CommunityPam's House Blend

How many ways do they force us to lie?

No matter how I look at this issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. For me personally, it comes down to integrity — theirs as individuals and ours as an institution.

Adm. Mike Mullen in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Feb. 2, 2010

Admiral Mullen’s words were so powerful because they were so undeniably true.  The multitude of federal, state and local anti-LGBT laws in place not only prevent lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans from actualizing our full citizenship, they strip us of personal integrity by forcing us to lie about ourselves and our families.  Joe Mirabella has written an excellent diary exploring how the Defense of Marriage Act has forced him to deny his relationship with his spouse and lie on his tax forms.

Dear Uncle Sam,

I just wanted to let you know that I finished my tax return and e-filed it. You should be aware that I lied on my return.

My online tax preparation software asked me if I was single, married, married filing separately, or head of household. I pondered my choices for a few minutes and wondered, should I tell the truth and face the wrath of the IRS, or should I lie?

How many ways have you been forced to lie because of the anti-LGBT animus encoded in our laws?  I discuss one of my pet “must lie” peeves below the fold.The customs declaration form.  Hate it.  Or rather, I hate how it forces me to lie.  I first mentioned this in Autumn’s diary where she mentioned how difficult it could be for her to answer census questions fully and accurately.

Every time you re-enter the United States, you must fill in this little blue form.  Question 3 asks, Number of Family Members traveling with you.  If I answer with the correct number of “one” (myself and my spouse), I am lying in the eyes of the federal government which doesn’t recognize our legally-enacted marriage or our Washington State Registered Domestic Partnership because of the “Defense” of Marriage Act.  But If I answer “zero”, I am lying because we are indeed both lawfully married as well as registered domestic partners.

This may sound like hand-wringing over semantics until you realize that I have a spouse who is not an American citizen.  Even though she has permanent resident status, any border person can refuse her entry for absolutely no reason whatsoever.  If she was denied entry, as has happened to a law-abiding cousin of ours, I would have no right to be informed as to her whereabouts or condition, and no way to insure her safety and fair treatment.  So, being forced to lie on a federal form no matter how I answer is quite an unsettling experience as well as being an insult to my integrity.

CommunityMy FDL

How many ways do they force us to lie?

No matter how I look at this issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. For me personally, it comes down to integrity — theirs as individuals and ours as an institution.

Adm. Mike Mullen in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Feb. 2, 2010

Admiral Mullen’s words were so powerful because they were so undeniably true.  The multitude of federal, state and local anti-LGBT laws in place not only prevent lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans from actualizing our full citizenship, they strip us of personal integrity by forcing us to lie about ourselves and our families.  Joe Mirabella has written an excellent diary exploring how the Defense of Marriage Act has forced him to deny his relationship with his spouse and lie on his tax forms.

Dear Uncle Sam,

I just wanted to let you know that I finished my tax return and e-filed it. You should be aware that I lied on my return.

My online tax preparation software asked me if I was single, married, married filing separately, or head of household. I pondered my choices for a few minutes and wondered, should I tell the truth and face the wrath of the IRS, or should I lie?

How many ways have you been forced to lie because of the anti-LGBT animus encoded in our laws?  I discuss one of my pet “must lie” peeves below the fold. (more…)

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Laurel Ramseyer

Laurel Ramseyer

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