September 22, 2001 12:08pm
Editorial Comment On Gay Patriotism
Source: Letters to the Editor
by: Jim Grigg
Recently I read an article in the "Wall Street Journal" reporting charitable contributions were at an "all time" low. Recruiting volunteers had become a daunting task for agencies across the country. I had no idea these trends would reverse in one day's time. The motivation for this change was incomprehensible! As America comes together, we see more profound change. Our broken hearts are erasing social, religious and ethnic barriers. America is volunteering and contributing like never before. We are beginning to resemble "One Nation Under God"!
Now more than ever, our community needs to unify within and without. Before September 11th 2001, many people reserved patriotism for "God fearing, morally fit", straight Americans. Much of our Country refused the notion that gay people could possess or be worthy of patriotism, not to mention other rights "protected" by our Constitution.
Things are different this week. America heard of the heroism of Mark Bingham, the gay man who participated in the overthrow of United flight 93. We saw the firefighter who - when asked by reporters "if his wife would be glad to know he was safe" - replied "no, but his partner Frank would be!" America grieves for her lost, including the gay couple and their child who perished in one crash.
These people and countless others are true American heroes. They have helped defend, protect and honor our Nation as gay Americans always have. Slowly we are beginning to be recognized and accepted as equally deserving citizens of this great country. Gay America's actions and patriotism in the coming days will be recognized too. We can only hope this educates the undecided in their acceptance of ALL Americans.
Our right to be protected from discrimination in the workplace, church, government and military may well benefit from this new perspective. Our right to have our committed relationships recognized, raise children and share our partners benefits will hopefully benefit too.
Despite being denied the rights shared by non-gay citizens, our country is becoming more aware "we have always been there for her". In war, government, and the clergy - in the emergency room, on the fire truck and in the squad car - gay America has always put our Nation and the needs of her people first. It's only right we share equally in her liberties!
Then from the far extreme comes reverend Jerry Fallwell. In this new era when America needs to learn how to identify our elusive terrorist enemies of freedom - he takes the opportunity to again spew his rhetoric and hate. Thank you reverend Fallwell for helping us to identify the enemies of freedom.
Jim Grigg - President
The Tradesmen L/LC - Charlotte, NC