“You understood that we must stand against crimes that are meant not only to break bones, but to break spirits — not only to inflict harm, but to instill fear. You understand that the rights afforded every citizen under our Constitution mean nothing if we do not protect those rights — both from unjust laws and violent acts.”
Intolerance is a funny thing; once someone stands up against it, then more and more people begin to realize it's okay to stand up. This Wednesday, President Obama signed the "Matthew Shepard Act" into law, which extends the hate crime legislation to include those who are attacked because of their sexual orientation. This is both a small step and a big step for the gay community. Small because this is only the tip of the iceberg; enormous because this is not just a signature promoting protection, but promoting hope, equality, tolerance, and eventually, beyond simply being tolerant of differences to actually embracing those differences. Once people can see the tides turn away from hate, they can let the current begin to carry them too.
Writer/Illustrator: Evan Turk - Manhattan, New York