Friday, 18 July 2008

Armenian-Americans join gay rights (marriage) debate

I was pleasantly surprised when noticed these "letters to the editor" published in the latest consecutive issues of The Armenian Weekly, which is a publication of ARF Dashnaktsutyun party. The topics discussed there are gay rights and marriage, taking into account broader aspects of Armenian issues and US politics. The authors of these letters rightly point out the need to view fight for gay rights and equality within a broader context of Armenians fighting for justice, including recognition of Armenian Genocide and other human rights issues.

Lets hope that their counterparts in Armenia, members of coalition government, will eventually embrace these issues too, and soon we will witness more postings and articles touching gay rights and equality in The Armenian Weekly and other media outlets, both in Armenia and Diaspora.

Dear Editor,

As a gay Armenian man, I feel that it is my moral responsibility to reach out to my fellow Armenian-Americans about a very important topic that affects all of us, the anti-gay marriage Constitutional Amendment on Nov. 4.

More than most, Armenians know how if feels to be a minority, oppressed by powerful establishments and regarded as second-class citizens. Incidentally, the gay and lesbian Armenian community is at a crossroads to achieve a milestone in gaining equality.

In the state of California, the Armenian vote is substantial and powerful, and the public needs to be educated on the facts and consequences of their vote. As a gay man, I have attended countless weddings of my family members, relatives, and friends and I hope that I can wed some day and invite all of them back to my special day. But powerful groups are lobbying to see that we are prevented from getting married and that our rightful victory in the California Supreme Court is overturned.

As Armenians, we are always asking government institutions, organizations, and individuals to resist the opposition, see the big picture, and ultimately do the right thing. This has been especially important in getting foreign governments to resist threats, bullying, and blackmail from Turkey in our quest to bring worldwide recognition to the Armenian Genocide.

I hope to see an article in your esteemed publication about this issue and I am confident that Armenians will ultimately do the right thing and support us.
Thank you and kind regards,

Vahe Gerami
Studio City, Calif.
*The Armenian Weekly, Volume 74, No. 26, July 5, 2008

UPDATE 29 September 2010: Second letter was removed upon request by the author citing personal circumstances.

*The Armenian Weekly, Volume 74, No. 27, July 12, 2008

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