Hope you enjoyed — or will shortly enjoy — the fireworks safely in your selected locale.
Just as a reminder, here’s what some of us are celebrating today on this wonderful anniversary of our country’s founding.
Are you seeking, or seeking to keep, a job in one of the 37 United States where gender presentation, sexual orientation, or an employer’s confusion about same can cost you your job? Then you’re not really independent today, are you? Despite the support of 89% of the American people for elimination of job discrimination based on sexual orientation, Congress did not act this session and likely will not in 2010. There will be no federal, inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act despite Barney Frank’s best hopes and Nancy Pelosi’s promises. The Speaker’s new tune is “one thing at a time.” Funny how they all run together at campaign time, isn’t it? But for now, keeping or getting a job — it depends, then.
Would you like to serve openly in the military services of your country? Not so fast, American patriot — it depends, then. 22 countries of NATO’s 26 member nations permit open service regardless of sexual orientation, but American policy on open service is driven more by myths than facts. Fundamental fairness? A chance to serve your country? Honesty and integrity about who you are? It depends, then.
Oh, also — would you like the full defense of the law for your loving, committed relationship? Is your partner the same gender as you? Well, here in America — it depends, then. If you don’t live in Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Vermont, then your relationship has no chance of first class status. And even if you do live in those states where marriage equality is the law, “traditional” marriage is still fully defended by the federal Defense of Marriage Act. So, in America, if you want your marriage defended — it depends, then. Of course, if you live in Belgium, Canada, Iceland (where the head of government married her same-sex life partner just last week!), Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain or Sweden, it doesn’t depend on anything at all.
So on this day, as we celebrate American Exceptionalism, Freedom, and Independence from Tyranny, remember, won’t you please, that for some of your fellow Americans — today is It Depends, Then Day.