Charlene Strong: It’s Time to Carry the Water

When Charlene Strong rushed to the emergency room in Dec. 2006 to check on her partner who had been trapped in a flooded basement, a social worker barred her way saying Washington state didn’t recognize same-sex partnerships.

In April 2007, she testified before Senate in support of a bill to create a statewide domestic partnership registry. The bill was signed into law in April that year.

Today, she is tired of the “never-ending battle for marriage equality,” and calls for a new global rights revival. (She spoke to the World Affairs Council in mid-May; click here for more information and the video.)

I had the great pleasure of participating in a global discussion presented by the World Affairs Council called Gay Rights as Human Rights. The event focused on LGBT equality and the atrocities that many people face simply because of their sexual orientation. The purpose of the symposium was to get people to think about gay rights on a much broader scale. The discussion seemed more than appropriate with the endorsement of same-sex marriage by President Obama less than two weeks prior.


As I listened to the stories this thought struck me: as an American citizen I am terribly comfortable and selfish.  I felt ashamed and bewildered that in 2012 the focus organizations that work for LGBT equality and legislation are continuing to be tasked with the never-ending battle for marriage equality in this nation.


I suggest we need something big to shake us, to bring us together:  I suggest we need a revival. We need a good old-fashioned awakening of our soul as a community – as a global community – that is concerned about the bigger picture of inequality. A revival is a moment to be inspired.

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