Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

It is the commonly statement amendment in the United States Consitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The problem is, even though our country allows the freedom of religion, they do not protect those who attempt to practice their religious beliefs freely.

The perfect example of this occurred last year, when Pastor Terry Jones decided to have a public burning of the Quran to protest the building of a Mosque near Ground Zero in New York City. Believe me, I can see where the controversary with this idea arises, but to go to the extreme of burning the Islamic holy book is too far. This barbaric protest is not different than a Muslim burning the Holy Bible. You can’t tell someone what they believe is wrong, and, supposedly in our country, you are not allowed to torture someone just for believing something other than the majority.

I understand the harsh feelings our country has toward the Muslim nation, but you cannot blame what happened in 2001 on every single person who believes in the Islamic religion. Do African-Americans still blame whites in the south for their enslavement for hundreds of years?

Our country pressures us to stay with the majority to the point where anything else is considered blasphemy. Christians are no more entitled to practicing their religion than anybody else. The sooner our country opens their squinted eyes and embraces the diverse land we live in, the better off we will be.

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Recently, I wrote an article for one of my classes about the current status of the healthcare system for homosexuals in Kentucky. It wasn’t until I began my research that I realized just how bad the situation is in the state I call home.

Healthcare has never been something I’ve found much interest in, but after doing a little bit of research on the subject, I could not wrap my mind around the situation.

Kentucky Law states that in order for a person to make decisions on behalf of their incompacitated same-sex partner, they have a written consent notarized with at least two witnesses present. I even found, in severe cases, a person may not even be able to visit their same-sex partner. And, bascially, a bunch of other narrow-minded, ridiculous rules that our government refuses to change.

Some of the things I read and found were quite disturbing. It’s bad enough to have someone you love with all of your heart and soul dying, but to not even be able to sit by the side…quite possibly one of the most disgusting, inhumane things you could possibly do to another human being.

Fortunately, the doctor’s office employees I interviewed for my article gave a little hope to society as a whole. They had a lot to say about the topic and seemed very passionate about equality. But this is just one in millions of offices across the country.

Some states do have LGBT-specific healthcare clinics. But there are only 13 of these across the entire country. How are the estimated 1 million people who identify as LGBT supposed to fit into 13 doctor’s offices?

What our country needs are leaders who will make equality happen. Not tomorrow, or in a few days…but NOW! In politics, in classrooms, and even in doctor’s offices.

Currently, there are six states that have legalized gay marriage. Some states even allow same-sex unions. But a large portion of the U.S. does not allow same-sex marriages or civil unions, and chooses not to recognize same-sex marriages performed out-of-state.

New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire and the District of Columbia are the only states that allow gay marriage.

Though the Human Rights Campaign and other organizations that support marriage equality are putting forth their best efforts toward the cause, many states, particularly in the southern and midwest regions of the country, completely ban same-sex commitment ceremonies.

Now that you have been informed on the current status, I’d like to continue by saying this: WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

Our country gone so far off track we cannot even allow people to show love toward one another. We are “supposedly” the country of freedom and liberty, but we still treat the people who live here with discrimination and hold them to standards that should have long-since died out.

We our in a fast-paced, constantly changing society. The fact is, some people need to accept that it’s no longer 1776. We have worked hard to get where we are as a country that others can look up to.

If two people that love each want to share that love with the rest of the world, who are we, as a country, to stop them?

Many people use the argument of maintaining the traditional values of marriage or the sanctity of the institution. The last time I checked, most people back in the “good ‘ole days” only married because they HAD to, not because they wanted to.

Marriage is the concept of a life-long commitment to another person, and if two people of the same sex want to spend the rest of their lives together, we have no right to deny them of that.

The bottom line is this: love is love. Whether it be the love between a mother and child, the love between two siblings or the love between a man and man…a woman and a woman…or a man and a woman.

“A young man committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate alledgly posted a video of the him online having sex with another man.”

“A 13-year-old boy hung himself after being bullied by other teenagers at school for being gay.”

“A middle school st udent shot himself after informing his parents he was gay and being bullied by at least four other kids at school.”

We’ve all seen this stories on the news, or read them in the newspaper, or even came across them while scrolling through the internet. And why did this have to happen? Bullying. These three homosexuals had to lose their lives because somebody else in their life was making them miserable enough to put a gun to their head, or jump off a bridge, or hang themselves.

Fortunately, a lot of foundations and awareness projects have been created recently to make younger people feel more comfortable with their sexuality. Projects such as the “It Gets Better” Project and Spirit Day were made to raise awareness of gay suicides and give people hope that it does, in fact, get better. Many media influences, such as Lady GaGa, Adam Lambert, Steve Jobs, Stephen Colbert and even President Barack Obama, have participated in these projects.

Does our country not see what it has done? We have allowed homosexuals to feel so alone and closed off that they see killing themselves as the only form of relief. It should never have gotten to the point where so many LGBT members had to lose their lives.

We can’t turn back the clock and give these people their lives back, but we can make sure nothing like it happens again. By simply posting a video on youtube to show support or wearing purple one day out of the year, you can make a difference. Be a positive influence that we need to see in the world.

Bullying is the silent killer…but, I hope that one day, our voice can make it not so silent.

“It’s National Coming Out Day! I am coming out for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.”

If you, like myself, were among millions who shared their facebook or twitter status to the Human Rights Campaign’s National Coming Out Day, you are not unfamiliar to the message.

Many people who see this yearly message simply roll their eyes and move on.  These are the people who cannot even begin to understand what coming out as gay, lesbian, bixsexual or transgender truly signifies.  Some of these people even see coming out as a joke.

The bottom line is this:  there’s no easy way to come out of the closet. Many gays and lesbians even say it’s the most difficult thing they have ever done in their lives. It most of the time it’s met with judgment, rejection and, in many cases, hatred.

This is why so many homosexuals remain closeted throughout the majority of their lives. They are simply afraid of what kinds of reactions they might get from family, friends and co-workers. But, how could you live a normal, healthy life if you were lying to these people every day? The fear of coming out causes many homosexuals to cut themselves from the rest of the world and deny themselves for who they truly are just because some of society tells us that it’s not acceptable.

This is why coming out is important. Whether you’re gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, gender-queer, or even if you’re just a straight ally. National Coming Out Day is not about annoying people who see homosexuality as wrong…it’s about letting those who are afraid to come know know their not alone and about giving them the courage to stand up for who they are and what they believe.

So for those people, I’m saying this:

My name is Kyle Shane Woosley and I am coming out for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. I’m not afraid to stand up or speak out for who I am and what I believe in. My goal is advocate equality for all people and provide comfort to those who need it.

Last week marked the 13th anniversary of the brutal attack on 21-year-old Matthew Shepard.  He was beaten, robbed and pistol-whipped by two men, who then tied him to a fence and left him for dead.  As if this pathetic display of humanity’s moral compass wasn’t enough, a preacher from Topeka, Kansas brought his message of hate to Shepard’s funeral.  The  narrow-minded flock of Bible thumpers were protesting the funeral, carrying signs with phrases such as “No Tears for Queers” and “Fag Matt in Hell”.

This is the kind of ignorance and intolerance that makes the world a dangerous and scary place for homosexuals.  The idea that someone would commit a crime so violent and discriminatory makes me sick.  But to have a church, a place supposedly to give sanctuary and comfort to those in need, completely disrespect the loss of Shepard’s young life…that’s a whole new level of immoral.  It was a funeral; a time for people to pay their respects and remember the lost life of a loved one.  There is absolutely no justified excuse for it.

Last week brought back memories and issues that have long-since haunted the minds of all minorities across the country.  Even though we live in the land of the free, some people choose not to see it that way.  Whether it comes in the form of racists, sexists or narrow-minded Christians, there are some people in our society who feel they are superior or worth more than others.

Fortunately, in October 2009, President Barak Obama passed the Matthew Shepard Act.  The law expands on the U.S. federal hate crime law to include sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability.

Hate crimes and bullying towards minorities are not uncommon.  Anniversaries, such as Matthew Shepard’s, remind us there are still people in the world who choose to fill their hearts and minds with hate, rather than love and tolerance.  As we remember the lives of those lost due to the hatred of others, focus on what us, as the future generation, can do to make the world a better place for all with love, peace and equality.

After 17 years, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Act has been officially repealed!  The discriminatory law, which banned gays and lesbians from serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, forced thousands of soldiers to be discharged from the military.  Fortunately, these soldiers will be permitted to re-enlist in the military and current soldiers will no longer have to hide their sexual orientation from their comrades.

All I can think to say after 20 years is:  It’s About Time!  This law has been into effect for most of my life, but it’s about time that the U.S. finally came to it’s senses to end this discrimination.  Why does it matter what the sexual orientation of someone in the military is?  The gay and lesbian soldiers in our Armed Forces are fighting for freedom.  They are going overseas to defend our nation.  They are giving up time with their families and friends.  They are risking their lives, just like every other soldier.

Organizations, such as the Human Rights Campaign, have been advocating their disapproval of this law ever since it was put into effect.  They have sent thousands of emails and letters to repeal this act, and finally their hard work has paid off.

President Barack Obama could not have said any better, “Today, every American can be proud that we have taken another great step towards keeping our military the finest in the world and toward fulfilling our nation’s founding ideals.”

LGBT members of the community can finally rip the metaphorical tape away from their mouths and smile as they serve our country proud!