Prelude: Initially, this post was going to be about a fat free Fourth of July cake recipe, but my sentimental patriotism as well as the recent proclamation regarding gay marriage rights took hold of my inspiration. I’ll post the recipe next, but first, here’s a little holiday harmony…
The Fourth of July, a big bright fire-crackin’ holiday when Americans honor the birth of their (or, our) ground breaking, earth shattering and literally world changing independence.
After our founding fathers designed the best and fairest government ideology they could, they ran with it, proving that people, not just royals and nobles could curate a functional nation. And that’s when all around the world, like fire works detonating, other nations saw that their own hopes for change were realistically viable; many carried out their own reforms and revolutions, realizing that monarchy and social hierarchies were in fact outdated and oppressive.
Looking back at the history of the US is inspiring and profound. If you really take the time to research and learn about what some of these wig-wearing regular old dudes courageously created, you’ll see a model example of professional and collaborative innovation. If you’re not one to go out and grab a text book, I highly recommend HBO’s mini-series, John Adams; it’s like getting a backstage pass to the American revolution.
What’s wonderful about the scribblings of these stocking-wearing dusty men, is that the message of the writing perpetually points in the direction of freedom.
The right to same-sex marriage, parallels the developments of other civil rights. If you read the old documents, race and gender is never mentioned, however, black, female and Native American citizens were not allowed to vote until 1869, 1920 and 1924 respectively. So, while rhetorically, these three “types” of people actually did have a right to vote according to the Constitution, political officials arranged rulings in a subjective, cultural way. However, if you think about it, all of these citizens who have been discriminated against were and are inherently protected by these white old farts…I mean! Founding fathers, of course. For example:
Section 1 of Amendment XIV reads, No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
It doesn’t mention anything about race or gender, which lays down a backbone of equality that will always protect us, no matter what our color, gender or sexuality. (Note: Though the promise of equal rights is perfectly evident in the amendment above, Amendment 15 was then created, the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, to really ensure the enforcement of 14. However, to me, 15 is simply an extension of 14.)
The Atlantic’s Molly Ball explains it perfectly in her article, How Gay Marriage Became a Constitutional Right, “What changed, in other words, wasn’t the Constitution—it was the country. And what changed the country was a movement.” In essence, our founding fathers had actually protected the rights of gay citizens, but socially and culturally, opinion smothered this right. However, while officiators might perpetually and subjectively attempt to oppress social “underdogs,” the wig-wearing, stocking-sporting old-timers loyally and timelessly have our backs, giving all of us, an indisputable right to our rights.
Suggested Further Reading & Viewing:
Proposed Amendments [that never got passed…it’s pretty fascinating]
HBO’s John Adams
I’m so pleased to announce that three of my poems, “Slots,” “Scraping” and “Make a Decision” have been published in Barking Sycamores Literary Magazine Issue 13. Barking Sycamores is dedicated to neurodivergent literature and its craft. I’m so honored to be a part of this project. Barking Sycamores Issue 13
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