On July 5, one day after millions of Americans celebrated a holiday that symbolizes freedom, Major Jiminez and Beau Chandler took a bold stand for equality. They walked to a marriage counter in Dallas, Texas, requested a marriage license that they were denied, handcuffed themselves together, and sat down. They were arrested and, on August 2, they will face 180 days in jail or $2000 bond. Their crime? Demanding their government to treat them equally under the law.
Tomorrow, we will celebrate yet another historical milestone, On July 28, 1868, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution went into effect, guaranteeing equal protection under the law to every American. Major and Beau showed clearly that our country has not lived up to that promise for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. In fact, they feel so strongly about this unfulfilled promise that they wanted to share their story with you!
Watch Major and Beau tell their story, and sign the pledge for full equality here: www.getequal.org/pledge
This is why we are launching a new campaign — “Fight for the 14th.” For decades, we’ve called on Congress and the White House to make good on the promises of the 14th Amendment and, year after year, our community has been turned away. Now it’s time to go to the American people — to do the grassroots organizing work that will create a movement for full LGBT equality and force those in power to concede.
Major and Beau took a bold stand for people like me who had to recently travel thousands of miles to another state to marry the love of my life because my state has a ban on marriage equality. Around the country, millions of LGBT families are denied recognition under the law, youth are driven to suicide because of bullying, LGBT immigrants are deported because their spouses can’t sponsor them, workers are fired due to their sexuality or gender identity, and people are denied housing simply because of who they are.
Fight for the 14th by signing the pledge for full equality here: www.getequal.org/pledge
It’s time for us to demand full LGBT equality under the law. It’s time for every one of us to follow in the footsteps of Major and Beau, and the many others before them. For too long, the 14th Amendment has remained an unfulfilled promise for LGBT Americans — it’s time to fight for the 14th!
Hasta la victoria!
Felipe Matos, National Field Director