HRC Colorado: Why I Volunteer
April 10, 2013 by Guest contributor
Post submitted by HRC Steering Committee Member Amy Speers, Colorado Federal Club co-chair.
As a straight ally I am often asked why I volunteer with HRC for equal rights for the LGBT community. I am not gay. My husband is not gay. My child is not gay. To my knowledge, no family member of mine is gay. I am asked why I do this work if it doesn’t impact me—and that’s where a lot of people get it wrong.
My parents taught me to speak my mind, stand up for people who need a voice, and do the right thing. I guess you could say I am doing what my parents told me to do. Gay people have been in my life for as long as I can remember, being a part of my parent’s working world and my own personal world. It wasn’t until I heard hate spewing from a Denver radio station in 2003 that I actually made the decision to stand up and be a voice for civil rights. I could not believe that someone actually felt the hateful things they were saying—that children were being harmed because gays wanted to get married. And I didn’t like being told that my marriage would somehow change because my gay friends wanted that right of marriage. I wanted to be a voice for change.
I started volunteering with a local group, providing information and education on marriage equality. I loved seeing the light of understanding when someone realized it’s not special rights that LGBT people are asking for—it’s the same rights straight couples can get with a trip to the courthouse. Although I enjoyed the local organization, I wanted to do something more. I looked around and found HRC in 2008. I liked that my voice could be heard on both a local level and a national level. I worked with different committees within HRC and am now the co-chair for the Federal Club.
So I guess I’ll answer the question: Why do I volunteer with HRC? I work for equal rights because a country that treats her citizens equally is a better place to live. Having families with the same rights my family enjoys makes my marriage stronger. Knowing that the kids of my son’s generation can grow up with dreams of marriage and family—no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity—makes me a stronger parent.
I do it because it is simply the right the thing to do.
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