Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"...lives free of discrimination."

From Barack Obama's acceptance speech tonight:

I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination.

Dealing with GLBT issues in the context of gun control and a list of other controversial issues, Obama did what I didn't think he would do. He mentioned same-sex marriage. While he didn't affirm it, which he hasn't done at any point in the campaign, he also didn't run from the issue or the words. And he affirmed one of the rights that automatically comes with marriage--hospital visitation.

Most opposite sex married couples have no conception of the fear that descends on GLBT couples when one partner enters a health care facility. The pain and fear of the illness are compounded by wondering whether we'll be able to be there, perhaps in the final moments, when our partner is most vulnerable. Barack Obama offered the hope that GLBT couples, no matter where they live or where they travel in this country, will be protected from arbitrary discrimination.

It was a striking moment in a speech built on powerful themes.

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