Fighting For Your Rights

In an ever sensitive world as this, our convoluted 21st century, today’s post is dedicated to those who sit back complacently thinking that nothing new will surprise them. Find ye here a small taste of what the human rights snowball is rolling past you with…I was just reading an article about two co-habiting sisters who have lost their legal battle to avoid paying an inheritance tax bill to the UK government (see article here) when either of them passes away. They are both over 80, and demand protection of their property as siblings, requesting the same rights as married and gay couples. Strangely enough, their surname is Burden, and a great one they carry with them after this sentence from the courts. My point of interest in this item, however, is not about their specific issue or the verdict, but rather my reaction as I could not avoid squinting with intrigue at a remark made by one of the sisters stating that, “If we were lesbians we would have all the rights in the world.”If only lesbians did have all the rights in the world…

The most immediate reference to ‘gay rights’ that springs to mind is that of marriage, which spawns inheritance issues among others. Luckily, certain countries such as Spain, Canada, The Netherlands, Belgium or South Africa have same-sex marriage rights. In other countries, there are civil union rights which don’t fully qualify as ‘marriage’, but are an encouraging step away from complete legal chastisement. Immigration issues are equally sensitive, if you consider for example that in the US, a ‘straight’ US citizen who marries a foreign partner is eligible to bring that person into the United States, whilst long-term same-sex partners in similar situations are denied those very same rights, forcing foreign gay partners to find temporary visas or face separation. So, suffice to say that ‘all the rights in the world’ have not yet been served upon the L, G, B, T or Q communities.

What I do find interesting and inspiring, however, is the fact that the tables are slowly turning with respect to how people view anybody’s rights. Whilst there are still many cases within the gay community pushing for change in legislation and way of life according to the ‘straight world’, it is now the rest of the world that is using gay rights issues as examples to fight for other equal rights.

And this, in the name of human rights, should be a matter of pride for everyone.