My topic for this week’s blog is culture and ethnicity in relation to globalization in political unrest. What I had originally planned on discussing when I signed up for this week of blogging was the Civil Rights Movement, but when I started researching I realized that there was another movement going on right now that I think is more timely that is also leading to political unrest in the United States; the Gay Rights Movement. One of the biggest issues within the movement is gay marriage. The issue of gay marriage has been in the news a lot this past week with Washington state becoming the seventh state to allow gay marriage. Gay marriage is currently legal in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington D.C. Also on Tuesday in California Proposition 8, a law that had previously banned gay marriage in the state, was named unconstitutional.
“Gay marriage and everything having to do with the gay rights movement (is) my generation’s civil rights issue,” said Meghan McCain, daughter of Senator John McCain. I pulled this quote from a USA Today column “Don’t compare gay rights, civil rights.” Please take a few minutes to read the column.
The author makes a good point that being black or being gay are characteristics about a person that cannot be changed, but he argues that being gay is a characteristic that someone could “hide.” For example a black man cannot hide his skin color, but a gay man could hypothetically “stay in the closet” and not let anyone know about his sexual preference. I think that asking someone to “hide” who they really are however is one of the worst offenses because it is denying that person his/her basic human right to choice.
I also disagree with the authors statement “But because that prejudice is not linked to a system of economic oppression that will leave gay communities permanently incapacitated, the lack of social acceptance faced by gays — and even the violence visited upon those identified as gay — will not necessarily haunt their descendants generations after attitudes begin to change.” I think that if even one person is incapacitated by the lack of social acceptant that gay men and women face then it is a problem that needs to be resolved. The size of the group of people being oppressed should not make their cause any less important. Currently many gay men and women do not have the opportunity to have descendants because the laws prohibit them from getting married, adopting children, etc.
- Do you think that the Civil Rights Movement can be compared to the Gay Rights Movement? Why or why not?
- Even though a gay person may be able to “hide” the fact that they are gay do you think that they should have too so that they are treated with the same rights and respect as a straight person? Why or why not?
- The author ends the column by stating that the two movements should work together towards their different goals, do you see this as a feasible idea? How would it work?
- If you are comfortable sharing what are your thoughts on gay marriage? Should it be legal? Should gay marriage be decided on a state by state basis or should it be evaluated at the federal level?
- Any thoughts on the comic below?