It seems like yesterday; twice the challenge upheld and victory claimed; after a sweeping victory at the 2012 U.S.A. presidential elections, Barack Obama addressing the whole world; that America stands for Equality for All; of women rights, of youth empowerment, of emancipation and opportunities and of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans (LGBT) rights.
Pink-washing set aside, with the production-oriented-capitalist-anti-Islamist-and-so-more that the America under decades of Republican reign represented and the mindset and practices still persistent; Obama, a voice of minorities; I quote:
“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.” ~ Barack Obama; inaugural address, 21st January 2013.
It then was like the rainbow over the White House, a ray of hope for countless LGBT people around the world – the oppressed; the bullied; those victims of slur and violence; the Yemenites, Nigerians, Iranians, and a few other nations who have state-laws punishing the right to love by death; the homeless LGBT youth; and so many more.
Friday, 26th June – The Supreme Court of the United States decided that the 14thAmendment requires states to recognize same-sex marriage and a same-sex marriage performed in another state in a 5-4 decision. The Supreme Court of the USA ruling: A resounding victory across the 50 States of America, another ray of hope for the rest of the world; yet sceptics remain..
We are not oblivious to opinions of still-closeted-gays; even in Mauritius: Why do I need equal rights? I am living my life fine, I have a decent work, etc..
With just “I’s” and self-centred opinions; closeted due to having been at one point in time victim or assisting to a LGBT person victim of bullying, and mockery and discrimination; a mask to hide who we are..? Should this drive our struggles or way of life? Saying that we are living our lives fine; altogether while having deep fears rooted? Oblivious of the sufferings of other Queer-folks?
Jim Obergefell who challenged Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage testimonial’s remains marked: “the four words etched onto the front of the Supreme Court — ‘equal justice under law’ — apply to us, too.” But more to it, understanding his pleas will leave no one unmoved.
Jim lived his life with his partner, Arthur, with equal love like anyone else, heterosexual or not. Yet, he was not allowed to place his name on his late partner’s death certificate, who passed away from ALS disease (an illness which kills neurons controlling movement so that one becomes disabled).
Can you ever imagine, whether you are white or black, hetero or homo, disabled or not, or of whatever ethnicity or religious group you belong; living with someone you truly love throughout your life; sharing the good and bad moments; forming a family; building a home filled with memories.. and suffering the indignity of not being able to perform the last rites and losing all of the family, and love nest, and memories just because you love is not legal; because you are not legally entitled to be married?
Imagine, reflect, ponder; feel that whatever be your identity, whatever be our identity, we are all humans, with the ability to love just the same. And today #LoveWins, because someone once said: YES WE CAN!
FOKEERBUX Najeeb Ahmad
Young Queer Alliance