Home Featured Don’t Say Gay: Civil Liberties and Right Wing Legislation

Don’t Say Gay: Civil Liberties and Right Wing Legislation

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Look familiar?

I’m a man who is exclusively sexually attracted to women. By definition this makes me heterosexual. Although I’m heterosexual I’m 100% in favor of equal rights for homosexuals. I don’t understand blatant homophobia and worse I don’t get legislation that limits the rights of gays. In a broader sense I don’t support any legislation that shames a group of people for simple being who they are.

Recently Missouri legislature proposed a bill that would ban the discussion of sexual orientation in classrooms. They are calling it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Nothing the GOP proposes any more shocks or upsets me. I’ve come to expect extreme rightist legislation and the Don’t Say Gay bill doesn’t disappoint. Missouri isn’t alone in this type of bill. In Tennessee a similar bill that has been proposed in the state Senate (it was approved by the House committee) will not be voted on. The bill which states that “No public elementary or middle school shall provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality…”

The problem with legislation such as this is that is ostracizes and condemns students who are homosexual or are trying to find out exactly who they are. When I was in middle school there were students who were openly gay (mostly girls) and some boys who had trouble identifying who they were (mostly boys who didn’t come out until high school). Legislation that bans anything that would include homosexuality sets a dangerous precedent.

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I’ve stated before that I don’t believe that the fight for equal rights for LBGT community is not tantamount to the Civil Rights struggle but its still very important and a cause in which I support. Why? If our government can restrict how sexual orientation is discussed in school (if at all) then the next step could be restricting others from being who they are. It’s a slippery slope. Don’t say gay can eventually turn into don’t say slavery or don’t say Muslim. Although I don’t feel the level of oppression is equal across board when it concerns oppressed people in this country (nor am I interested in having an oppression Olympics to see whose been wronged the most), the struggle of one particular group of people is no more important to the next group.

Legislative shaming.

Proposition 1, which would amend the state constitution of North Carolina to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, appeared on the May 8th ballot. It was overwhelmingly passed.  Same sex marriage is already illegal in the state of North Carolina so adding to the state constitution is akin to rubbing salt in the wound. A man marrying a man or a woman marrying a woman does not impede me from marrying whatever woman I chose to. Being born heterosexual afforded me the right to marry a woman and enjoy the privileges (and drawbacks) that comes with marriage. In this country marriage is a right and homosexuals are discriminated against because of the way they were born (you can argue nature vs. nurture here).

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Our president has stated his belief that all men and women, regardless of sexual orientation, should have the right to be married. Many have said that Obama is politicizing social issue in order to draw attention away from other key issues. If this is true then the GOP has also politicized social issues as well (abortion, contraception and gasp gay marriage). Regardless on where you stand morally on the issue of gay marriage if you believe in equal rights then you must believe in equal rights for all people.

What are your views of “Don’t Say Gay”, Proposition 1 and President Obama’s stance on the issue? Do you believe that homosexuality is right? Should homosexuals have the same rights as heterosexuals as far as marriage is concerned?

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Comment(57)

  1. Seriously, I don't know why this is still an issue in 2012. LGBT folks have as much right as straight folks under the constitution. They should be able to marry period. And I hate hearing this crap about being gay is a choice. I'm straight and I can't remember choosing to be straight: All I remember is me being in 4th grade attracted to the girl beside me with braces… Gay people are BORN the way they are.

    The republicans should just give this fight up. We are not living under a theocracy.

    1. this is still an issue because the right wing is holding steadfast to this memory of what america used to be. they're looking at america through rose-colored glasses and they aren't quick to want to change the status quo even though people's rights are being denied. funny thing is people's rights have always been stripped in favor of the privilege of others.
      My recent post Take Me Back to 1953

  2. I think it's crazy that every election year the republicans use this ploy and it works every time. The citizens of the U.S. are easily brainwashed and it's really sad.

  3. Aren't they the party crying about the constitution and all that? Isn't Tennessee a big second amendment state? I guess they overlooked the first amendment though.

  4. It's the way our voting system works in this country. It's the system WE asked for too. Basically, those laws pass because the constituents in those districts feel that way by majority. That's how the system works. Also, keep in mind where we are and where they are. Most of us are in the Northeastern corridor, that's a primarily liberal region in America. That doesn't represent the ideas of North Carolina, Tennessee or Missouri very well. If those states don't want to teach homosexuality or allow gay marriage in their states, fine. That's for them to decide. The same for us, we've decided to allow it. It's a state matter. Some states are more progressive and liberal than others, the system works that way.

    Which brings me to Obama… the only issue I took to his comments is that the POTUS should stay out of state matters. He did follow up by saying, he thinks it's an issue for states to decide, but the damage was already done. Obama has to learn that he just can't say or do anything he wants. Especially the way he does it. It's not cool. His comments completely undermine the current system we have in America. That's why people accuse him of Big Government. His fans will say, the states still decide on the issue, but be serious. When the POTUS says something like that, it has a trickle down effect.

    Here's my big issue with ALL of this, it's the gross contradictory stance of the people who choose to engage in this debate. No one should have anymore right to tell a homosexual couple what to do in their house than someone can tell a Christian, African American, or Immigrant. Therefore, if you are in support of gay marriage you should afford those who oppose it the same respect that you would want. No one should tell anyone what to believe in or what they shouldn't believe in. That's the ugly part of this conversation, people dictating to someone on either side what they should be doing in their own homes. Let's be honest, the hate is spewed from both sides. There are some of us who hate the very existence of anyone who opposes gay marriage, just like there are some of us who hate the very existence of anyone who would dare think that marriage involves anyone other than a man and woman. Both sides look ugly. Hate is hate.

    1. "It's the way our voting system works in this country. It's the system WE asked for too."

      who asked for this system? i surely don't agree with it. lol

      i also don't think that issues dealing with basic human rights should be left up to the state to decide. this is why slaves were essentially freed january 1, 1863 but you had slavery by other names well into the 20th century. also, this is why interracial marriage was illegal until 1967. states have proven time and time again that they shouldn't have the right to decide human rights. this goes for conservatives and liberals.
      My recent post Take Me Back to 1953

      1. That’s the thing. Would you rather a system where the government decides what’s best for people or a system where elected official representing the opinions of the people decide?

        Its also different for all of us. Some people have been in this system longer than others. For my family, we were brought here and chose to stay. Others, chose to come to this system. In some ways, neither can complain. But trust for those of us who stayed, we are very aware that a dictatorship in this country would be a very bad idea.

        1. What i'm saying is the nature of this system allows that to happen because the people decide what they want. If you want to withhold rights of a certain group of people, you can do that within the realm of this system. But the flip side is that you have the power to change that within this system, versus another where the decision is not made by the people.

          I mean, this works out in our favor though…

          Think about all those weird men who think that women should be married at 13, imagine if Americans one day woke up and thought, "You shouldn't put an age on when someone can be in love." Sh*t would get all types of weird. As a people we've decided that's just not okay, that's a good thing.

        2. i don't think you can put underage marriage in the same category as gay marriage. a thirteen year old is not legally an adult and i don't believe a thirteen year old can reasonably process those types of life altering decisions.

          see here's the thing. some laws, mandates, etc we really don't have the power to change either. sure we live in a democracy so you can change all the laws you want to on paper but the establishment can still find ways around it. for example the voter's rights act of 1965. you think that act automatically let blacks vote across the south or was it just something written on lawbooks? people have to want to be morally sound and not just on issues that fit their personal beliefs.
          My recent post Take Me Back to 1953

        3. "i don't think you can put underage marriage in the same category as gay marriage. a thirteen year old is not legally an adult and i don't believe a thirteen year old can reasonably process those types of life altering decisions. "

          WORD… I was about to reply that same sentiment to Dr. J. A marriage to a 13 year old would be viewed as non-consensual both legally and psychologically.

          …And I don't necessarily agree with the President's position on it being a state rights issue. Gay marriage will NEVER be accepted as long as it is a state rights issue because religious folks will continue to vote against it. A federal amendment that recognizes same-sex civil unions done is required. This does not mean religious institutions will be sued if they refuse to marry gay folks since freedom of religion is protected under the first amendment; all that is needed is a court marriage, and VOILA! everyone wins.

        4. "A federal amendment that recognizes same-sex civil unions done is required. This does not mean religious institutions will be sued if they refuse to marry gay folks since freedom of religion is protected under the first amendment; all that is needed is a court marriage, and VOILA! everyone wins."
          This is exactly what I think. I heard President Obama mention in a speech about gay marriage that he thought a civil union would be enough, unfortunately it isn't. I assumed gay people were fighting for the same marital rights and benefits as heterosexuals, and they should have them I believe. Evidently this cannot be done with something called a "civil union," it has to be called a marriage. Can anyone shed some light on why this is?

        5. The point is that if you get enough money behind a cause it will most likely go through. Who are you to tell someone what age they should get married? That's what supporters of gay marriage believe. Do what you want, marry who ever you want. Under this belief there are no rules.

        6. And twenty years ago, I don't think you could have put gay in the same category with marriage. Today, we think that a thirteen year old can reasonably process those types of life altering decisions… in twenty years that could change.

      2. Agreed. Some things the federal government must mandate beause history has proven that sometimes the states ain't sh*t. What if President Johnson had looked @ King n'em and been like I see y'all getting your asses beat in Selma and I support your desire for the right to vote, to go where you please, etc., but you know what I'ma go ahead and let the voters of Alabama and Mississippi decide if you should get those rights…. Wellllll…we might still be waiting.

        I don't think this means that we disregard the will of the people, but we do have to be mindful that sometimes the people are more "willing" to allow some folks to suffer and other folks to thrive.
        My recent post What Are You Thankful For Wednesday?

      3. "i also don't think that issues dealing with basic human rights should be left up to the state to decide."

        This! I said it on Twitter and I'll say it again….I don't understand how a person's civil/human rights can be left up to a popular vote. I'm sorry, but in some of those "states" if the basic voting rights of African-Americans were put up to a vote TODAY I'll submit to you the vote would be closer than anyone would think. (not saying it'd pass)

        Bottomline, basic civil rights that everyone should be entitled to shouldn't be left up to a popular vote. Period.

        1. This is a slippery slope. If you let the federal government make those judgment calls you open yourself up to what if the federal government is run by racists. There's a reason why the system is the way it is. I don't think most people here today realize that. Asking for the federal government to have more power is a bad idea.

        2. the thing is that the federal government has intervened before and it will probably happen again. the issue of voting rights for all was a state problem until the federal government intervened. this issue isn't going to go anywhere as long as there are gay people so eventually i believe the federal govt will intervene.
          My recent post Take Me Back to 1953

        3. A judgment call? On a civil and human rights that has no effect on anyone else? It's a clear case, brotha.

          Federal government run by racists, huh…this is what this discussion has come to? lol.

        4. Lord! We fina have the war between the states. Heh.

          What if the states are run by racists?

          No one wants the federal government's help/involvement until they need it. And I'm talking about people and states alike. This country's struggle/foundation has been determining who is eligible for full citizenship and what rights are they guaranteed. One group denies. Another group fights. Wash, rinse, repeat. And I think it will always be human nature to divide, classify, and deny folks something – whether it's money, rights, land, whatever.

          But when it works for the "good", the federal government can override foolishness until the states and its residents get some act right, be a stop gap if you will, and begin the process to ensure that when people travel from state to state – they are entitled to certain inalienable rights – whether it's labor laws, the right to vote, public education, being able to live where you want, and on.
          My recent post What Are You Thankful For Wednesday?

  5. Don’t Say Gay sounds like various other moves by certain segments of the population who think that all things that they find objectionable, bad, offensive, or just don’t want to acknowledge should be removed from the light and placed into a small black box in the attic. Out of sight, out of mind.
    (Just like removing “n*****” from Huck Finn) Tactics like this are lazy and cowardly.

    As for President Obama’s comments on gay marriage, I think his detractors need to chill. One man who happens to be the leader of the free world was asked his opinion on something and he answered. No public policy was changed by this. The uproar over this shows just how much the average American (liberal, conservative, Christian, and anyone else) don’t understand how presidential and governmental power works. The failure to understand Obama’s statement and the centuries long debate over church and state shows this.

    Personally, I have no issue with homosexuality, gay marriage, or any of these false moral issues that are used to distract the public. Due to the fact that I am a member of a group that was once denied their full rights I would find it out of line to deny another group theirs.

  6. I've mentioned this before when the subject of gay marriage was discussed on this site, but I'll ask again. If marriage is a religious institution and there is a separation of church and state, then why does the government have to power to marry anyone, regardless of orientation? I marvel at the cognitive dissonance of those who say there is a separation of church and state, therefore moral opposition to gay marriage is wrong, but they are working to expand an religious institution in government to include other groups.

    Simple solution to the gay marriage issue. The government can't marry you, period. Whether you are gay or straight, the government can only give you a civil union and the legal rights that come with it. If you want to get married, you go to the church, mosque, synagogue, whatever, and they will marry you or refuse to based on their beliefs. Gays don't have to worry about their rights being denied, and the church doesn't have to worry about compromising their views on marriage.

    1. I doubt most LGBT folks want to get married in a church, mosque, etc since the religious opposition is clearly shown towards gay marriage. The term "marriage" seems to be the bigger issue in that the main religions claim a right to the term and do not want any other form of consensual union to be called "marriage."

      We should just discard that term and call them as what they are: 'Civil Unions'. Most marriages end up in divorce these days. The damage has already been done by us straight folks lol.

      1. Regardless of the term used, equal rights are equal rights, and everyone who pays to have equal rights through taxes should be allowed those rights. Legally, this is right, anything else is unconstitutional.

      2. Lyrically Inclined: "We should just discard that term and call them as what they are: 'Civil Unions'."

        Exactly. Then this goes away: "I doubt most LGBT folks want to get married in a church, mosque, etc since the religious opposition is clearly shown towards gay marriage."

        Now gay people have all their rights, and a gay man who lived for 40 years with his partner doesn't have to worry about not being able to visit him in the hospital in his old age, they jointly file taxes, and have all the legal benefits of marriage today. The religious crowd can get married by their priest/pastor/whomever and don't have to compromise their values. And if they want to have the legal benefits of marriage, they can file for a civil union also.

        The term "marriage" is the issue. Eliminate it altogether from government.

      3. "the main religions claim a right to the term and do not want any other form of consensual union to be called "marriage."
        Regarding this statement only Catholics view marriage as a sacrament. In every other religion it is the same and it is not viewed as a sacrament. No religion has any rights, claims, or copywrites to the word marriage. That is just ludicrous. You can legally be married by a judge, so what is all the hoopla about?
        You can have a "marriage" that is strictly a religious ceremony and it not be legal. Example my Cambodian friends sister had a traditional Cambodian wedding. It was not a legal wedding recognized by the state of PA because no legal officiant was involved, it was purely religious.

        1. Bree: "You can legally be married by a judge, so what is all the hoopla about? You can have a "marriage" that is strictly a religious ceremony and it not be legal."

          That is the problem. Marriage is a religious sacrament, but racist whites wanted to prevent bi-racial marriages, and made it state law. Marriage was then transformed from a religious sacrament to a legal contract. And that's when this fustercluck started.

          That is why now you can be legally married by a judge, because Christians in the 1800s had no foresight and didn't realize a government that can define something to your liking can define it not to your liking. Now marriage isn't a three-way relationship between man-woman-God, but man-woman-government. And since government has more power than the man or woman, and government can redefine marriage, if it chooses to do so. Now Christians are trying to backtrack, but it's too late. Marriage is a legal contract, and the government can define it as they like. If the people vote that same-sex marriage is legal, then it is legal.

        2. Hughe, Only In the Catholic Church is marriage considered one of the 7 sacraments. In every other religion yes marriage is viewed as a spiritual union ordained by God, but only in Catholicism is it a sacrament, no other religion.
          There are 2 aspects of marriage, the spiritual religious aspect, and the legal one. For all intents and purposes I think the legal aspect is more impnt because this is what gives your marriage recognition in the state you live in, and it is what affords you the legal benefits of being married and why marriage is so impnt to people in the first place.

        3. Women don't cry about men not marrying them just because of the spiritual aspect of marriage.
          The legal ramifications of marriage as a contract is why many men are hesitant to marry so quickly and so often.
          As recognized by the state marriage is a legally binding contract. I've asked gay and lesbian people what the big deal is about legalizing gay marriage and they broke it down for me.
          In a nutshell they want the right to file joint taxes, be able to make medical decisions if one partner is on life support or should die, have the right to assets and income the same as heterosexual married people do etc etc etc.
          And of course if gays were granted legal marriages or unions in every state they would have to be granted divorces as well. Again the same laws that are in place for heterosexuals should apply to homosexuals.
          I feel like they pay taxes just like heterosexuals, and so they should have the same rights and benefits that they pay for thru taxes as heterosexuals, religious beliefs aside.

        4. Well, I'm in a non-denominational Protestant church and we have it as a sacrament, and as I mentioned upthread, it didn't even used to be a legal union in the United States.

          Perhaps I didn't explain my position clear enough. You don't need the government for permission to choose a spouse and live your lives together. The government can provide legal recognition of that union through a civil union. There is no need for that to officially be a marriage, as it wasn't for several years of our history. Marriage has been a union between a husband and wife, exchanging vows before God. It has been morphed into simply a legal contract. The fact that many view the legal aspect as the more important part is a major reason why marriage is a laughingstock today.

          The reason that I'm for civil unions for everyone is because ALL of the legal rights can be granted through it. The term "marriage" has religious connotations, so we should remove it and acknowledge committed couples, gay or straight, should have legally recognized benefits.

      4. The majority of my LGBT friends, including myself, would love for the opportunity to get married by our spiritual leader, in our respective churches. The ignorance of some church folks hasn't turned us away from God, it's turned us away from ignorance..

        While I'm not a Christian.. based on all that I've read about him, I just can't see Jesus holding up signs that say "God hates Fags," and endorsing the Defense of Marriage Act.

        And at the end of the day, atheists have been getting married for centuries and no one has ever tried to limit their rights or their ability to… so this whole sacrament thing is a smoke screen.

        The only people who can protect "marriage" are the 2 individuals involved. The institution is what we individually make of it, whether made for spiritual, financial, legal, security reasons etc. Because when it all began, the sanctity of marriage included wives as the property of their husbands… Do you really want to protect that? I think the evolution of one's ideas is a healthy thing.

        1. "The majority of my LGBT friends…would love for the opportunity to get married by our spiritual leader, in our respective churches."

          If your spiritual leader is willing to do so, go for it.

          "…based on all that I've read about him, I just can't see Jesus holding up signs that say "God hates Fags,"

          God doesn't hate fags, He hates sin. Unfortunately, some people place homosexuality at the top of some hierarchy, when sin is sin.

          "…atheists have been getting married for centuries…

          Doesn't change the fact it was a religious institution. Again, this is why I'm for civil unions for everyone, so no one's rights are infringed.

          "…the sanctity of marriage included wives as the property of their husbands… Do you really want to protect that?"

          The New Testament changed that and taught husbands to love their wives as their own bodies, not to be angry against them, and be willing to die for them as Jesus died for the church. Yes, I'd like to protect that.

  7. Tunde you make some very valid points.
    My question to the states that create these laws against same sex marriage is this- What about the Seperation of Church & State?
    From what I understand this is the entire premis of the argument of people against same sex marriage.
    I read a book on the history of marriage. Nowhere in that book did it say the earliest marriages in history legally had to be between a man and a woman only for any legal reasons. ijs

    1. I read a similar book. THIS… goes back to a lot of what we talk about on this blog with semantics. Maybe the law didn't require it because it was implied.

      1. good point Dr. J that could very well have been the case. I read that book last summer so can't recall too much details about it.

    2. i think that there should be separation of church and state on all issues not just gay marriage. in the melting pot that is america you can't use your religious beliefs to influence legislature when the people you govern over may or may not practice those same beliefs.
      My recent post Take Me Back to 1953

      1. If you separate church and state on this issue, you would marginalize gay people more. They can't get married in most churches. The government would only have the power to grant them unions.

        1. Thats my point…..There is a law that states there is a seperation of Church & State……people just don't apply it when it's not convenient for them..

        2. separation of church and state is what this country was founded on. if you ask constitutional purists they want to preserve the sanctity of our what our "founding fathers" believed. you can't pick and choose what you want to take from the constitution and in there is separation of church and state.
          My recent post Take Me Back to 1953

        3. Common misconception.

          The separation of church and state in our country's foundation is as false as "all men were created equal." The country's constitution was written by white Protestant Christians. The Constitution reflects as such. The Church was written in there from jump. When they said separation of Church and State, they were trying to avoid the Constitution reflecting the laws that the Catholics and Church of England caused on their people.

  8. great post, wh.

    i was talking to my [lesbian] bestie's dad yesterday – who is a pastor – and he said so simply what ive been inarticulately saying for years: "you cant legislate righteousness". but dammit if the GOP and its religious right wing followers wont try.

    at the end of the day, the GOP has an agenda, and it includes oppression and domination. not just of gays and minorities, but everyone. they are slowly trying to revert back to the good ol days of white male land owners being the only eligible voters, and therefore the ones with the power to dictate the lives of others.

    unfortunately, i dont think the average American knows how govt works – on any level. they are easily blinded by trivial matters** that appeal to their so-called "morals" and completely forget about issues that actually affect their lives, livelihood, and the future of this country – i.e. jobs, education, health care, national debt, wars, etc. its frustrating and sad.

    ** just for clarity – trying to legislate gay marriage is a trivial matter, not equal rights of gays.
    My recent post My God vs. My Country

    1. thanks ww.

      you're absolutely correct. politicians are notorious for slight of hand. they'll proclaim that [insert group] are trying to tear at the moral fabric of our great nation while ignoring poverty, obesity, crime or anything else that may affect us as a people.
      My recent post Take Me Back to 1953

  9. I've always contended that gay marriage would get a lot more traction if it was framed as a civil union, I mean that's essentially what my marriage is according to the law. Gay people want the legal and financial protections that are afforded by marriage.

    Like someone said upthread, this is a wedge issue, just like abortion. And every election cycle, these wedge issues get tossed up as a distraction and folks end up voting against their own self interests (like those nice folks in Wisconsin, Ohio and other midwest states where there ain't no damn jobs!).
    It's like hell yeah, I ain't voting for no gay marriage but you ain't worked in 2 years and your unemployment is about to run out. Makes. no. sense. at. all.

    If my kids needed to eat, I would give 2 fucks about what Adam and Steve are doing over there.

    But then I'm a realist. My Christianity does not render me stupid.

    1. I agree with this! I think sometimes the whole why can't two people just love each other 'stance' gets in the way because let's keep it real and funky, it is hard for people to "understand" homosexuality, to imagine that kind of love, to understand that it's not a choice and they feel that since it ain't them, then this issue doesn't apply to them. Tut what people can understand and imagine is having access to a spouse's health insurance and quality care, or not being able to see a loved one in the hospital (especially during the case of an emergency) because you are not family. They need to make some compelling PSA's that speak to folks on a practical and economical level and help folks understand the benefits of their marriage/civil unions and imagine if someone tried to take that away.
      My recent post What Are You Thankful For Wednesday?

  10. I think to simplify this issue law shoud simply state – Anybody including same sexes can be legally married in a courthouse by a judge. If churches or any other religious sanctuary chooses to marry a gay couple they can, if the do not they don't have to. No clergy member should be forced to marry same sex couples if they don't want to due to religious reasons. It should be left up to the discretion of the clergy memeber and/or church. Either way if same sex people want to marry they should have options available to them, and most important they should receive all the rights and benefits of a heterosexual married couple once they are legally married in the eyes of that state and the marriage should be recognized by that state.

    1. Bree, I agree with you exactly. Logically, its very simple and straight forward. The right-wing just refuses to see the light. They are following the most puzzling contradictions I have ever seen: Limited government everywhere except your bedroom. smh.

      1. Lyrically like everything else they are probably waiting to see how they can capitalize off of it like they do with everything else…..you see what they did with marijuana…..I digress….*wink*

  11. " Tut what people can understand and imagine is having access to a spouse's health insurance and quality care, or not being able to see a loved one in the hospital (especially during the case of an emergency) because you are not family. They need to make some compelling PSA's that speak to folks on a practical and economical level and help folks understand the benefits of their marriage/civil unions and imagine if someone tried to take that away."
    My sentiments exactly Diana.

  12. Great post Tunde.

    Having read the post in its entirety, I still stand by my tweet to the question you posed on Twitter early. If the federal gov.t passed legislation that put certain restrictions on divorce laws, there'd be a big upheave about it. Divorce laws and they entail is left up to the states and they amend them when they feel like it. I'm not aiming to compare that to the gay rights issue. But I say it to say the federal govt and elected officials have to pick their battles. For example, the Supreme Court declaring that banning interracial marriages (as that was a historically a states right) was a major catalyst and by-product of social change. It was absolutely necessary for the federal govt to intercede in that. However, I just don't see the federal gov.t interceding for the sake of making same sex marriage legal everywhere. In essence, that piece of legislation can stand alone. It's not the type of legislation that would have a rippling effect to mainstream America. At least not the way interracial marriages did.

    “No public elementary or middle school shall provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality…" Something about this wording doesn't sit well with me. I mean why not just ban the instruction from including sexual orientation period? Last I checked, you can effectively teach health and sex ed w/out explicitly mentioning heterosexuality.

    I don't have a problem w/ gay marriage. Despite my Christian beliefs, I still think that love is love. Like someone said up-thread, this is just like abortion though. It'll consistently be a hot button issue during election time because it's become such an emotionally charged, polarizing topic.
    My recent post Not Every Woman Is Made For Motherhood

    1. I think a ripple effect from federal intervention, which is inevitable, will occur. Maybe after ruling same sex marriage is legal, and barring any consenting adults from marrying is unconstitutional, then sexual orientation and gender identity will make it onto the list of protected classes…then people can feel free to come out at work without the fear of losing their jobs, which for most is a definite possibility. Then all of a sudden, the nice lady in the cubicle down the hall who brings cookies on Fridays and organizes the birthday celebration, or the boss who is an excellent leader and mentor is…stfu.. GAY?! and then people have not just a face, but a friend, who is gay. And then it seems wrong to be homophobic…

      I think the government must stand up for civil rights at EVERY juncture.

      BTW..i teach middle school and kids are already SOOOO over this conversation… They're waiting on us to get it together.

  13. In short, the adults need to get it together…

    For the youth I think it's a critical teachable moment to educate them on another way of life. It doesn't have to be blatant And extreme, but it's a normal part of life and some people choose to share their sexuality with the world while others "stay in the closet" about it.

    The Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, Glsen.org, does a ton of education and advocacy work to make schools more gay friendly and just aware of the harm they could be doing by not attending to this piece that makes up the entire student. I read tweet facts everyday on educational outcomes, self esteem, confidence, etc…all of these areas of a child's life that are being negatively affected because of the lack of attention or awareness possibly. Outside factors like their neighborhood or family perceptions may also play a role in this. I just think youth should at least be educated on how we're more similar than different and the civil rights like injustices that take place when people are denied certain right.

    I also work in social services and I've heard stories of workers not giving as much attention to homosexual couples wanting to be foster or adoptive parents. The kids need a good home, period. Of course they need to understand what they're getting themselves into if they're old enough to understand, but that one I don't get either…well I do live in the South!

    I wasn't always an advocate for homosexuality(gasp!) but when I met someone in grad school and began to volunteer at some lgbt events I was like wow…this is what I've been missing out on! I felt super ignorant. 3 years later I'm still volunteering and my grad school friend has become like a mentor to me, with the lgbt folks I volunteer with being like an extended family. (I digress, forgive me!) but they're people, that eat, drink, party if they choose to, travel the world, make contributions to society, and probably just want to be left alone to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. I love my lgbt folks! Can you tell?

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