Because it’s the right thing to do

By |2006-05-18T09:00:00-04:00May 18th, 2006|Uncategorized|

As this issue of BTL goes to press we are at the end of something like seven straight cloudy, rainy days. Those charming, shine-filled days of April are barely a wistful memory as we look out our office windows at gray upon wet gray. That’s the way it goes sometimes, isn’t it? April, no matter how lovely, couldn’t guarantee a cloud-free May.
And we here at BTL can’t guarantee you that the extremists won’t win the next fight, the next, or the next. Much as we would like to, we can’t promise you that moderates will take the next election. All it could take, in fact, is another terrorist attack for not only the usual suspects, but many in the middle as well, to forgo facts and reason for a fundamentalist politics. Or another stolen election to make many of the civil liberties we now enjoy as much of a memory as this past April’s sunshine.
If you’re looking for a guarantee that the good guys are going to win before joining the fight, though, you’re making the battle harder for all of us. No one can be blamed for wanting certainty. The extremists have it in spades – they truly believe that their God is in his heaven and they will be, too, as long as they ban contraceptives and equal marriage rights for everyone.
We here at BTL can’t give you even our own version of heaven, so we certainly aren’t going to guarantee you that full civil rights are just around any particular corner. Ultimately, however, we go forward not out of faith that we’re going to win but out of faith that what we are doing is the right thing to do. Struggling for equality for all people is the right thing to do whether we’re basking in April sunshine or facing down another day of May rain. Working to make our schools safe for all children is the right thing to do even if our relationship, our job and our leaking roof all seem more important right now. Fighting to make sure that Adam and Steve have legal protections is the right thing to do whether or not we ever want to marry, and protecting Adam and Steve’s legal relationship to their children is just plain right.
And while we can’t guarantee a return of the sunshine, or that the American people will have a wholesale return to their senses in 2006, we can guarantee you one thing: Wishing for equality won’t make it happen. And while working for equality won’t guarantee you either heavenly or earthly rewards, it will provide you with what may be the most important guarantee of all — the knowledge that you are doing the right thing, for the right reasons, at what may be the most “right” time in history, ever, to make solid gains toward equality.
Because even though the rain and the administration of George W. Bush seem to be going on forever, a long look at history proves that, fundamentalists and terror attacks aside, the American public ultimately loves equality even more than guarantees.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.