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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