, Gloucester, MA

Letters/My View

August 2, 2013

Letter: Civil rights aren't enjoyed equally by all

To the editor:

It is amazing the conversation that was started on these pages over flying the rainbow flag.

But Gerald Mahieu wrote, “I do not understand why (homosexuals ) are a protected class of people. ... They’re American Human beings, just as you and I.” (Letters, the Times, Saturday, July 20.

Where to begin? First off, all human beings are entitled to what we call human civil rights not just American-born human beings. The original natives of what we today call America, called themselves “Human Beings.” The Christians that stole their land renamed them Indians, thinking that the new land they landed on was India. They then denied them all human rights.

Mr. Mahieu states that he was already an ordained minister in 1969, when his “personal beliefs” prohibited him from taking any active role in any movement to end discrimination aimed at gays and lesbians. He goes on to say “I have never met a single homosexual that did not have the same God-given rights as I enjoy.”

Well, discrimination based on sexual orientation and or gender identity, in housing, employment, in public access happens every day in America.

Mr. Mahieu is old enough to recall the civil rights battles of African-Americans for the civil right to vote and end “separate but equal laws.” He either was studying theology or already an ordained minister in the early, to mid- sixties when some American born citizens became — thank God/Goddess — what Mr. Mahieu calls a protected class of people under the Civil rights act of 1964.

The 1969 fight that exploded in the Stonewall Inn was after years of discrimination on many levels on the whole LGBT Community. I was 19 years old, my senior year in high school that year.

One class day, I was taken out after being harassed and beaten up, because some of my fellow students perceived that I was a “queer.” In honesty, I did not have a clue on what my sexuality and gender really were at the age of 19. But I was old enough to enlist into the Army and leave for Vietnam later that year.

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