Saturday, April 9, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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.”
As of Jan 17, 2011 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) we are still working to realize this dream.
In the relatively recent past…
- Women did not have the right to vote (fixed in 1920, 19th Amendment).
- Minorities could be excluded from public schools (fixed in 1954, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas).
- The poor could be prevented from voting by a poll tax (fixed in 1964, 24th Amendment).
- Many of different race, color, religion, or national origin could legally be discriminated against (fixed in 1964, Civil Rights Act of 1964).
- Homosexuals were required to disclose their sexual preference and be excluded from military service (partially fixed in 1993, with the Don’t ask, Don’t tell policy by Bill Clinton).
- Homosexuals were dismissed if their sexual preference became known (fixed in 2010, bill passed Congress that allows homosexuals to serve openly).
- Same sex marriages were not allowed (in transition, as of 2010 some states allow this but many don’t).
- Women were not allowed in combat roles in the military (in transition, 2011 military panel recommended removing this restriction).
We hope that eventually all peoples in our world will enjoy the unalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”