Sara Whitman

Valued Members of Society

Filed By Sara Whitman | October 02, 2009 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Buju Banton, gay marriage, gay rights, Maine, marriage equality, members of society, same-sex marriage, skipping classes

I'm ready for a week at the spa. It's been crazy around here in so many ways...

After the cat died, very sad and her sister is walking around the house meowing for her which breaks my heart, Ben was caught skipping class. Oy. As if that was not enough, the next morning I was rear ended in a parking garage. Nice. Then I got lost driving to Zachary's cross country meet in the middle of nowhere, only arriving in time to chase down the bus he had gotten on because I wasn't there. I was in such a foul mood on Wednesday, no one dared speak to me.

I wanted to crawl under the covers and stay there. If only I had that kind of freedom.

Today, I'm headed for Maine while Jeanine and the boys are going to Texas for a family gathering. I am eager to do some work for the campaign up there. The polls say we are ahead, slightly, and I personally never believe polls on this issue. People don't want to say, gosh, no, I don't think those pesky homosexuals should have equal rights. It just doesn't sound nice.

The other side has been saying gay lifestyles will be taught in schools which makes me laugh. Five years, almost six, into marriage equality in Massachusetts and I haven't seen one class in any of my kids schools talk about gay sex. It's a little sickening to see them throw kids out as bait for hate.

It's not about schools. It's about marriage equality. Adults entering into a legal contract that has government benefits. Duh.

Society changes, folks. We don't have slavery anymore and I for one, think that's a good thing. I know there are some who don't, but for the most part, it's one thing we can agree has been a moral benefit for our society. Treating people equally, whether it be women, or people of color or LGBT folks, is a good thing.

Maybe someone should send a note to Buju Banton that his anti-gay lyrics are costing him serious cash. Call me crazy, but calling for gays to be shot and burned in a song is just wrong. Calling for anyone to be killed in a song, is just wrong.

And don't even get me started on the misogyny.

In Maine, real people, real Mainers, are lining up to be in ads, give testimony, in support of marriage equality. As pointed out by local columnist Bill Nemitz, "Stand for Marriage Maine has attached four - and only four - faces to its televised ad campaign. And of those four, only one person is actually from Maine."

Um... does that tell you something?

As I head off to Maine today, I do so with the hope that my kids will witness a change in our society that reflects our values- that everyone is welcome. That you judge people for who they are, not what they are. That there is nothing 'traditional' about exclusion. That as Americans we truly value individuals beyond a marketing slogan. That marriage equality is the first step of many to acknowledging that LGBT people are their brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, cousins, and they deserve to live without the threat of violence, loss of employment, housing, medical care... oh the list goes on and on.

We are valued members of society.

Even if caught skipping class.

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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | October 3, 2009 12:12 AM

With my mother skipping class would have been a treasonable hanging offense. At least I would have hoped to have been hung rather than face her.

Very inspirational Sara. I needed this today.

Drive safe, (yeah I know it wasn't your fault)

But drive safely to Maine anyway!

robert, I was terrified of my mother... and I have to say, ben sat there and said, it's no big deal...

ever see someone's head pop off?

still... he's not scared of me. I guess that's good?

Your comments are right on about Buju Banton. I believe that where there is homophobia, there is misogyny pretty close. The misogyny of the Jamaican reggae/dancehall music is getting little attention. This is partly because the homophobia is so extreme.

Only sex between two men is illegal in Jamaica, with a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. Still violence and hatred is directed at lesbians in Jamaica. One song, "Han Up Deh" by Beenie Man calls for hanging lesbians.

In Jamaica, there is tremendous violence and hatred directed at LGBT people. Buju Banton and some of his dancehall artiste friends must bear some responsibility for this. There are online reports by groups like Amnesty International and many other reports of this extreme violence in Jamaica. One very good account is in this Time Magazine article:,8599,1182991,00.html "The Most Homophobic Place on Earth?" Britain and Canada have given asylum to a number of Jamaican gay men because of the extreme homophobia and violence in Jamaica.

For lots of information see