Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Allies Are a Thing

One of the most ridiculous charges against people advocating for relationship rights for all, including full marriage equality, is that they themselves must be involved in a relationship that is being discriminated against, or is taboo or forbidden. It’s ridiculous for more than one reason.

First, it is trying to smear the person by accusing them of... having relationships with other consenting adults. Oh, what terrible people, right? Loving other people! How awful!

But it also denies that there are allies who show solidarity for the rights of others, thus revealing how selfish and self-centered the person making the “accusation” is. “Why else would you spend time on this?” they might ask, even as they themselves put energy into perpetuating prejudice.

There were many people of all races, not just of African ancestry, people who’d never been enslaved, who called for the abolition of slavery in the UK and US, and demanded civil rights subsequently. There were people who weren’t women who demanded women have their right to vote. 

Whether or not someone has done something themselves, such as being in a relationship that is being discriminated against, or was born a certain way or not is irrelevant to the facts. Denying consenting adult their basic rights is destructive and unjust. It didn't make Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s call for equality any less valid because he was an African-American, nor were the whites who marched with him African-Americans (clearly!) The message was important and just.

Nobody who argues for or against execution for people convicted of murder has been murdered or executed. Nobody who argues for or against euthanasia has been euthanized. Clearly, it is possible for a person to advocate against discrimination even if that person hasn’t been discriminated against. It's called... caring about people.

There are people being hurt by right now by discrimination, some of it still enshrined in law. This is why we care. This is why we advocate for the rights of an adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion to share love, sex, residence, and marriage (and any of those things without the others) with any and all consenting adults, without fear of prosecution, bullying, or discrimination. You don’t have to be suffering yourself to support the rights of all. You don’t have to be aware of the people in your life who are being hurt in order for you to fight for equality. And we guarantee there are people in your life who are being discriminated against because of their orientation or relationship situation. So, if the only way to get you to care is to tell you the discrimination hurts people you love, well, know that!
Be an ally, not a bigot.
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