Friday, March 22, 2013

Vigil for justice for LGBT people this Monday!

On March 26th  and 27th , the U.S. Supreme Court will consider two cases that are fundamentally about whether same-sex couples, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans should have the same freedoms as everyone else.  The Supreme Court will make rulings on whether or not it is constitutional for the federal government to deny a minority of U.S. citizens’ rights and privileges with the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and whether or not a majority of Californians can vote to take rights away from a targeted minority with Proposition 8 (which overturned the CA marriage equality law).  The two cases being heard have implications that reach beyond marriage equality, as the court will consider whether these laws violate the LGBT community's U.S. Constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law.

As members of Springfield’s Stop The Hate and Homophobia Coalition, we are not only seeking justice in the Supreme Court to relieve collective denial of rights to LGBT people, but also seeking justice in that very Springfield federal court house from persecution and the crimes against humanity committed in Uganda and worldwide by Springfield’s Scott Lively.  Here in the United States, housing and employment protections for LGBT people are just two of the rights Scott Lively actively campaigns against.  Internationally, he actively campaigns against all equal rights for LGBT people, including the basic freedoms of speech and assembly which Americans presume guaranteed.

The U.S. Constitution says “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”  President Obama said in his inaugural speech in January “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”   The LGBT community is not only seeking its chance to pursue happiness, but also full federal equality and justice.

On Monday March 25th, starting at 6pm on the steps of the federal court house at 300 State Street in Springfield, the Stop The Hate and Homophobia Coalition of Springfield will hold a candlelight vigil, standout and speakers.  Our gathering will be one of over 100 in a nationwide event being coordinated by the Light the Way to Justice Coalition (  Please JOIN us as we come together to fight for equality everywhere!

Cathy Kristofferson
GetEQUAL Massachusetts
Stop The Hate and Homophobia Coalition Springfield
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