Petitioning President Barack Obama to declare the following:
The death penalty for consensual homosexuality is an abhorrent violation of human rights.
The countries that have such laws, specifically Nigeria; Iran; Yemen; Saudi Arabia; Mauritania; and The United Arab Emirates, are behaving immorally.
The continuation of such laws will reduce American aid to these countries.
When faced with a hideous yet inconvenient truth, one of the most common human reactions is to literally freeze. The hideous truth is that people face death for simply acting on a key aspect of their identity. It becomes inconvenient when countries literally holding the sword above innocents provide resources or alliances we desperately require. However, basic philosophical truths demand that we resist clear injustice. Moral evolution is not just for Americans; it is the birthright of every human being. Our government may be slowly moving forward, increasing the dignity and respect for gay and lesbian persons at home, but it has been unwilling or unable to directly call upon other nations to extend even the most basic rights to those most at risk. We must break up our collective glacier, and implore our leaders to assert our fundamental ideals.
Recently, when studying philosophy and critical thinking, I was struck by a rather simple revelation. Reason is not subjective. In this specific case, I can use reason to unequivocally assert that putting people to death because of their identity is a high moral crime. No cultural, religious, or legal doctrine can make the irrevocable silencing of a gay or lesbian spirit permissible. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.” I refuse to think myself safe when those like me are so forcibly dehumanized, even if they are half a world away. In essence, we are all connected, and we all have a duty to stand with one another.
I suspect the change I hope to see in the world will not come quickly or easily. Nevertheless, I remain resolved because there are so many people who deserve the opportunity to speak with their true voice. Please join me.