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Yes Virginia, There is an Equality Clause

Yes Virginia, There is an Equality Clause

(With apologies to Virginia O’Hanlon and Francis P. Church, I have co-opted the “Dear Virginia” story from 1897. Its message reaches far and wide, with regard to beliefs and conviction of life’s truth.)

Dear Editor,

I am 53 years old. I have lived my whole life thinking there is an Equality Clause. Many of my fellow citizens say there is no Equality Clause. My conscience says that if I see it in my heart, it is so. Please tell me the truth… Is there an Equality Clause?

Shawn McAndrew
United States Citizen

Dear Shawn,

Your fellow citizens are wrong. They have been affected by cynicism, in a cynical age, prejudice in an age of bias. They think that nothing can be that is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Shawn, whether they be adults’ or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, a human is a mere insect, an ant, in his or her intellect, as compared with the boundless world around us, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Shawn, there is an Equality Clause. It exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist. You know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Equality Clause. It would be as dreary as if there was no love, no understanding, no compassion. There would be no faith, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We would have no enjoyment. The eternal light with which our awe and spirit fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in an Equality Clause! You might was well not believe in faeries! You might get your father to hire men to watch all the borders in all the land every evening of the year to catch the Equality Clause, but even if you did not see it coming across the border, what would that prove? No one sees the Equality Clause, but that is no reason to believe it does not exist. The most real things in the world are those that none of us see. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders that are unseen or un-seeable in the world.

You tear apart a baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world, which not the strongest person, nor even the united strength of all the strongest people who ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Shawn, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Equality Clause, indeed! Thank goodness it lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Shawn, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, the Equality Clause will continue to make glad the heart of human life.

The United States Court of Appeals takes up arguments starting December 6, 2010 to consider the legality of Proposition 8, which makes illegal the union of same-sex couples. Let’s all remind ourselves that there is an Equality Clause, and that the justices who hear these arguments remember that. It is no illusion, it is not a dream — equal rights apply to all.

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