Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Let Rainbows Flourish

News item: Maryland's House of Delegates, on a close vote, approved the Civil Marriage Protection Act recently. The measure, which was approved by the Senate last year, will go to the Upper House for what is hoped to be a perfunctory approval and then on to the Governor for his signature.

"I wish I knew how it would feel to be free!" When I listen to the debates in State Houses across the country about equality in marriage, the words of this civil rights song come to mind. I hear parents of gay children speak about their families. I hear children parented by those in committed same-sex relationships speak of the moral values they were raised with and watch them demonstrate their scholarship and achievements. I hear both men and women in long term same-sex unions speak of their wish to have the same legal rights for home ownership, survivorship, pension and insurance benefits, and medical decision making opportunities for their partnerships as their married neighbors currently enjoy. In short, I hear their wishes to truly be free.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Women, Healthcare and Political Will

Breast cancer obeys no political guidelines, follows no ideological dictums, disrespects age, race, gender and sexual orientation.

Reproductive options through birth control, which first allowed women to dictate their pregnancy choices, came of age in the 60s. Subsequently women began to make demands on the social and political systems for equality. Concurrent with the civil rights advances being made at the same time, women wanted equal pay for equal work, parity in athletic and scholastic opportunities, and the chance to push through the glass ceilings and mommy tracks common at that time.

Now some 40 years later we unfortunately are fighting the same battles with women's bodies as the field of battle.