It was a bitter-sweet night on November 4th. Along with electing a president that defied all odds, parts of the US voted to deny equality to lesbians and gays. These types of decisions always beg the question: should the majority be able to take away the rights of the minority? I think it depends . . .

I don’t think many would argue with the majority taking away the Neo-Nazi’s right to promote hatred or the multinational corporation’s right to indiscriminately pollute the environment. That’s why it depends on what the issue is. I have a rule that has served me well so far – anything is fine as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.

To add complexity to this situation, some in the LGBT community suspect that their support for Barack Obama was not reciprocated by African Americans when it came to defeating proposition 8 in California. The reaction of some is to blame Obama for California, Arizona and Florida. Others have turned to more insidious and divisive racism to pay back the blatant homophobia. I doubt that many of these people voted for Obama only to support African Americans, but the sense of betrayal still cuts.

I support Barack Obama who has broken enormous barriers by becoming the first black US president. I also support full rights to the LGBT community (and many other discriminated groups), and I feel that Obama should promote this publicly – even though it will not be popular. I do not support the divisive actions under the guise of family values or the reactionary racism that has entailed. People have to find a way to get together and find out how similar their plights really are. This is the time to unite – however painful that may be.

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