Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Fight for Equality Is Not a Spectator Sport

I'm passionate about many things. One of the things I'm most passionate about is for all citizens to be treated equally no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. What's going on right now with state legislatures trying to pass laws that allow businesses to discriminate against people simply for being who they are really bothers me. It doesn't just bother me because of my political views. It bothers me as a human being.

I want to see this country move forward in my lifetime. I want to see America move past the kind of discrimination that existed when my grandparents were growing up. I know that in order for this to happen, I can't just complain about what's going on. I have to take action.

Today, when a friend of mine shared the idea of petitioning the NFL to move the Superbowl out of Arizona in 2015 due to the recent passing of legislation there allowing discrimination against other humans, I thought I would wait and see if this legislation got signed. But the more I thought about it, I thought that starting to send a very strong message now might keep this legislation from being signed at all and cause lawmakers in other states to think twice before writing these bills. Instead of focusing on a specific state or a specific piece of legislation, I thought it could make a difference if a big organization like the NFL would come out and say they won't bring the biggest event they have to any state that allows discrimination of any kind by law.

Here is the petition:

Pledge Not to Bring the Superbowl to States with Laws Allowing Discrimination

I hope that you will sign and share this petition with your friends. If lawmakers aren't going to care about basic human decency when they make laws, maybe they will act differently if they see that passing laws that allow discrimination will hurt them and their citizens financially. Given that the NFL moved the Superbowl out of Arizona when state lawmakers tried to stop Martin Luther King Day from being celebrated in that state, I think there is a very good chance the NFL will once again stand for what is right.

I truly believe that discrimination against the LBGT community is the greatest civil rights issue of my generation. I also truly believe we can overcome this discrimination and someday tell the kinds of stories to our grandchildren that my grandmother tells me about separate drinking fountains and signs in restaurants.

No freedom til we're equal. Damn right I support it.


  1. If we were to strictly go by that criterion, only TWO states — New York and Maine — would be eligible for the Super Bowl. The other 48 states discriminate against naturists and nudists, topless women, pregnant people, LGBT people or minorities for some reason.

  2. The US is built on discrimination, and not in a good sense. It was written into the Constitution, and constitutional law remains the main weapon used against equality.

  3. Thank you, Madison. We need more people like you to participate in such advocacy. I hope that when my daughters are older, they will have the same initiative as you do. Human rights are universal, they shouldn't be reserved only for those with the money to buy them.

  4. Vision without action is merely a dream.
    Action without vision is busywork
    Vision with action can change the world.
    Victor Frankl