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Editorial: A stand for same-sex marriage

El Diario/La Prensa, Editorial, Staff Posted: Nov 17, 2008

NEW YORK -- Latinos have fought too hard and long for equal rights. This is why we must rally around a sector of our community that remains even more discriminated against--gays and lesbians.

Across the country this weekend, people protested against measures banning same-sex marriage. One of these bans came as a harder blow in California, where thousands of couples had married since that states Supreme Court had legalized same-sex marriage in the spring.

After that legal decision, Governor David Paterson announced that New York state agencies would recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions.

But there are loud voices, among them State Senator Ruben Diaz, who threaten to thwart any legislation that would allow same-sex marriage in New York.

Rev. Diaz and others are supposedly not for denying rights to gays and lesbians but believe that marriage should be between a man and woman. Yet, its this very discriminatory position that serves to exclude lesbian and gay couples from accessing rights, benefits and treatment that heterosexuals take for granted.

This use of religious beliefs to block basic civil rights undermines the separation of church and state in this nation. The basis of that separation lies in the experience of early American colonists who had fled religious persecution elsewhere to pursue tolerance and freedom in the new world.

Latinos, as well as other groups, should have an honest conversation about homophobia.

Discrimination, whether within or outside of our communities, on the basis of color, immigration status, gender or sexuality is just not acceptable.

Across the nation, a gay rights agenda must be representative of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Latinos and the deeper inequities they confront. The gap between the struggle for LGBT rights and the struggles for economic and racial justice needs to be closed.

Related Articles:

New Yorkers Protest Gay Marriage Ban

A California Embarrassment

Prop 8 Legal Challenge

It's No Surprise Blacks Backed Gay Marriage Ban
Blaming Gays for Fractured Families -- NAM Op-Vid

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