Freedom From Religious Persecution

(c) Darrell Godliman - Flickr

The United States was originally founded because the first immigrants from Europe were searching for freedom from religious persecution.  How fitting that today, hundreds of years later, their descendants are persecuting others based on that same religion.

As a gay man, I have limited rights in the country I was born despite the fact that the founding fathers declared America a land where “all men are created equal.”  Of course, as we all know, this doesn’t apply if you happen to love someone of the same sex.  Or so the religious extremists would have you believe.

While the scenery is changing and gradually improving for same-sex couples in America, there is still much work to do.  I will write another post with more details another day, however items such as immigration rights are among the most depressing rights denied to same-sex couples.  Heterosexual married couples are granted 1,138 rights and responsibilities nearly all of which are denied to same-sex coupoles who have gotten married in the few states which have passed full marriage equality as these marriages are severely crippled due to DOMA, a federal law which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.  This backwards-thinking law denies almost all of the 1,138 rights and responsibilities regardless of whether you are legally married but happen to be same-sex.

For Justin and I, the largest issue is immigration rights.  Although we have been a committed couple for almost four and a half years and despite the fact that we have countless finances proving this and have co-signed on the purchase of a car, the rental of a house for over two years and have many friends and family who can clearly see the love we have for each other, I have zero rights to be able to keep Justin in this country.  The only way he can legally stay is if he happens to find an employer who would sponsor him for a visa and eventually a green-card.  This to me is a serious crime and a major slap in the face.  “All men are created equal.”

Unless you’re gay – then you can be stepped on and constantly told, by those who previously nurtured and cared for you before they knew you were gay, that you are nothing and that you deserve no rights – that your love of someone of the same sex is a “choice.”  Yes, you are right.  I prefer to be treated as a second class citizen.  I prefer to have rights ripped from me daily.  I prefer to be turned away when doing something as simple as donating my blood to those in need.  I prefer to be constantly told by my state and my country that my love for another man is disgusting and despicable.  I prefer to be called a “faggot” when walking down the street with my boyfriend.    I prefer to be unable to keep the person I love in this country.