One of my acquaintances, he is in education, called me Friday, he wanted to run something by me he said. We connected on Saturday and right from the start he asked me if I notice discrimination in Aruba. I thought about it for a while, and said, no.

I am aware there is such a thing, where people treat their peers differently because of the color of their skin, their religion, gender, age, education or nationality, but I never allow it to affect my life.

I never acknowledge its existence, or get mad about it.

Basically God gave me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Thus I allow people their prejudices, I forgive them their pettiness and stupidity, I cannot change them, and I fight as hard as I can to make sure that discrimination against me and my friends and what we stand for, never contaminates our universe.

That said, I do demand the protection of the law. While as an individual you are allowed to label GEREGISTREERD PARTNERSCHAP immoral, sinful, or depraved, the law of this country, the government, owes its citizens protection. If I live with a partner, man, woman or goat, over an extended period of time, and we’re known as a couple, if an accident takes him away to a better world, I should be allowed to benefit from his pension, as ALREADY stated by law in the Netherlands. And if as added value that piece of legislation also facilitates gay marriage, the more the merrier. It’s time this island joined the rest of the enlightened world.

Back to my friend’s story: What my educator told me broke my heart. He said he got married two years ago to a man from another lovely island, an educated, classy dude, an MBA by profession, which is a Master of Business Administration, however once he landed on the island, he couldn’t find work anywhere. As soon as ‘they’ hear married to an Aruban, they smile. What a bonus. No need to pursue a work permit. But when they hear it is a man, the lights go out, the tone becomes indifferent and polite. Thanks, but no thanks is the answer.

Wow, that is so unfortunate, and painful. What would you do, said the educator, after all, it is so important for my partner to find his way here, and work, it will be good for his self-esteem and great for our relationship, what would you do, Rona?

I told him. I would use my resources, I would mobilize my village, courageously change the things I can, and not wait for the world to fix itself. I would call everyone and their mother, connect with my entire little black address book, and reverse that unemployment verdict. There must be just one open minded and love-based business on the island that needs an MBA, and it would be my mission to uncover it.

I recently read this story about a gay couple who sued their florist for refusing to provide their wedding with flowers, for religious reasons. I my case, I wouldn’t want that bible-thumping hag to provide flowers for my most important day, I would go to a florist who loves me, but as I said the law in the USA provides gay couples protection, and grants them equal rights, the bigoted florist was fined, and that is how it should on Aruba.

P.S. does anyone know what happened to the petition we signed, that was launched Monday, July 11th, 2016.