“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
On the eve of the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday and in the midst of a trial to overturn Proposition 8 in California, I was fortunate to attend a Marriage Equality USA fundraiser hosted by the San Francisco cast of Broadway’s “Wicked” (one of my favorite musicals).
The celebration of the birth of the great civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., was a fitting backdrop for this event. Pint-sized powerhouse Patty Duke, who plays Madame Morrible, was on hand to challenge our community to “share our truth.” The Pledge of Allegiance promises “liberty and justice for all,” she said. “There are no exceptions. We’ve gone as far as we can preaching to the choir.” Further, she said that challenging bigotry by sharing ourselves with the world will crumble its foundation.
The ultimate PFLAG dad and one of my favorite people Sam Thoron underscored Duke’s remarks. “We have to tell our truth, always and everywhere,” he said, adding with a wink and smile, “All we have to do is change the whole world.” Sam and his wife Julia have been wickedly involved in LGBT civil rights since their daughter came out over 20 years ago. There was no question in their minds that she should be treated the same as her straight siblings.
Sweet is proud to support the work of Marriage Equality USA. It’s an all-volunteer, national non-profit organization that’s hell-bent on changing hearts and minds through education and meaningful, one-on-one interactions with people who don’t know us, but would deny us our basic civil rights.
As we celebrate great gains in civil rights today, I’m hopeful that we’re drawing closer to fulfilling the promise of our democracy. “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir,” Dr. King said in his “I Have a Dream” Speech 47 years ago. It’s time for LGBT Americans to collect our inheritance.
“We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream,” Dr. King said. In supporting the work of Marriage Equality USA, you can help spread the truth and make equality reign.