Sunday, March 25, 2012

What does equality mean to you?

Equality.  We hear that word a lot, but how many of us have really sat down and thought about just what the word means?  Many of you, upon hearing or seeing the word may instantly think of LGBTQ Equality, and currently, that is where we most see this word being used.  I recently sat down and really thought this word out, and did come to realize that it means so much more to me.  Equality, to me, means just that, equality.  Not just for LGBTQ people, but for all people!  When I talk about equality, and how I am an activism for equality, I mean for LGBTQ people, for immigrants, for women, for the differently-abled, for children, for people of all economic statuses, races, creeds, religions, political affiliations (yes, that means that even though I disagree with most of their views, this includes Tea Party Patriots), and any other factor you can think up.  As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."  That quote, above all others, is probably my number one motivator in life these days.  My days of sitting idly by as my friends and neighbors suffer various forms of injustice or violence are long over.  When (when, not if) we achieve full federal equality for LGBTQ people, my work as an activist is far from done.  Aside from the multitude of social issues that will still face the LGBTQ community, there will always be other groups of people suffering inequality who could use allies, and I plan on being one of many (and I can hope that number will continue to grow) such allies!

One of the most important principals of Unitarian Universalism is that we affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of each and every person.  This is probably the one thing that I struggle with the most, and that is because, as I am out protesting, say, a homophobic lawmaker, it is a struggle to envision any worth or dignity in that person.  Despite the huge difference in opinion he or she may have regarding my life (who asked them anyway), I do have to recognize and affirm this principal.  That's not to say I won't continue to hold folks accountable for hatred and bigotry, just saying that yes, they are human and yes, we all make mistakes, and yes, I'm calling them out for theirs!  At the end of the day, we all lay in similar bedding and close our eyes for sleep, if only we can find ways to be just as equal during our waking hours.

So, I want to hear from you.  Just what does Equality mean for you, and when the cause closest to your own heart achieves full equality, will you back down from the struggle, or move on and keep working for others?


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