Happy Fourth of July! Living in Massachusetts celebrating the Fourth is a special event as it was here where the “Indians” threw the Boston tea party, the massacre unraveled on our streets, the first shots of the revolution were fired nearby, “don’t shoot till you see the whites of their eyes” was uttered during the fight which came to be known as the battle of Bunker Hill, Paul Revere of riding fame also put the copper plating on old Ironsides (USS Constitution) our most famous war ship still commissioned and residing in one of our harbors, we also began public education, and other rights and freedoms all americans enjoy have their origins traced to Massachusetts.
Fireworks may have begun in America with the Declaration of Independence and while the document is in truth a list of grievances against a tyrannical king it did contain the thoughts below from which so many freedoms in this country and others have been born from. The Massachusetts’s courts that I work in have a long history of protecting the freedoms of ours; from the British soldiers accused of firing upon civilians to granting gay marriage. A couple of days ago 150 years of hate were wiped out as some freedoms were given to our friends in India by their courts. But over 225 years ago our for fathers were struggling with out courts to gain freedoms and came up with the Declaration to voice their thoughts.
“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 …”
Thomas Jefferson in writing these words allowed people to believe that we are all equal and deserve to pursue a life we choose on our terms without restriction or less rights then anyone else. He points out that Government and the laws they create and made by men and when they are improper it’s up to the people to ensure the right thing is done. The Declaration of Independence’s most famous signature is arguably John Hancock, not that the Boston merchant was anymore important; it’s just that his signature is the largest and most bold, some what like the spirit of Masachusetts.
Massachusetts has continued social progression in America, as it was the first state to authorized gay marriage. Marriage in America is regulated by the states and here in 2003 the Massachusetts Supreme Court said the following:
The question before us is whether, consistent with the Massachusetts Constitution, the Commonwealth may deny the protections, benefits, and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry. We conclude that it may not. The Massachusetts Constitution affirms the dignity and equality of all individuals. It forbids the creation of second class citizens. In reaching our conclusion we have given full deference to the arguments made by the Commonwealth. But it has failed to identify any constitutionality adequate reason for denying civil marriage to same-sex couples. We are mindful that our decision marks a change in the history of our marriage law. Many people hold deep-seated religious, moral, and ethical convictions that marriage should be limited to the union of one man and one woman, and that homosexual conduct is immoral. Many hold equally strong religious, moral, and ethical convictions that same-sex couples are entitled to be married, and that homosexual persons should be treated no differently than their heterosexual neighbors. Neither view answers the question before us. Our concern is with the Massachusetts Constitution as a charter of governance for every person properly within its reach. "Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code."
More of our states are coming to the same conclusions and recognizing that we deserve to be allowed to live, enjoy and prosper. We may see a day when Thomas Jefferson’s words have meaning for all Americans including us in the GLBT community. On July 2, 2009 in Delhi the highest Court of India struck down laws created to make homosexual activity illegal and criminal.
“This ruling to overturn Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code should go a long way to help reduce stigma and widespread discrimination against gay and lesbian individuals living in India as consensual sexual behavior—and possible related discrimination—will no longer be protected by, or codified into law,” said Dr. Chinkholal Thangsing, Asia Pacific Bureau Chief, AHF Global.
There are still over 80 countries in this world where engaging in gay sex is criminal but at least India has seen the light. Freedoms and rights only come when people act and lasting freedoms come from our Courts. People in a democracy may not like the rulings but they are accepted by those who believe that our freedoms are precious
A few new bloggers I have noticed or met are:
Loneli bi boy whose blog is I got a boner is a 16 old teen from the states;
S whose blog is Enjoy the Journey an 18 year old college student;
Mikeyboy whose blog is Milkin Mikey is also student from the states.
If you have some time check out there blogs and as always thanks for reading, i hope you enjoy your families, bbq's. the fireworks and of course our freedoms.
Take care and be safe
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