Equal Rights

I am a huge fan of Glee and of Jodi Picoult books.  I have been so happy to see that both have been addressing the issue of gay relationships. 

A few weeks ago on Glee, I was blown away by the power of the episode, as they showed one the characters almost committing suicide for being teased about being gay.  Glee has had many episodes about being gay, and all have been done so tastefully, and have been so real.  I commend the show for addressing real issues and for showing realistic reactions. It’s unfortunate that all people aren’t accepting of others, but I appreciate how they show the characters handling their unique situations and working through them.

Last week I finished Jodi Picoult’s book Sing You Home.  I love all of her books, and am never disappointed.  I was so surprised how angry this book made me, because it covered both sides of gay rights and gay marriage.  It’s about Zoe, a music therapist who is infertile, and after numerous trials, her husband leaves her.  She falls in love with a female school counselor and they get married.  Eventually they decide they want to implant Zoe’s remaining frozen embryos, but her husband won’t sign the consent and they go to court.  Picoult does a wonderful job presenting both sides of the issue, so much so that I couldn’t believe parts that were written because they seemed so insane to me.

One line that has stuck with me since I read it is “We’re conditioned to seeing men holding guns but not to men holding hands.” (Pg. 169)  So Powerful!

I’ve been thinking a lot about gay rights, and how they effect my friends and family who are gay.  They have so many more battles to fight than I do.  I’ve also been thinking about this in relation to my students.  I work with 4th and 5th graders, and already there is so much bullying going on at the school.  I do my best to prevent it, to stop it, and to help those being bullied to stick up for themselves.  As far as I know, sexual orientation isn’t even in the picture yet.  If things are bad for students now, in elementary school, I can’t imagine what middle and high school will look like.  I wonder how many of the messages kids see and internalize about being equal, and about how some people are better than others.

I wonder if politicians think about the ramifications their words have on kids when they make their speeches.  I know that kids are not their target audience, but I also know that they can’t believe kids don’t hear them talk.  The same goes for all adults.  We need to watch what we say and how we say it, because children are always listening, and they look up to us to take direction and to determine what’s right and wrong.  We help determine their moral compass.

Lastly, last night by chance my husband heard about the play “8” about Proposition 8 in California.  It was on much later than we’re usually up, but we stayed up to watch it online.  What a powerful story about what happened in the courtroom during the trial that overturned the Prop. 8 decision.

It greatly saddens me that my friends don’t have the same rights as I do to marry the person that they love.  I hope that this becomes a reality for all much sooner than later.

I also hope that in the very near future acceptance- no matter one’s race, gender, color, or sexual preference – can truly mean acceptance.


2 thoughts on “Equal Rights

  1. Great post. I love your use of “I wonder” statements. I find it sad, but completely understand your logic, that we have to qualify posts like this with, “This is meant to make you think – not to start a debate” – or anything else that pleads to not be read as the start of an argument. These topics are so crucial to our society, and our children. Thanks for making me think. You have brought forth my next slice!!

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