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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

We Take a Small Step to "Justice for All"


Just when I start to lose all hope in our political system, just when I despair that we will ever truly realize our pledge to "justice for all", a ray of hope breaks through, and we take one more step towards real justice.

As I write this,US Senate is getting ready to vote a repeal of the military policy that has required good, patriotic Americans to keep their identities secret. Of course, I am talking about the policy known as "Don't Ask-Don't Tell" (DADT). Under this policy, and even before it, gay and lesbian service men and women lived in fear of being "outed" and discharged, dishonorably, from the service denying them the opportunity to serve, fight, and even die for their country.

Now, they will no longer be denied the rights enjoyed by all other Americans: the right of opportunity to pursue a military career.

We either mean what we say when we say we want "justice for all" or it is all a lie. Either we say that a gay American is as much a citizen as any American, with all the rights, responsibilities, and opportunities of any citizen, or we must say that gay Americans are second-class citizens.

There is no other way to see this issue, and finally the Congress, led by the Democrats and President Obama, are answering that we do believe that all Americans are equal before the law and in the eyes of the Constitution.

Thus, this year ends for this American with a ray of hope.

Update: The Senate voted 65-31 to repeal "Don't Ask-Don't Tell"!

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