My Story

Growing up in conservative West Michigan, I watched lesbian and gay friends and family members struggle to be accepted and be treated equally. There are gains and losses in this fight every day, and it is vital for LGBT individuals and their straight allies to stand up and to pay attention.

15 March 2011

Is the Tide Turning?

Obama announced that he believes the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, and that his administration would no longer defend it.

House Republicans have decided to continue to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. 

Maryland was on the road to being the next state to allow gay marriage.
The bill was tabled until 2012 without a vote because it didn't have enough support. It was killed for this year. 

These are just a few examples. I was feeling very optimistic a few weeks ago, before the news above was apparent. This video from MSNBC summarizes well:

Yes, there are steps forward. But every attempt of forward movement seems to be countered with a push backward, frequently coming, it seems, from Republicans.

There will be a post about bullying coming later this week, but it will suffice to say here that the issues of equal rights and equal acceptance are more important than ever. 

I'm writing this while feeling discouraged after reading about Exodus International, an organization known to try and cure homosexuality, has an iphone application to better reach people with their message.

This post is somewhat of a pep talk to myself, and I hope for others as well. We are making progress. We have an administration in the White House that is on our side, if it has been a bit slow to act. The public is increasingly becoming more supportive of gay rights, although whether there is a majority who support gay marriage is debatable.

Why is there this public shift? It's because people are becoming more willing to talk about this. LGBTQ issues are increasingly becoming more public, and less taboo. The other day, I heard someone say "That's so gay" and I was ready to jump in and explain why that was an inappropriate remark. To my surprise, two other people beat me to it. 

That's just a small anecdote, but still, I see change happening around us. I see how Hope is Ready and Holland is Ready from my hometown are making progress. I see my friends and family becoming more vocal on this issue. I see the change. Tangible legal change is slower to come, but I'm beginning to see a social change.

And social change will be the foundation for the legal changes I and many others so desire. 
The key component to further change is to not be discouraged by the steps backward, but rather to use these disappointments to spur on this movement.

And it's important not to forget the progress we've already made.
My advice: be active and be vocal. It's going to take all of our efforts to achieve equal rights and acceptance. 

1 comment:

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