Saturday, November 18, 2006

Moving Up to Gloryland

A Pennsylvania school board vice-president calls gay students "faggots" and a student organization designed to help gay and straight students get a long better a "sex club." From the Beaver County Times via Pams Houseblend.

Scherfel, 65, said he has nothing against anyone's sexual orientation, but that he grew up in a different generation when certain terms were acceptable in referring to gays and other groups. [Yeah, it's just generational--while we're at it, let's just give people sixty years old and above a pass when they use terms like Darkies, Blackie, etc.]

When reached at his home earlier Wednesday, Scherfel chuckled at the thought that someone would consider him a "gay basher,...I have homosexual friends believe it or not...," he said. [Really? Or do you just think they're you're friends? You might want to do a little check in. Or is this just one of the "some of my best friends are..." kind of statements?]

In better news, South Africa is poised to offer marriage rights to its gay citizens. Who knew that a country with such a horrible civil rights past would surpass the U.S. in this area in less than 20 years? Oh, and Mexico City also is trying to offer domestic partnership rights. I'm so proud of these countries, but I miss the days when the U.S. led the way in expanding freedom.

Funny thing, on the Underground Railroad tour during our recent visit with Julie and Tommy, we were all put in the role of slaves escaping to freedom in Canada. We spent a lot of time hiding in the bushes listening to actors talk about their perceptions of slaves. Two sentiments we heard over and over were "they want to undo God's natural order" and "they get treated pretty well. They should be happy with what they have." John and I did a lot of eye-rolling, since this is what we hear today.

There is no such thing as partial liberty. Unlike enslaved people in our past, our lives are not currently at risk, though KBG (killed for being gay) happens across the globe even today. Still,our civil rights violations are more like those from the 1960s than the 1860s.

I read somewhere recently that it was the African-American struggle in America that has best defined and refined our country's understanding of freedom. I believe that. It seems strange to me that almost 150 years after slaves traveled to freedom in Canada, John and I are considering the same option.


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