Here in the United States, our agenda is a bit different. Just last month (May 2009), a group of leaders (including fellow blogger Pam Spaulding), gathered to address the issue of LGBT civil rights. Rather than determine a list of the rights, this group took the additional step of establishing a call to action to “achieve full civil rights now.” This list of principles, known as The Dallas Principles, is an effective new guideline for the fight for civil rights in our nation. Here they are:
1. Full civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals must be enacted now. Delay and excuses are no longer acceptable.
2. We will not leave any part of our community behind.
3. Separate is never equal.
4. Religious beliefs are not a basis upon which to affirm or deny civil rights.
5. The establishment and guardianship of full civil rights is a non-partisan issue.
6. Individual involvement and grassroots action are paramount to success and must be encouraged.
7. Success is measured by the civil rights we all achieve, not by words, access or money raised.
8. Those who seek our support are expected to commit to these principles.
The principles then outline the goals for FULL CIVIL RIGHTS.
1. DIGNITY AND EQUALITY. Every lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender person has inherent dignity and worth, and has the right to live free of discrimination and harassment.
2. FAMILY. Every LGBT person has the right to a family without legal barriers to immigration, civil marriage or raising children.
3. ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY. Every LGBT person has the right to economic opportunity free from discrimination in employment, public housing, accommodation, public facilities, credit, and federally funded programs and activities.
4. EDUCATION. Every LGBT child and youth has the right to an education that is affirming, inclusive and free from bullying.
5. NATIONAL SECURITY. Every LGBT person should have the opportunity to serve our country openly and equally in our military and foreign service.
6. CRIME. Every LGBT person should enjoy life protected against bias crimes.
7. HEALTH CARE. Every person should have access to affordable, high quality, and culturally competent health care without discrimination.
The document also includes action steps. The basic message is NO DELAY, NO EXCUSES.
From now on, I will include a link to the Dallas Principles on the sidebar at all times. This blog works to support the principles and their goals!
I hope you enjoyed your education in human rights today!