Brandon LacyOctober 1996
A grievous violation of human rights has taken place in the United States in the last two weeks. DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, which federally bans recognition of same-sex marriage has been passed by the House and the Senate, and soon will be signed by President Clinton. At the same time, ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination, Act failed the Senate, and in doing so once again upheld the decisions of 42 states, which allow discrimination based on sexuality, by a 50-49 vote.
It is my feeling that the time has come that the United States should be called to account over its blatant violation of human rights. Below is a sample letter that I will sending today to the Ambassadors of the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Iceland, and South Africa, as well as to our own Ambassador to the UN.
Please join me in an effort to call attention to the United States, its mishaps and follies in the arena of human rights violations.
(A thank you to Bjorn Palmen of Norway in his advice on this subject)
His/Her Excellency, the Ambassador of X_Country to the United Nations:
In September 1996 the United States Congress decided that I and indeed all other gay and lesbian persons are unworthy of marriage and in a sense also unworthy to hold a job. The forms this admonishments of unworth took were the federal legislation known as DOMA, Defense of Marriage Act, and ENDA, Employment Non-Discrimination Act. DOMA, which states that gays and lesbians should not marry was accepted and ENDA, which would have ended employment discrimination of gays and lesbians was narrowly defeated 50-49.
I bring this matter to You, because the United Nations are committed to uphold the Declaration of Human Rights.
I am 19 years old, and I want to have a hope for the future. I want to wake up in the morning and know that those Ambassadors who have been entrusted with the power to defend against ignorance and hate, are indeed fighting for equality, in order to make this world into a vision of unity, and a bastion against disparity. Millions of faceless Americans have been judged, and found lacking, without a trial, without a conscience, and with extreme discrimination. Without hope of recourse I have been damned to a position in society as a second-class citizen.
I ask for Your help in this matter. Please tell the Ambassador of the United States what your country thinks about Human Rights for all people, including gay and lesbian individuals.
Call the United States to accord. Do not turn a blind eye to the rapine ignorance that is being propagated against the citizens of the United States. Ignorance, Hate, and Prejudice have no place among the living.
Warren Wilson College
PO Box 9000 BOX 5626
Asheville, NC 28815-9000