Why I'm Involved

People often ask me why it is I chose to work on this campaign. The hours are long, the pay is little, the work is often difficult and exhausting, and I’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices. On Sunday I moved back in with my parents in Milwaukee so I could work as the Milwaukee field director. While I’m excited about the new position, it was really hard to leave my friends, and especially my boyfriend, Jeff, in Madison.

When I learned that states were amending their constitutions to limit marriage to one man and one woman, I was angry. But then when I heard that states were trying to pass further amendments banning gay couples from adopting children, I was terrified. The first thing I thought of was Germany in the 1930’s. When the government begins systematically chipping away the rights of one group of people, where does it end?

As the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, I’ve heard over and over again what happens when one group of people is forced to fend for themselves against a hostile government. This is why I initially got involved with Fair Wisconsin.

I thought of Pastor Martin Niemoller's quote. The one that goes “First they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the communists,” etc. The quote ends, “Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

While, technically, this ban would affect me (my boyfriend and I are an “unmarried heterosexual couple”), that isn’t the point. If we wanted we could get married and enjoy all the rights and responsibilities associated with marriage that are currently denied to gay couples. The point is that if we want any type of justice or equal rights in our country, we can’t just look out for ourselves.

1 Comments:

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for all you do! You are absolutely right about history and what happens when one group chips away at the rights of another. History is doomed to always repeat itself unless the people of present have learned from the past.

The kind of evil and bigotry that persists against gays and lesbians and even unmarried heterosexual couples comes from a narrow minority crew of the religious community. While on the face, many who sponsor and control these ideas are charismatic, happy, and joyous, inside burns a common small flame of fear, ignorance, and hate that can burn in any human heart. It is our duty as humans to learn from the past and what happens when that flame is fanned. The Holocaust happened because that flame was fanned by the powers of the day and those who knew better stood silent.

I am optimistic about this campaign because you are engaging the groups that are normally silent and if not helping, then, pushing them to find their voice to speak against the injustice and hate fostered in our state.

My best wishes to you in your work and thanks for being open, honest, and forthright about your life and the impact this ban will have on us all in our state.

 

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