small pockets in our country, and one of the best ways we can cultivate support and effect change is to bring those marriages back home where these commitments are not legally recognized," she notes. "Not to challenge the legal wrong, mind you (it's going to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in the end), but to become visible married couples in our communities - living marriage out of the closet before our friends, neighbors, and work colleagues."

"Visibility challenges assumptions; show willingness to explain to potential allies how your legal-somewhere-else marriage is denied where you live."

"The fact is we will prove by example that our relationships will not cause an end to anyone else's marriage or destroy society, and it will move all of us closer to full civil equality."

To read Pam's complete entry about her wedding, her anniversary and her thoughts on moving marriage equality forward, click here.

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