Friday, December 09, 2011

My Weekend Crush

Change can be a real bitch. It doesn’t comes right when you want it to. It always takes forever. Sometimes it seems it’ll never happen. But, still, we never have to stop trying, stop fighting, stop working to make it happen. So each step toward change, however small, is something to celebrate. Something to embrace. Something to hold up as a reminder that, yes, change is coming. It always comes. It is the only inevitability in life besides death. And that, in itself, is a change. So this week, when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stepped before the United Nations in Geneva and gave a speech declaring gay rights human rights. This isn’t a baby step. This isn’t even a regular step. This is history.

God, I love this speech. Hillary spoke for 30 solid minutes about gay rights. It is, quite simply, extraordinary. A few excerpts (but really, watch the full 30 minutes – you will not be sorry).

On human rights:

“Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct; but, in fact, they are one and the same…. Like being a woman, like being a racial, religious, tribal, or ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.”

On religious objections:

“This is not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation. Some people still defend those practices as part of a cultural tradition. But violence toward women isn't cultural; it's criminal. Likewise with slavery, what was once justified as sanctioned by God is now properly reviled as an unconscionable violation of human rights. In each of these cases, we came to learn that no practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

On freedom of expression:

“Universal human rights include freedom of expression and freedom of belief, even if our words or beliefs denigrate the humanity of others. Yet, while we are each free to believe whatever we choose, we cannot do whatever we choose, not in a world where we protect the human rights of all.”

On creating change:

“We need to ask ourselves, ‘How would it feel if it were a crime to love the person I love? How would it feel to be discriminated against for something about myself that I cannot change?’ This challenge applies to all of us as we reflect upon deeply held beliefs, as we work to embrace tolerance and respect for the dignity of all persons, and as we engage humbly with those with whom we disagree in the hope of creating greater understanding.”

Chills, really, chills. Clear, direct, eloquent, forceful. It’s everything we want our leaders to stand up and say to the world. And, like Hillary herself admits on the speech, our “own country's record on human rights for gay people is far from perfect” and we “have more work to do to protect human rights at home.” No, the Obama Administration’s record on LGBT rights isn’t perfect. No, neither Obama or Hillary fully support gay marriage – yet. But still, this speech is a landmark worldwide. A message to the corners of the world where being gay is still a crime. A clarion call for equality across the globe.

You can read her full transcript here.

Her speech could not be more of a contrast to the new political ad put out by Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry also put out this week. In it, the want-to-be President of the United States says:

“I’m not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As President, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again.”

When people scoff about voting and say, “Oh, who cares, politicians are all alike,” show them these two videos. Sure, sometimes it’s hard to find perfection in our leaders. But then consider the alternative.

p.s. As distasteful as it is to watch, I urge you to take a look and then click the “DISLIKE” button to help make Perry’s hideous spot the most disliked video on YouTube.
p.p.s. But it’ll make your day infinitely better knowing that that Perry wore Heath Ledger’s iconic “Brokeback Mountain” jacket in his big, dumb anti-gay ad.

Hillary ended her spectacular speech with a call for change, that ever elusive yet always present creature. And it urged everyone to get on the right side of history. It’s what makes me know that no matter how hard the Rick Perrys and worse of the world try, they’ll never be able to truly stop change from coming. Delay it, sure. Aggravate it, definitely. But history has proven to have very little patience with those who deny its progress. As Hillary said, “no matter how long the road ahead, we will travel it successfully together.” Happy weekend, all.


Vicky Syred said...

I haven't yet been able to watch Hillary's speech, what with me having 3 hours sleep followed by a 12 hour day yesterday. However, reading this post me so badly to want to catch up and watch it as soon as practically possible.

Unfortunately it wasn't just Perry making offensive remarks yesterday. Oh good God, no I tried my best to point out the flaws in his logic here -, but I don't think I made a very good job of it. I didn't know about Perry's spot when I wrote the post, else I'd have definitely included it!

Vicky Syred said...

and I'm clearly not awake should be "reading this post made me very badly want to catch up"

Voo said...

I'm so glad you wrote about this Ms. Snarker! I watched the speech the other day, and I was completely blow away by it - hell i even cried a little. So clear, intelligent, inspiring, touching and respectful to all sides in the issue, but without compromising a single thing. Bravo Hillary!
ps. I really liked how she name- dropped Eleanor Roosevelt ;) Hillary knows what she's talking about!

Anonymous said...

President Hillary Clinton.
I want to see that happen.

Shula said...

Wow that was an awesome speech I was quite moved by it. I hope people will watch it, listen to what is being said, and actually put it into action. Thanks Hillary Clinton for being on the right side of history.

Roz Turner said...

I was totally waiting for this to appear on your blog, Ms. Snarker ;)

Watched the entire speech yesterday and was moved very, very close to tears. Have yet to show my wife but I'm sure she'll love it too. Was also appalled by Rick Perry's ad - how the hell does crap like this get onto TV stations in the US?! If any politician said this stuff on national TV here in Blighty they'd be hung, drawn and quartered for their trouble. *sigh*

Charlotte said...

I read this blog every day, and I'd like to thank you for this post. I am a Christian and I am also gay and I think there is something severely disheartening about Rick Perry's ad campaign. Having faith and religion is about belief in something greater than yourself, belief that you should not harm others, you should treat all the way you yourself wish to be treated, and you should love your fellow human. To see someone as bigotted as Rick perry claiming to represent religion while preaching hate makes me sick. Religion is not about hate and it never should be. So thank you Rick Perry for urging people to go out and vote against you, and thank you Hillary for proving that it is the responsibility for people in power to portray love and acceptance and to fight for all human rights.

egghead said...

Occupy the voting booth November 6, 2012 to make sure Ricky Petty, I mean Rick Perry, or a Newt Gingrich does not steal the presidency. We LGBT's have worked too hard towards being freer to start going backwards again (although it does seem we are standing in place sometimes).

Charlotte said:
"To see someone as bigotted as Rick perry claiming to represent religion while preaching hate makes me sick."

MORE smart religious people need to stand up in opposition. All these politicians who CLAIM to be so pious is outright hypocrisy.

Lucy Hallowell said...

How refreshing to have one of our leaders doign her best to show the world that it's commendable to protect the gays instead o fthe Republicans running around trying to out-do each other with how much they love Jesus and how much they hate us.

Name checking Eleanor Roosevelt was a nice wink to us as well. Thank you Hillary and thank you Barack for standing with us. We like it when you take a moment to walk around in our sensible shoes to see what it's like.

Kristan said...

I hadn't heard about this speech, so thank you for sharing it. I've not been a big Hillary Clinton fan in the past, but over the past few years the tides have turned a bit, and this scores her some major points.

Lucy Hallowell said...

First there's this:

Dear Rick, the reason kids can't celebrate Christmas in public schools isn't the liberals war on religion (though I realize that sounds catchier) it's a little thing we like to call the First Amendment. You know that as the Amendment that lets you go on TV and sound like a stupid fuck and we can't do anything to stop you (also it gives me the right to call you a stupid fuck).
You should pick up the Constitution some time. Pretty short, it's a quick read and you might be aurprised about what is and isn't in there.
Thanks again for wearing that coat,


Olivi@ said...

Hillary's speech was extremely touching and quite didactical! Very well structured. I was kind off expecting her to say "So, my fellow wrongdoer States... do you want me to draw it for you so you can better understand?"

Meg said...

I'm not sure what I missed, but I didn't think the Rick Perry ad said being gay was bad - it said the fact that being gay was allowed, and being openly Christian is beginning to be not allowed is wrong.

I happen to agree with that thought. It is just as wrong to call a Christmas Tree a Holiday Tree as it is to say gays can't marry.

I am Christian, I am not gay, but I fully support LGBT rights, and same-sex marriages. It irks me that ALL of the people against gay marriages never bring up what goes on in the bedroom of a heterosexual couple. We don't care, nor should we care what goes on in the bedroom of a gay couple. No one's business but their own.

I did not interpret the Perry ad as anti-gay. That being said, I would never vote for the lunatic, either!

tlsintx said...

Brava! Thanks for the post Dorothy.

Dear Meg, please listen to Hillary's speech. It explains that religious beliefs are trumped by the fact that we are all human beings walking on this planet. Rick Perry conflates gay human rights with religious preferences. That's like comparing apples to oranges and effectively, it is anti-gay.

SlyNellie said...

Goddess Tina said it best: "Bitches Get Stuff Done" - it's not only the catchy slogan on the side of my mead stein!

Succinct speech = super smart & sexy. It should be required reading/viewing for all high school social studies classes, here and abroad.

Just when you thought no one could top (or bottom) W, along comes Rick Perry...

Stop ruining Texas for the rest of us! Man, the Commandant of the Marine Corps and even Botswana see the light. And I'm not talking about the light of the Christmas tree. It's the light of the rainbow, the menorah, the kinara, the yule log, the eid sunrise, and the flying spaghetti monster tinsel.

Dude, buy a clue instead of an ugly barn coat and maybe Ann Richards will stop laughing at you from the hereafter!

Anonymous said...

That beautiful speach brought tears to my eyes ... Thank you for putting it up here. This is also one of the reasons why I love this blog.


Your friend, Rusty said...

**sigh** It's times like this I really miss Molly Ivins. She would have had a field day with every ridiculous lurch of Perry's "Presidential" campaign.

In Jan 2006 this is what she said,
"The governor of Texas is despicable. Of all the crass pandering, of all the gross political kowtowing to ignorance, we haven't seen anything this rank from Gov. Goodhair since…gee, last fall.

Then he was trying to draw attention away from his spectacular failure on public schools by convincing Texans that gay marriage was a horrible threat to us all. Now he's trying to disguise the fact that the schools are in free-fall by proposing that we teach creationism in biology classes."

Anonymous said...

Have you seen this photo? It sums Rick Perry up pretty well, I think:


Norma Desmond said...

I've been a Hillary supporter since the day I knew who she was (as have my mother AND my grandmother), and I will never, ever stop. God love that woman.

Bitches DO get stuff done. They also give incredibly eloquent and moving speeches, when the occasion necessitates. :)

Anonymous said...

I---LOVE---HILLARY---CLINTON!!! She is this generation's Eleanor Roosevelt as a "Citizen of the World". One of her first acts as Sect'y of State was to recognize and improve the lives of LGBT State Dept. employees. She walks her talk in a real and meaningful way.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Hillary. You've justified the campaign contribution I made - even though I knew you wouldn't win. Your voice has been heard.

Anonymous said...

Snarks darling, you disappoint me! Have you *still* not grasped the *true paradigm* under which your United States operates?!

Perry attends the annual Bilderberg meeting in 2007:

Clinton denies attending the Bilderberg meeting in 2006 (despite multiple eyewitnesses seeing her there!):

Cheney ‘kissing ass’ at a ‘Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) meeting. (In reality the CFR is really just the American branch of the ‘Royal Institute of International Affairs’.)

You should ask yourself *why* he thought it prudent *not* to mention his association with the CFR as he was campaigning for re-election?!

Clinton ‘kissing ass’ at the CFR:

You’re probably wondering at this point what the hell the CFR and Bilderberg are. (At least you should be!) Google them darlings! Google them! It will not take much digging for you to discover that one name in particular comes up again and again in conjunction with both of those nefarious organisations:

Left wing? Right wing? SAME BLOODY BIRD!!!

My advice for 2012? Do NOT vote! If sufficient stay at home, the whole damn farce will be rendered null and void! Then you should set about expunging Rockefeller et al. (and with them their CFR, Trilateral Commission, (privately owned!!!) Federal Reserve and IRS) from your nation! With the Rockefellers, their cronies, and puppets (I’m looking at you Clinton!) gone, almost immediately you *will* notice a marked improvement in the State of the Nation!


PS If you don’t start addressing your Rockefeller/Rothschild problem soon you are FUCKED! And no amount of *token* gay liberation will make up for the coming shit storm (of gargantuan proportions!)

P(2)S An EXCELELLENT 30min introduction to the money system that quite rightly lays most of the ultimate blame at the gates of the Rothschild castle:

P(3)S Someone should ask Maddow if she’s a member or supporter of the CFR! (Many of those media whores are.)

P(4)S What about Ron Paul PD? Nah, trust him about as far as I could throw him! I reckon it’s high time you all just said ‘No!’ to the whole bloody pantomime!

P(5)S How the ‘Fighting Irish’ treat the likes of “scumbag” Rockefeller:

The ‘Fighting Chileans’ well and truly keeping their end up:

J9 said...

Loved the speech! Is it just me, or did anyone else think, "yes! The ponytail of righteous justice used appropriately"?

geborah9 said...

Clinton's speech knocked it out of the ballpark. I just wish it was mandatory viewing in every so called "family-values church" in America.

BTW, for the absolute funniest, most hysterical take ever on the witless Rick perry, see The Partisans demolish him in less than 60 seconds:

Berlowski said...

I love Hillary. She seems like such a determined and strong woman. An ideal young girls should really try follow or emulate.

What always bothered me in terms of human rights is, that it is horrible we need to have them. We are all human, we all want to be happy, we all want to live a fulfilling life. And yet we try to deny each other that. I don't understand that need to judge other people's choices and being. Why is it so hard for us to let people be the way they are. As long as they don't harm other people's lifes or freedoms there is nothing wrong with people's lifes or choices and we should just let them be happy and let them live their life as they see fit.
There is no need to agree with these choices and opinions. There is only one need and that is to respect other people. Not to tolerate, not even to accept, but simply to respect other people.