Walking the Plank: GLBT Rights

The only openly gay state representative to serve North Carolina, Marcus Brandon, addressed the energetic crowd by invoking the words of the late Robert Kennedy, “or all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”

Of course Brandon’s dream as an openly gay male is the same as mine: that every member of the gay community rise from being considered second class citizens by our own democratic government.

Much like the sit-ins that took place merely an hour away in the little big town of Greensboro, the queer community finds themselves having a historic moment — only our community has the benefit of knowing we are standing in a historical moment. The democrats are walking the proverbial plank.

The history of course is the GLBT plank being accepted and unopposed by the Democratic National convention. Finally the democratic party has said no, hell no and have decided to stand on what some call the right side of history where GLBT rights are concerned.

North Carolina State Senator Deb Butler, the states only openly lesbian in the General Assembly addressed the room filled to capacity. Members of the caucus would often explode into applause enough to make a Baptist minister proud.

“The peace that is of the past will conquer the future. Like civil rights movement, GLBT rights will happen,” said Butler.

Butler, myself and many other members of the queer community fought extremely hard against Amendment One a few months back.

Speakers whom addressed the caucus were not just locals but also those who are connected on a national level. Those like Valerie Jarrett, Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls and Senior Adviser and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement spoke to the caucus who shared the President’s devotion to civil rights issues.

Until attending this convention I wasn’t sure where I fit in. I have been straddling the political fence for sometime now, not exactly clear on Obama’s devotion to the country.

I now know that my President cares deeply about his country and human rights issues while the Republican Party platform promises to give restrictions such as building bigotry into the constitution.

There has been little talk at this convention about how horrible Republicans are or about their harmful platform. Instead there have been talks about keeping the momentum towards repairing our country, restoring the middle class and giving civil rights that are long overdue to the LGBT and other minority communities.

Knowing our President has everyone in mind when his administration moves this country forward is enough to sway my vote in sixty days. Is it enough to win yours?