Rallying for Minority1 Rights
by Joyce Dowling

The United States of America is one of the most diverse countries in the world. I’m proud of being an American.  Our first motto was “e pluribus unum” (meaning "one from many") and wasn’t changed until 1886 to “In God We Trust.” This slogan leaves out not only atheists, but also religions such as some Buddhists, non-monotheists, and others who don’t believe in the concept of God. Though I may not be willing to go through the time and trouble of launching a major campaign to fight the fight to change our Constitution, I am willing to support the efforts of others to do so, because I believe in the basic principle of church-state separation.

Unfortunately, there are people who act hatefully against anyone who will not say that they believe in God, so God-language in our government seems to them to be sanctioning hate. I know it doesn’t do that for everyone, but there is too much hate in this world – God, if there is a God and it’s an omnipresent being, knows where the love is and doesn’t need its/his “name” included in our government.

GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender) people are also treated with hate and discrimination. There was a time not too long ago that it was against the law for a bi-racial couple to marry. Children are suffering because their parents don’t have the same rights as other couples in health care, times of death, etc. This is un-loving. GLBT people in general are doing nothing to hurt other people and gay marriage in no way hurts heterosexual marriages. How is my marriage hurt by two women or two men who love each other getting married? I wear a button that says "I'm straight, but not narrow."

Yes, there are a lot of causes we could fight for and there’s a lot of charity work I could spend my time on, but there is no cause greater in my mind as that of LOVE – extended to all in fairness and equal rights. “Justice, equality, and compassion in human relations” is the second principle of Unitarian Universalism. And the Declaration of Independence 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. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

This is what I am doing when I attend a rally and write to my legislators to change or protect existing laws. I am standing in solidarity with those whose rights are not protected by our government.

1 "Minority" is not a term everyone feels comfortable with. But if you're not in the majority, you're in the minority. Everyone can in some way be classified as a minority. The statistices in the United States and various regions constantly changes, so your classification will change, too. If you are a unique individual, which is usually evident in DNA & fingerprints at least, then you are in the minority in some way. The majority race is white, but in some areas the majority race is African American. Your height, weight, hair color, eye color, IQ, interests &/or abilities, life style, cultural background, educational background, financial status, etc. could put you in the minority - not like most people. It is not an insult. We all experience it in some way.

Some photos of rallies I've attended are here.

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