December 4, 2004
Think globally, oppress locally
By Kira Fobbs
I learned in college that I am not one of the fortunate ones who can count on the respect and honor “guaranteed” by the Bill of Rights, for I am a citizen of a state first and a nation second. Indeed, there are no such fortunate ones in the United States.
Back then I was a citizen of Illinois. I have even lived in Texas! Now I am a citizen of Wisconsin, but I am equally disenfranchised no matter where I might live.
I am a black lesbian public school teacher and I am only as free as my state Legislature decrees I am.
With Wisconsin’s looming anti-gay referendum and the post-November 2 clucking about our nation’s alleged hateful “morality,” I might have more reason than most to fear my state’s power. And why should you care about whether or not my same-sex spouse (we were married in Canada) is covered by my health insurance, or has the right to make decisions about my funeral arrangements in the event of my death? Why should you concern yourself over my safety or security from rightwing zealots or evangelical activists, after all they are only 23 percent of the electorate? Because Wisconsin has a lot of scary, crazy rightwing legislators, that’s why, and just think about everything you value that they abhor. The anti-gay referendum is their trial balloon. The death penalty, the flat tax, statewide school vouchers, women’s health restrictions and school prayer may not be far behind.
It is not Congress where the real battles are fought it is the state Legislatures. My federal taxes are working for me, but here in Wisconsin I will lose my domestic partnership rights if a simple majority decides my spouse and I pose a threat to the whole world’s well being.
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