In 1961 a wise man’s speechwriter marked down the words, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” Millions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans try to do that every day: Give to their country. But they are so often refused this American ideal. In some cases, by court ruling. Other times, by state law. Frequently, by federal mandate. As we wind down the month of June, known throughout the land as LGBT Pride Month, we have much to celebrate, and some of these bullet points are brand new this year. But what we cannot raise a glass to are the things our elected legislators and appointed officials refuse us. Like the ability to stand as decent, equal Americans, wanting to invest in our country as our neighbors. And to give:
• Blood, to the ill and infirm.
• Good homes, for children in need of parents.
• Properly filed tax dollars, to fund schools and job training and road construction (and bank bailouts).
• Money to small businesses, to pay for legally recognized marriage ceremonies.
• Our lives, for our country and the safety of its people.