I have so far kept this blog as a personal diary of my transition from living as one gender into living as the “other” gender, yet there comes a time when the very act of discovering what kind of person I will be in my new chosen gender, I must speak out against the forces of oppression which can make my pursuit of happiness a problem for the pursuit of others.
When I read stories like the recent passage of a constitutional amendment in the state of North Carolina to define marriage as being solely a union between a man and a woman and by implication, the only union deserving of certain protections under the law, I begin to wonder whatever happened to the meaning in the phrase of our Declaration of Independence which reads “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable Rights; that among these, are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness…”
As one who believes in the inherent integrity of humanity, without the need for a final judgment of a vengeful deity to help me toe the line, instead of a humanity that is born with the burden of living with the paradox of duality, the so called “knowledge of good and evil”, I wonder if our species will ever evolve to the point to realize that there really is no such thing as right or wrong or even me versus you, that instead we can live our lives knowing that our happiness does not depend on someone else’s misery.
Once upon a time in this country, religious freedom meant that anyone, regardless of their belief or non-belief in a deity who set creation in motion and who remains to guide us through the complexities of being human, not being one herself, could live according to their conscience and customs without the interference of Government and yet here is another blatant attack on our declared inalienable rights that was passed in the fear that if two people of a single gender wished to live in accordance with the sanctity of a “holy union before God”, that it would deny the rights of others to live under that very same union according to the strictures of their faith.
Nothing could be farther from the truth because our Federal Constitution has forbade the interference of such denial of conscience in the First amendment, which prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion or impeding the free exercise thereof, and yet under the guise of defining marriage under such narrow terms as that being between two members of “opposite” genders as the only one with protections under the law, that the whole concept of a “holy union before God” is reduced to a narrow view that is espoused by some faiths and yet not by others and is clearly, to me, an establishment of a religious belief as law.
Some will argue that the letter of the law was carefully crafted so as to prevent such an interpretation of the spirit of the law but if I or anyone else can interpret any such possibility that the spirit of the law does establish a religious belief behind the words, then the test of constitutionality is in question.
My greatest hope is that Americans of conscience, religious or otherwise, will see this new blatant attack on our liberties as the beginning of the end of oppression by the forces which believe that their happiness can come only by another’s misery.
Deanna Joy Hallmark