Kat's testimony: Don't be silenced

Editor's Note: This is Kat's testimony and post-testimony comments, exactly as she shared them. Anchorage is lucky to have eloquent young adults like Kat, willing to stand up and be counted.
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i won't take up much of your time since what i have to say will not take long. but i do thank the assembly for granting me these few moments.

i have lived in and around anchorage since i was 4 years old.

i have tremendous pride in my state and in my city and i had no intention of testifying when all of this began. indeed, i waited until i had reviewed the testimony already given in it's entirety. what i saw was a great deal of prejudicial speech that proved exactly why these laws were needed. i also saw a great deal of pain and fear from those pleading with you, the assembly, to protect them.

i'm here today in the place of those who would otherwise have no voice. these people are silenced because the law does not protect them. basic needs like housing, employment and loans would be stripped from them for standing where i am now.

i'm extremely dismayed that our city has allowed religious leaders to dictate our laws and how our laws are written like their own personal theocracy for quite a few decades.

i think it is time for our assembly to take a stand and use their elected positions as public servants to protect all the people of our city and not give special rights of discrimination to certain groups.

i believe that rights are not just tokens to be doled out on a whim, but are the foundation for what our fore fathers delivered to us in the act of ultimate personal sacrifice.

i urge you to consider what has transpired and how it is viewed by the people.

we depend on our elected officials to protect the rights of minorities, as the majority would just as soon trample them. we depend on you to do what is just. we depend on you to protect the rights of all the citizens of Anchorage.

you have the voice.

please don't be silenced.

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At first i wondered if they would even get to my name that night. when suddenly, dozens of names were being called and no one went to speak, my heart pounded in my chest.

then my name was called.
my legal name.

and i went to the front. i waited as the gentleman before me finished speaking. supporters on both sides of me urged me forward. step after step, i approached the podium.

i set down my purse.
and i said my name.
my legal name.
for the record.

my voice wavered and tears nearly stopped me. but i knew that those supporters where behind me. i knew they were silently cheering me on.

i finished with a steady gaze into each assembly members eyes as i spoke those last few words. i wouldn't have had the strength to do that without the energy of those behind me.

when i was through, i thanked the assembly and turned to walk away. i nearly ran. i didn't make it all the way out before i had to sit down at the back of the chamber to catch my breath. my hands shook and my pulse choked me.

but i have never been so proud of myself.

because i will be able to tell my children and my grandchildren that my name is on that record as someone who stood on the side of a government that doesn't kneel to the whims of religion, and of love without conditions.

4 comments:

Bones AK said...

I wish I had that eloquence and courage. WELL DONE
Thank you for post this, it is very encouraging.

Jeanette said...

Beautful, so very beautiful.

Kat Arnold said...

thank you bent ak!
and thank you bones and jeanette.

i really appreciate the kind words. i'm just so glad i got the opportunity to say my piece.

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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