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The Time for Waiting is Over! The Time for Action is NOW!

By       Message James Nimmo     Permalink
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(OKLAHOMA CITY)   A recent joint press release from Equality California, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center , and the San Diego Gay and Lesbian Center is counseling that "We achieve nothing if we isolate the people who did not stand with us in this fight. We only further divide our state if we attempt to blame people of faith, African American voters, rural communities and others for this loss." (See the original press release below)

I disagree completely. No longer, no longer, no longer must religion be used as the cudgel to separate any person from their legal rights of fair treatment and protection under the law.

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I walked by a religious proselytizer today in downtown Oklahoma City. I had seen him yesterday when he made a speech for Gee-sus on the bus I was riding. Today, though, he was on the sidewalk and said to me, "Did you know God loves you?"

I looked him in the eye for a few seconds and replied, "F*** off!", and walked away.

I've never acted that way to a stranger before and depending on the perceived physical danger to me, it won't be the last time I respond to an uninvited encounter with a proselytizer.

Religion has and continues to be the major block to the implementation of rights for gay/lesbian citizens because of what we do in private and who we love in public.

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Religion was the chain around the necks of slaves, it's been the chastity belt forced on women's reproductive choice, and it's been the closed book preventing the age-appropriate teaching of responsible sexual information to children.

Religion instructs the empty-headed to fear our differentness, to treat us with disrespect--
and with barely concealed contempt--to encourage violence against our property and bodies.

We gays/lesbians are far too complacent, accepting, and willing in our own disenfranchisement from our birth right as citizens.

I welcome the peaceful protests in California and elsewhere that are demanding the protection and benefits of the laws that are applied to others but not to us.

Our self-appointed equality leaders who counsel shyness and acceptance of a later time should act like leaders or get out of our way. The time is long past for coyness and politeness.

Dr. M. L. King said it best in his "Letter from Birmingham Jail", April 16, 1963 with this paragraph:

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant 'Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied." ( )

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With the immorally presented kangaroo-court vote that passed Prop 8 in California and with other anti-gay measures in Arizona, Florida, and Arkansas, I think we gays/lesbians have waited long enough. Let the marches continue!

And as we march, let's take our chant from the newly-elected President Obama's campaign--Yes, we can!


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James Nimmo is active in progressive issues and believes no one should be denied their equality because of the accidents of birth and circumstances.

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