“The guy who wrote “The Star Spangled Banner” knew what he was doing. He set “freedom” to a note so high, that nobody could reach it.”
-Tony Kutchner (Told you it wasn’t me, Jaz 😉 )
Well, the elections are over, and we’ve chosen a lot of leaders. But one thing really stood out to me that echoed the mindset of this country more than any electoral tally: 11 states voted to prevent Gay Marriage in any form. Is it because homosexuality is considered wrong in these places? Or it makes people uncomfortable? America has spoken, homosexuality has no real home in America. So what I will propose in this column is something rather radical… but something that I think is absolutely necessary.
Israel has become a home to the Jewish race and faith. It is the soul “Jewish” country in the world, albiet one that is always in grave danger from it’s bedfellows. However, it has stood as a bastion of hope and understanding for an entire people.
Liberia became a home to the African Slaves brought over to the United States who managed to get away. They formed their own nation, named “Monrovia” after the president who helped them, and started one of the longest standing nations in Africa. They aren’t perfect, but they stand for the power of one people to unify, and to create a new home, in the face of adversity.
Every race…group… has a home in this world. Puerto Rico, England, Canada, the United States, Liberia… every group has its home in one of these places. American Liberals gather cheifly in the metropolis areas, while Conservatives hold sway in the rural areas. Everyone has a place to call their own, in a sense. Except one group; the homosexuals.
Now, one could say a lot of smart-allecky things at this point. “Don’t they have Massachusetts?” No. They have a country that seems disgusted by them. That denies them the freedoms all other consenting adults can enjoy. That portrays stereotypes of them for comedic effect on Television. That has preachers talk about how they will all burn in hell, and how they disgust God. The Democratic party, after this bloody repulse, will begin to lean farther right, leaving the Gay Rights movement sitting high and dry. So what can these people do? Are they doomed to put on appearances, quell their innermost longings, and try to fit in even if their heads and hearts say no?
Many people have been persecuted throughout history. Jews. Gypsies. Blacks. Indians. But all of them have or have begun to overcome the pressures holding them down, trying to drown them in a sea of hate. All except one.
So what do we do? What can we do for these people?
I say we give them an Israel.
Baja California stretches south of the United States, running parralell to Mexico. The land is made up of warm beaches facing the cool Pacific. I’ve been told it’s a beautiful place, where the sun sets over a sparkling ocean. Much like the Gadsen Purchase of long ago, we could buy up a small stretch of this land. It could be a safe haven… a small nation… for a people with no home.
The location is irrelevant, but the necessity is real. Our country spoke last night, and said that we are not a culture of equality after all. Or we just aren’t ready to be yet. We ask our gay citizens to be A.E. Housman rather than Oscar Wilde. When they hold out their battered arms for comfort, we shower them in Bible verses. When Mathew Sheppard dies tied to a wooden stake, rednecks and football players in high schools cheer. This is not a home for the homosexual populace, any more than Germany was a home for the Jews in 1933. Any more than America was a home for the Souix in the 1860’s. Any more than… well, you get the picture.
I’m not saying we move all of them out. I’m saying we give them the option of a place where they can avoid bigotry… avoid oppression… and feel free to be themselves in a culture that does not harbor hatred for them. We owe them that much.
One day, we might be capable of being the true “Land of the Free”. But until then, we should give citizens who can’t be free here a place where they can be. We did it once before, and we can do it again.
“Everybody needs a place to rest, everybody wants to have a home.”