Dear Members and Advocates,
In 1964, the United States passed a long overdue Civil Rights Act that outlawed discrimination against other human beings based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Among other provisions, the new law prohibited unequal application of voter registration requirements, ended racial segregation in schools, and outlawed discrimination in employment and public accommodations.
I call it long overdue, because the United States should have already implemented laws preventing unequal treatment of human beings. After all, nearly two hundred years earlier, during the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence was enacted. Perhaps the most relevant section of which, is that “all men are created equal”. The Declaration of Independence is said to be the statement of principles on which our government is formed. So if the foundation of our country as of 1776 is that all people are created equal, why would we need a law to enforce that equality in 1964?
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision in Bostock v. Clayton County. That landmark case, along with R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, expanded the protections of the Civil Rights Act to include gay and transgender people. Protections that should have been presumed and in place already, not only since 1964, but since 1776. So again, what the heck?!?!? Did we really need another 55 years and the Supreme Court to enforce the principle that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”?
I take civil rights very personally, because I don’t have mine. As I pay attention to what is going on around me, I see so many groups fighting for their right to be treated equally and I am offended that it has become necessary for any free person to stage protests and mount legal challenges just to enforce the right to be treated equally. A “truth” that was supposed to be “self-evident” in this country nearly two and a half centuries ago!
Sadly, the United States is an oppressive and intolerant place. It has been a decade since I completely paid my debt to society. Even though I’m no longer on any form of probation and supposedly a “free man”, I am unable to vote, I can’t live, work, travel, worship or even be present in certain places, I have to regularly report, in person, to law enforcement to report petty changes. My driver’s license and passport are branded with a mark of shame and a flyer prominently displayed on the internet serves as a banner inviting the lynch mobs to harm me and my family.
This needs to stop!
If you’ve watched the news lately, you will see that our country is in the midst of a wake-up call. As there is movement to fix the wide-ranging injustice and inequality that exists in our country, it is critical we make sure our voices are heard and our cause is included in all changes that are being considered.
The way I look at it, the registry reform movement is our colonial revolt. Our movement needs your participation. Whether you become involved in FAC, NARSOL, ACSOL, WAR or any organization fighting to reform the registry, please, just do your part! Whether your part is volunteering time, writing a letter, or supporting FAC (or your state’s affiliate) with a donation, just do something! Even if you hit the forward button on this email and share it with 10 people not affiliated with this cause, you will have done something to educate the public on the injustice taking place in our society.
Let’s get to work!
The Florida Action Committee
SOME HEADLINES FROM THIS WEEK
The “doxxing” of police officers mentioned in this article is of interest to me and perhaps it will be to others as well. There are parallels between doxxing and the registry. We know firsthand the struggle to live in relative safety. This story by no means…
The Tampa Bay Times will stop publishing its online mugshot gallery, which features people who have been arrested in the newspaper’s coverage area. The Times made the announcement on Monday. “The galleries lack context and further negative stereotypes,” said Tampa Bay…
This past week another individual, this time in Walton County, had a conviction overturned by the First District Court of Appeals on double jeopardy grounds. This is a scenario we see happen repeatedly and one where the precedence is clear. The case was Hooks v. State…
The killing of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement has sparked outrage and mass protests across the nation. Calls for police reform have created yet another divide among the American public. As we move toward what will likely be significant changes to the…