On this weekend of remembrance of one of the key figures in the campaign for human rights we are compelled to write and decided to share our thoughts and experiences with you. Thank you for taking the time to read and please, share with everyone you know.
Back in the 1960’s when a group of Americans were denied the right of equal education, the right to vote, the right to be protected in their cities and states we stood up as a people and fought. Most of the fighting was done from within the African American community, but like all these types of struggles throughout history when the group in power, the white Americans in this case, stood beside their black brothers and sisters change was quicker to follow. When it was finally acknowledged that it could not a case of, “it’s their problem, let them deal with it“ change followed.
Fifty years later we are still in the midst of a human rights struggle. Racial issues persist, gender issues persist but at the very least there are laws in place to protect and support the people who find themselves in the persecuted group. The human rights struggle that we are currently dealing with is gay rights and it can no longer be a case of, “it’s their problem, let them deal with it”. We all need to stand up against the injustice that persists in our communities.
Finally, in AZ and many states across our union (but not all), gay marriage is recognized as a legal institution. This is a huge success. But this is not the end of the road. We still have battles to fight and win so that all our neighbors and their families are offered equal protection and rights.
As you may have read in The Arizona Republic or The New Times or heard on Channel 11 or Channel 3 news, our family is leaving Arizona because there is no legal protection for our growing family. There is no way for us to both be legal parents to the same child because we are both woman. We are joined in marriage and share the joys and challenges of that institution but that is not enough in this state (and many others). We shared our story with the media not because we like the attention and not to make it about us, but to make it known among the broader public that our fight for humane rights is not over. Our family is blessed with the opportunity and willingness to move to a place where more of our rights are protected but many do not have this choice or option. We spoke for them.
The process of us moving also has led to many discussions about the building that has housed us for many years. We are the first to share its tremendous history and to revel in the special qualities that go beyond the bricks and concrete from which it is constructed. There are many champions for this building, these bricks, the ones that have housed us and protected us as our home, our place of business and creativity. To us, they are more than just bricks. What we don’t understand is how a building, a collection of things, even tremendously valuable things, can incite petitions, steamrolling media coverage and protests yet the knowledge that our neighbors and friends, colleagues and associates don’t have the same protections and rights as others in the state incites a, “oh that sucks” response but no call to action, no impassioned pleas for change. It seems to us the story has lost perspective.
The people of a community are by far our greatest asset and we ask that you stand up and join the fight for equal rights for all people. Show up, vote, use your voice, make a change.
There have been many misquotes and untruths put out there about who we are. We love our community, we have worked hard for our community and regardless of what your interpretation is, we wish you the best.
Cole, Dayna and our unborn son