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(c) by Mary Griggs

I’ve always been a patriot.

Raised in a military family, I saw the price we pay for freedom. I still get chills and teary when I hear Taps and I immediately climb to my feet when I hear the National Anthem. I look forward to the fireworks on the 4th of July because I believe that we were created equal and are all entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

flagsThis year, I have even more reason to be proud of my country and to celebrate the promise of her principles on her birthday.

We aren’t done with the fight, not by a long shot, but we got a little bit closer with the decisions from the Supreme Court on marriage equality.

Predictably, as soon as the opinions were passed down, the religious extremists and the politicians who pander to them warned of dire consequences to our country. If you care to hear any of their bile and hate, go to Right Wing Watch and look up marriage equality.

They forget that we’ve heard that song and dance routine before.

When Harry Truman integrated the armed forces in 1948, it was highly controversial. Army Chief of Staff General Omar N. Bradley tried to argue him out of issuing the executive order and stated that desegregation will come to the Army only when it becomes a fact in the rest of American society.

When Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, plenty of people were outraged by his actions. In fact, a long time friend and former mentor, Richard Russell said, “We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races in our (Southern) states.”

Guess what? The world didn’t end after they were enacted. It kept revolving around the sun and the increase of rights recognition for one community did not result in a reduction of rights for others. Instead, the forward motion of history has resulted in more liberty and justice for all.

On this day, instead of celebrating freedom, there are organizations sending out fundraising please to curtail our rights. The National Organization of Marriage implied in their email that one could be an American or a supporter of LGBT equality but not both. Americans For Freedom pleads for funds to fight against the tyranny of Gay, Inc.

Money talks. The best way to get those in power to listen to ALL of us is to put our money against theirs.

Support a state based equality organization that is on the front lines of defending our communities from those who would legislate hate and enshrine discrimination in our constitution.

I work with Forum For Equality here in Louisiana. I support them with my time and my money and I request that you do, too. Here is a link to join with us.

If you’d rather support an organization in your state, check out the members of the Equality Federation.

The work these groups do make me proud to be an American and fill me with hope for a better future for us all.