It’s also about all these moments
Attorney Joseph Jarvis of Lawrence, Kansas, wrote this post on Facebook. He gave his permission to share it with Camp readers.
That time in Council Grove someone slowed down to yell at us from his truck. That time in Shawnee that a prospective landlord told us to stay where we were in no uncertain terms. That time someone walking by us on Massachusetts Street yelled at us. That time we had a high school boy as a new roommate because he was evicted by his parents and homeless.
That time I had to conduct business with a company exclusively by phone because their servers returned any email containing the word gay. That time a law firm hiring committee member told me years later that I was passed over because the firm wasn’t sure it was ready for an out attorney.
That time someone straight woke me at 3 a.m. to insist I get ex-gay “therapy” because they couldn’t sleep thinking about me being gay. That late night at the office when drunk co-workers yelled through my door. That time after family law class when the professor told me I was the first student in 30 years of teaching to come out during the same-sex marriage discussion, and three other gay classmates sat nearby silently.
Those times my partner has been called my friend, roommate, brother, business partner, or skipped in introductions entirely (and vice versa). That time when I was closeted and my employer asked my out co-worker to go back in the closet so as not to scare away customers (he refused). That time I overheard a straight law school classmate saying he wouldn’t associate with us gay students.
That time a gay friend attempted (but thankfully failed) to commit suicide. That time I got a personal hate message sent to me online. That night in the restaurant when our family ate out next to our state attorney general and his family while he had been fighting recognition of our family by day. That time a parent told me that other parents wouldn’t let their children eat food made by a classmate with lesbian moms.
That time five days ago when we met a gay couple who had 30 swastikas etched on their car, and the police said it would have taken a lot of time to do that. That time my state representative told me in a conversation that gay rights weren’t civil rights.
Today’s decision is about a specific, technical legal issue, but it’s also about all these times.
‘Good for business’
The Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce issued this statement.
The Mid-America GLCC hails today’s historic Supreme Court ruling that means same-sex couples will soon have the freedom to marry and equal respect for their marriages across America.
“As employers, the Supreme Court has provided us with equal laws across all states, making it easier to administer employee benefit programs. Today the court provided us with equal marital rights along with everyone else. It’s a good day!” stated Dan Nilsen, founder and board president of Mid-America GLCC.
“There is still much work to be done to secure additional advances toward equality in the workplace, especially nondiscrimination protections for LGBT Americans. It’s unacceptable that hardworking LGBT people can still be fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes and denied service in restaurants and shops simply for being who they are. This is not good for business,” continued Nilsen.
The Mid-America GLCC believes that this is a momentous win for freedom, equality, inclusion and, above all, love. “We can celebrate that ours is a country that keeps its promise in the pursuit of happiness, liberty and justice for all. This is good for business,” Nilsen said.
The MAGLCC has been out for business since May 2012. An affiliate of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, it has more than 275 members, including major corporations, small businesses, government offices and nonprofit organizations. Functioning under the guiding principles of equality, inclusion, economics and education, the organization provides programs and events that embrace interaction between members, build professional development and serve as a foundation for business success. To learn more, please visit MAGLCC.
‘This is an issue about common sense’
Robbie Schraeder of Roeland Park, Kansas, wrote this post on Facebook. He gave his permission to share it with Camp readers.
Almost 15 years ago, I married my wife, my best friend and my life partner, Debbi Barker Schraeder. It was easy. It took really no effort, other than working hard to make her fall in love with me. But it wasn’t a struggle. It wasn’t a challenge to make the actual marriage take place and to enjoy all the legal benefits.
I never chose to be a “straight ally” of the LGBT community. Honestly, I’ve never understood how these things are even issues and problems for people. We are all human. We all enjoy a short time on this planet, some shorter than others. And we all have every right to be happy, so long as we are not hurting others.
I am proud to be considered a straight ally, but honestly I just consider myself a friend to some amazing human beings. There is no gay and straight in my world ... my brain doesn’t work that way. There are people, and people fall in love. And love is a very important part of who we are. To deny that is pure and simple evil.
Today we celebrate the Supreme Court’s ruling, because it means that so many of our friends and family can now enjoy what others have enjoyed for so long. This isn’t a religious issue ... this is an issue about common sense. And my children now live in a country that speaks for the larger reality we live in: That people are people.