The morning of May 22, 2012, I went to see my kindergartener in a patriotic assembly for Memorial Day. The principal instructed us to turn and recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Something I have said so many times, but I really heard the words today:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.
It really occurred to me in that moment, the lack of exceptions in this pledge. It doesn’t say with Liberty and Justice only for those with black, white, brown or yellow colored skin. It doesn’t say Liberty only for Christian, Muslim, Jewish people, Buddhists, Taoists, Church of England, or any other religious group. It doesn’t say Liberty and Justice for the wealthy, the poor, or anything in between. It doesn’t say Justice only for heterosexuals or homosexuals. It says Justice for ALL.
It is this fundamental American ideal of an indivisible melting pot of humanity, that makes America so unique and special. Even if as a nation we don’t quite achieve this ideal, we as an American society are better, stronger, each time we work to eradicate the obstacles that hold those ideals out of reach. The pursuit for Civil Liberty affords America the respect to fight for Civil Rights globally. In order to be successful in this endeavor, church and state must be separated. Church and state must be kept separate from the discussion about how to govern the citizens that make up the wonderfully diverse population of America because as a state to be inclusive All must be able to worship and live in the manner of his or her choosing. In order for there to be Liberty and Justice for All, not just some, it seems to me that restrictions to the elements of happiness, cannot exist written in public-policy and have America remain in alignment with the fundamental tenets of Freedom and Justice for All.
I would propose to Civil Citizens, and lovers of Freedom and Justice everywhere, that laws which are designed to restrict Freedom and Justice for any group of citizens goes against what America is about. Primarily those whose actions do not come with a cost to life, like murder, or which threaten the livelihood of others as corruption does, but are simply a human living as his or her authentic self. Same-sex marriage is one such action and laws like the restrictive marriage law in North Carolina, says to those who wish to be happy with someone of the same gender, “Liberty and Justice for me, but not for you,” and that goes against the very essence of what America is supposed to be, a place where there is Liberty and Justice for All.