Amidst The Vitriol, Some Words of Kindness for Suey Park

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In the aftermath of #cancelcolbert the response against Suey Park was pretty massive. I decided to check out her feeds and see what people were saying…..

What I read there makes me ashamed to call myself American, let alone left wing aligned. The commentary is disgusting. It makes me physically ill to read. These people are the reason we need activists just like Suey Park in this world. These people should be ashamed to look at themselves in the mirror each day, or to face their own families. These people are a disgrace to humanity.

Even if you disagree with someone, or even outright hate them, this behavior makes you many times worse. I wouldn’t wish this on the most vile of human beings, nor would I wish to see any person lower themselves to the actions I’ve seen directed towards Suey.

In light of this, I decided to read all of it, and find some words of kindness from Suey’s supporters. I would imagine, like any human being who is facing harassment and threats around the clock, that she could use it about now.

Suey, keep doing what you do. It makes a difference, whether it’s visible or not.

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Contributor: Robert Sacerich

Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.

See his full bio!

Thank you for reading Rationality Unleashed! You can “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @rationalityunle. For any questions, concerns, or comments beyond what can be placed in the comments section of the blog, email us at admin@rationalityunleashed.net.

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#CancelColbert and America’s System of Racism

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Suey Park’s recent hashtag activism was #CancelColbert after a tweet quoting a sketch on his show that said “The Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.” The hashtag was kept trending for a long period of time and has incited mass outrage…by liberals. There’s an irony there. Liberals will happily claim that they stand up for the poor, the minorities, the underdogs, anything except the rich white males who hold privilege in America…that is, until the focus is on a rich white male that they LIKE.

Now, Suey has had to deal with racial slurs and rape threats from liberals for being the same activist she was before the focus went towards Colbert. People are freaking out over her interview with Salon.com where she used the term “whiteness” and agreed that the white male is the enemy. Well, before the focus was on the poor judgement of a liberal white male, no one on the left took issue with that. It makes sense. In America, the straight cis white male has always held privilege. It is because of that privilege that the system of racism in this country exists and is so detrimental.

Let me first explain the system of racism, for those who don’t really understand it. You see, in America today, aside from the yahoos, the overt racism that once was prevalent is really more of background noise. It’s not the powerful force it once was. Today, however, there is still just as widespread racism as there always was. It just takes a different form, and this form is, in many ways, more insidious and harder to defeat. It’s a system of racism designed to discriminate.

On the right, within the political spectrum, you still see a bit of the overt racism, however. The difference is that they couch it in “I’m not racist, but…” which is usually followed by cliche’s like “black people are more often criminals” or “asians can’t drive.” The racism on the right stems from more of a xenophobic worldview.

On the left, it’s a level of hypocrisy that is cringe worthy. The left claims to be against racism in all forms. Your typical white liberal, however, is still afraid to go to black neighborhoods. The common sentiment is that it’s OK to make jokes about minorities that weren’t once slaves, because that’s not really racism. It’s OK to make racial jokes all around, so long as you don’t use one of the taboo racial slurs.

Now, let’s look at the system itself. Our system is designed to keep minorities poor. There’s no funding for minority dominated schools or neighborhoods. There is serious discrimination in hiring, even today. They’ll hire the minority person who acts the most like a white person, and call themselves diverse. I’ve even seen the executive management of a very large corporation exclaim that they’re promoting diversity, because they have a single female in management.

Our educational system and social structure makes getting a good education hard on minorities, and we’re outsources all of the unskilled labor jobs that could help to change that in a generation or two of people being able to make a good, honest living so their children can afford a good education.

Now, back to #CancelColbert and the liberal outrage. The majority of people that are outraged are white males. They’re so offended at being lumped in with the “bad guy” that they feel the need to make more racial slurs, and start going after Suey Park, claiming she’s being racist. Now, let’s think about this. Suey is an activist. Due to the racism in our society, there is a need for activism. When the activist is doing activism and expressing outrage, the liberals are going after her for the language she uses in her outrage…instead of going after the reason she’s outraged, the reason we need activism to begin with. Why? Well, the white male she’s going after is a liberal celebrity. Americans are good are throwing away their values, or at least showing their true colors, when it comes to famous people on TV.

So, I truly hope that Suey Park and others like her keep pushing the envelope and keep being the vocal activists that they are. In showing the true colors of those who claim to be allies under most other circumstances, they force us to take a good look at ourselves. I hope I’m not the only one who, when looking back at what the left looks like right now, doesn’t like what I see. THAT is more of a potential catalyst for change than any outside force could possibly be.

Contributor: Robert Sacerich

Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.

See his full bio!

Thank you for reading Rationality Unleashed! You can “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @rationalityunle. For any questions, concerns, or comments beyond what can be placed in the comments section of the blog, email us at admin@rationalityunleashed.net.

Social Justice and the Problem With Humans

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I was listening to Citizen Radio this morning and their discussion got me thinking. They were discussing the LGBTQ people who, in states that now have legal marriage, don’t want to be married. They also discussed that there are people even within that community who are not good people, just like there are in every other community. Let me explain why I bring this up.

I once attended a Take Back The Night rally, which focuses on violence against women. Myself, and others, were informed by some volunteers that they don’t need or want men around at all. We’re no use to them, and they don’t want us volunteering.

I once listened to a member of the LGBTQ community very vehemently shame another because they publicized their coming out. When I expressed that shaming anyone is inherently wrong, I was chastised because “how dare you, a straight person, say anything to me? All you fuckin straight people just think it’s cute that we want rights too, but you don’t actually care.” Others agreed with him wholeheartedly.

The thing is, many of us who are very active allies to various causes often make a caricature of a people as a cause, instead of as people. Then, when we encounter people being…well…people, we’re shocked at how they act. Every movement, for every cause, is made up of people. People should be the reason we join these causes. People can also be good or bad. That’s how people work.

At Take Back The Night, we ended up being welcomed with open arms by others in the group, and enjoyed marching and volunteering for the cause. I’ve been very active in the LGBTQ community, as an ally. Even, as in the example from Citizen Radio above, those who don’t choose to exercise the rights they’re fighting for, understand why they’re fighting. Others may not choose to fight at all.

I have an old friend who is a middle aged gay Catholic. We were good friends for years. He believes that if he doesn’t choose to utilize rights for himself, he doesn’t care if anyone else has them. He’s chosen not to remain a part of my life because I speak out against the abhorrent actions of the Catholic Church.

The thing is, even as much as he is against social movements in general, everyone who fights, fights for him too. Rights are universal, whether you choose to use them or not.

In the same way, people are universal, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. People are people, good and bad, mean or nice.

Contributor: Robert Sacerich

Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.

See his full bio!

Thank you for reading Rationality Unleashed! You can “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @rationalityunle. For any questions, concerns, or comments beyond what can be placed in the comments section of the blog, email us at admin@rationalityunleashed.net.

If Washington Redskins want their name to honor tradition, they simply need to put it in the past

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In a sporting environment that has seen social integration and tolerance in its locker rooms for the past three generations, it seems like a detail of unfinished business from that past to finally upgrade the NFL’s Washington Redskins nickname to something that isn’t a relic of America’s history of racial discrimination, but it is still imperative it must be done.

The move last NFL season pressuring the league’s Washington D.C. franchise to change their nickname from “Redskins” hasn’t been the first time the team’s nickname had come under protest – and certainly won’t be the last unless they enter the 2014 season without it.

Team Owner Dan Snyder, with whom ultimately the decision lays, has remained firm and adamant that fans of the team will be rooting for the “Redskins” for the foreseeable future.

In a letter written to season-ticket holders in October, he cited a handful of reasons for keeping the name. Among them included…

–          The team’s first coach and four players on the franchise’s inaugural season were of Native American descent.

–          In 1971, the team consulted Native Americans when designing the team’s still-current logo.

–          A poll conducted by the Annenburg Public Policy Center of 1,000 self-identified Native Americans showed that roughly 90 percent of them weren’t offended by the nickname.

–          Various media reports concurring with the poll showing numerous tribal representatives near and distant from the team’s Landover, Md. headquarters.

Additionally, the letter cited the team’s 80-plus year tradition of having the name, as Snyder and fans have built as a sub-identity of the team’s fanbase.

The history of the nickname’s origin is relatively innocuous. In 1932, the NFL awarded its Boston franchise to George Preston Marshall. As was a typical practice in the NFL at the time, Marshall got the nickname for their team by copying the baseball team with whom they shared their stadium. In this case, it was the Boston Braves. The following season, the Boston (football) Braves moved their home games to Fenway Park, still home today to the Boston Red Sox. To avoid confusion, the football team changed their name from the Braves to Redskins, which not only kept the connection to a Native American theme, but also kept the “Red” in common.

In 1938, due to low attendance and Marshall’s other business interests in the nation’s capital, Marshall moved the franchise to Washington D.C., keeping the nickname.

One twist in this was found with the Boston National League franchise, which changed its name from “Braves” to “Bees” from 1935-40. If Marshall had been awarded the franchise three years later, or if he had kept the football team at Braves Field for an additional three years, it’s possible he would’ve changed the nickname to something similar to winged insects with stingers.

But alas…

Controversy surrounding the nickname began in the late 1940s, as the National Congress of American Indians began a campaign to eliminate all offensive team nicknames, including “Redskins” and “Braves,” which were determined to be demeaning to Native American heritage. Following the American Indian Movement’s efforts to raise awareness of Native American civil rights in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a handful of high school and collegiate nicknames have been changed. No professional team has yet to be changed, with both afore-mentioned nicknames being top priority.

In 1992, the biggest challenge to the Redskins’ nickname was made as a legal challenge was made to overturn the NFL’s and the team’s trademark involving the “Redskin” name. Citing trademark law declaring no trademark could be “disparaging, scandalous contemptuous, or disreputable,” the U.S. Patent and trademark Office cancelled the trademark of the nickname in 1999. However, an appeal to the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. overturned the cancellation on the grounds there was lack of sufficient proof the nickname had actually disparaged Native Americans.

Controversy over the nickname remained quiet until March, 2013, when legislation was entered into the U.S. House of Representatives amending patent laws so that disparaging nicknames would be prevented from getting or keeping trademarks.  The bill remains stalled and is unlikely to be passed into law.

The word “redskin” is a slur, according to a consensus of dictionaries. Originating during the colonization of North America by European settlers, the word was used to generalize and stereotype all Native Americans, disregarding any unique identity of tribal or national affiliation. It was used especially during times of westward expansion, when Native Americans were not only seen as inferior to white citizens, but a threat to the point the genocide which ensued was embarked upon.

It is also ironically notable that in Snyder’s letter, the term “redskin” is only used in reference to the franchise. He claims that “Native Americans,” “Indians,” and names various tribes who aren’t offended by the term, but doesn’t use the term in reference to the peoples concerned at all. This begs the obvious point that if the word doesn’t offend, it would be safe to use in real context.

While proponents of the nickname claim the term doesn’t result in actual offensiveness in today’s society, even possibly honors Native Americans, there is no real argument that justifies keeping it. In fact, if they are to honor it, the best way to do so is to put it in the past as soon as possible, and not to make the slur ineffective and inert.

When first used by the NFL franchise, American society was a lot different. Racial segregation was accepted between blacks and whites, and the slurs used against African-Americans were also just as acceptable as “redskin” was. Changing the nickname will not only reflect the progress American Society has made concerning civil rights, but also putting the nickname will add to the history that racism did exist, but efforts were made to end it.

Second, the nickname also hides a mixed past of the franchise itself concerning the franchise itself. While known for actually breaking a major racial barrier by having the first African-American starting QB in 1988, the Redskins franchise was also last NFL team to sign and play African-Americans under Marshall’s tenure as owner. By 1955, every other NFL franchise had an integrated roster except for Washington. A well-known racist himself, Marshall only agreed to integrate after direct pressure from then-Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, who declared if the Redskins would be allowed to play in then-new RFK Stadium, they would have to end racial discriminatory hiring practices since the stadium was on federally-controlled land.

In 1962, the drafted Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis, but when it was learned that Davis had leukemia, Marshall traded for African-American Bobby Mitchell, then a star receiver with the then-perennial contending Cleveland Browns, who remained with the Redskins for the remainder of his career.

Today, the franchise is proportionally integrated with the rest of the NFL, but by merely playing for the Redskins, they honor the tradition of the owner – Marshall – that resisted that very integration that led to them earning NFL salaries in the first place.

In light of the team’s distancing itself from its own, the NFL’s, sports’ in general, and American Society’s overall progress in racial equality, it is time to leave this nickname behind. The sooner the better, as this controversy won’t go away.

Contributor: John Stebbins

John Stebbins is a Cleveland-area native who received a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1998 from Bowling Green State University. After a couple years reporting in the print industry, he took some time off before occasionally contributing to various websites.

See his full bio!

Thank you for reading Rationality Unleashed! You can “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @rationalityunle. For any questions, concerns, or comments beyond what can be placed in the comments section of the blog, email us at admin@rationalityunleashed.net.

Wells Report on Miami Bullying Case Reveals Problem, Does Little to Actually Solve it

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Despite overtones that it has good intentions, the NFL isn’t ready to become a professional organization, if you read the recently-released “Wells Report” concerning the case of workplace bullying of former Miami Dolphin offensive lineman Jonathan Martin.

For the non-sports fan, the controversy leading to this report began when Martin walked out of the team’s training facility Oct. 28 and sought psychiatric help for depression and suicidal tendencies, later to be discovered as resulting from over a season’s worth of social ostracism and intentional psychological torment from three of his fellow linemen.

The report, in graphic and vulgar detail, shows that the behavior demonstrated by the three players – Richie Incognito (designated as the leader), John Jerry and Mike Pouncey – went far and beyond what any person should say or treat a fellow human being – friend or enemy. If you want to learn how to bully a person mentally, the examples detailed in the report double as a how-to textbook.

The report correctly condemns Incognito in his leadership role as well as Pouncey and Jerry in their compliant roles.

From the report: We find that the harassment of Martin bears many hallmarks of a classic case of bullying, where persons who are in a position of power harass the less powerful. It may seem odd to some that Martin, a professional football player with imposing physical stature, could be described as a victim of bullying or harassment, but even big, strong athletes are not immune from vulnerability to abusive behavior.

The relevant literature on bullying indicates that bullies typically choose victims who are different from them, who have low self-esteem or who lack the skills to deal with conflict.

A typical victim is a person who is unlikely to push back when victimized. Studies show that bullying adversely affects the target’s physical and mental health —it has been shown to lead to depression, stress, anxiety, mood swings and suicide

So far, so good. When an employee of a company intentionally targets and subsequently torments a co-worker to such a point, it is seemingly common sense that player be scrutinized and his actions condemned in such a fashion.

Initially, Incognito was suspended by the team. Originally declared to be an “indefinite” suspension, the team quietly lifted Incognito’s ban Feb. 5 of this year – during the week after the Super Bowl when all the headlines were focused on the championship win by the Seattle Seahawks.

While the condemnation of Incognito, Pouncey and Jerry are easily commendable, concerns begin with the attitude the Wells Report made towards of Offensive Line Coach Jim Turner, who set the proper environment for Incognito, Pouncey and Jerry to isolate Martin. Under his tenure, Turner established was referred to as a “Judas Code,” which strictly discouraged any player on the offensive line from betraying his fellow linemen

The most condemning piece of Turner from the report came as it reviewed numerous texts from Turner to Martin – as he was seeking psychiatric help to deal with the mental damages inflicted by Incognito – to defend Incognito. Think about that. Obviously, from the nature of Turner’s texts, ordering the hospitalized Martin to “FIX THIS NOW” (yes, he used all caps), Turner didn’t think it through that the victim of psychological torment shouldn’t be the one held responsible when the tormentor gets in trouble for his tormenting.

It also revealed that Martin wasn’t the only target of unprofessional behavior. (similar behavior towards a mentioned “Player A” – later revealed to be now-Carolina Panther Andrew McDonald – was also included but stopped short of concluding that behavior led to either a decline in mental state or his departure from the team a week before Martin departed) With the inclusion of behaviors towards off-field personnel, the report demonstrated that enforcement of the official team policy concerning personal respect was all but flat-out ignored.

The report travels up the Dolphins’ organizational chain of command, chronicling that they were at least passively aware of the situation, and at most intentionally ignorant. This was highlighted by now-former General Manager Jeff Ireland’s statement that Martin “should’ve just punched Incognito in the face.”

On the surface, this seems optimistic. We wish for victims to defend themselves. But ultimately, this stance was naïve, counterproductive and sincerely unprofessional.

Or maybe not, according to the report.

“We also understand that context matters. We accept that the communications of young, brash, highly competitive football players often are vulgar and aggressive, and that these players never expected their private communications with each other to be made public. We did not approach this assignment expecting to discover behavior that society might anticipate in, say, an accounting firm or a law office. For better or worse, profanity is an accepted fact of life in competitive sports, and professional athletes commonly indulge in conduct inappropriate in other social settings,” the reports says.

“For Better or Worse?” Let’s go with “worse.”  Acknowledging the job description of a NFL player is a physical one, the social aspects should have little – if any – differential from the accounting or legal firms the report cites as being separate from.

One of the social ills plaguing sports has been the apologetic culture towards athlete behavior on and off the field. Up until 2010, concussions were long regarded not as a tragic misgiving of the game, but lauded as a result of “hard-hitting football,” and a sign of toughness by the deliverer and softness of the concussed.

Off the field, cultural mores have been different for athletes. A perfect case would be Incognito himself. After a college career marred by on and off-field incidents resulting in arrests and repeated counseling, he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams, where more controversy followed, as he was named “dirtiest Player in the NFL” in a 2009 player poll.

After another round of counseling following the 2009 season, Incognito temporarily cleaned up his act until the arrival of Martin. Coincidentally, the initial contract Incognito signed with the Dolphins in 2010 included a “character clause,” a one-strike policy that would terminate the deal should Incognito face any off-field troubles.

Despite the clause in his contract being still effective when he signed a subsequent three-year deal, incidents began occurring off the field, but team investigations were left “unresolved.” In short, one could easily accuse the team of covering up Incognito’s bad behavior instead of invoking the contractual obligation to release him, therefore enabling him to continue regressing into the same anti-social behavior on and off the field that led to the clause in the first place.

Yet, the report failed to hold the team directly responsible. It did not cite Turner, who fostered the abusive environment for any responsibility for the decline of Martin’s mental health. Despite saying the official team rules concerning behavioral decorum weren’t “fully appreciated,” they concluded the organization from Head Coach Joe Philbin to Owner Stephen Ross, was “unaware of any wrongdoing.” However, it was also documented that in 2012, as Incognito’s questionable behavior was re-emerging, Ireland and Assistant General Manager Brian Gaine directly ordered Incognito to “make Martin tougher.” Ireland was dismissed following the season, and while there is no doubt the Martin-Incognito case played a factor, his dismissal was ultimately attributed to the Dolphin’s only having one winning season under his tenure.

Sadly, as the story emerged, public support emerged for Incognito more than Martin, with defenders of Incognito’s actions naively claiming that the locker room deserved special rules. And with the report that acquitted Dolphins’ upper management as well as excusing the existence of the behavior in the first place as merely the “accepted way of life” within the sport in general, it seems there is no real call for a change that plagues athletic culture within society.

Despite what former NBA star Charles Barkley said in his famous ad, athletes are role models. When aspiring athletes see success on the field, they too-easily assume off-field lifestyle, attitudes and behaviors are also examples to follow, especially when they are passively encouraged by the lack of rule enforcement in the name of on-field glory for the team and fans.

Defenders of Incognito and players who use unnecessary, injurious violence on the field make a case that the players and the team belong to are performing a higher public service to the fans that support them. Comparisons are drawn between athletes and soldiers and/or public safety forces. Yet, in recent years, even the military has adopted strict anti-hazing policies. The Wells Report also concludes by suggesting a new set of guidelines for workplace harassment, but by poisoning it by citing the actual unprofessional behavior is a tolerable part of the work environment, any new guidelines and rules will be empty overtures that will not prevent future issues like last season in Miami.

There is absolutely no logical way profane language, personal insults within the workplace, and selective rule enforcement can be matched with the word “professional,” even if it has been a tradition or not. In fact, the reported exoneration of this culture that encouraged Incognito on every level is also an insult to the athletes who can and do maintain a truly professional standard on and off the field. While the job description may not be identical to that of a professional office environment, the standards of being a mature citizen and responsible co-worker should never be sacrificed.

Contributor: John Stebbins

John Stebbins is a Cleveland-area native who received a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1998 from Bowling Green State University. After a couple years reporting in the print industry, he took some time off before occasionally contributing to various websites.

See his full bio!

Thank you for reading Rationality Unleashed! You can “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @rationalityunle. For any questions, concerns, or comments beyond what can be placed in the comments section of the blog, email us at admin@rationalityunleashed.net.

Black History Month – Atheist Profiles – W.E.B. Du Bois

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“The kind of sermon which is preached in most colored churches is not today attractive to even fairly intelligent men.”

W.E.B. Du Bois

Born: Februrary 23, 1868 in Western Massachusetts

Vocation: Sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, pan-Africanist, author, editor – professor of history, sociology and economics at Atlanta University

Education – Harvard Alumni, the first African American to earn a doctorate

W.E.B. Du Bois was an influential member of the early civil rights movement. Where Booker T. Washington proposed a compromise that would force Southern blacks back into slavery and white rule, it would allow them access to education, Du Bois believed in nothing less than full equality and rights. This is a concept that makes him a pinnacle figure for civil rights. As human beings, no one should accept anything less than full equality, in any circumstance.

Though not an atheist of the vocal nature of today’s variety, he was outspoken against the way the black churches whirled their flock into a frenzy of evangelism instead of fighting with knowledge and rationality against the injustices they faced. In this he was showing a very enlightened view. We see this today, not only in African American churches, but in any evangelical movement, where reason and rational discourse is frowned upon in lieu of frenzied proselytization.

He’s well known for his publications, such as The Souls of Black Folk and Black Reconstruction in America. These are both prolific writings on the African American culture and fight for equality. All in all, he was a great man and a prime example that “atheists have no moral compass” is nothing more than an unadulterated lie.

Contributor: Robert Sacerich

Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.

See his full bio!

Thank you for reading Rationality Unleashed! You can “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @rationalityunle. For any questions, concerns, or comments beyond what can be placed in the comments section of the blog, email us at admin@rationalityunleashed.net.

Dr. Gaylove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Gay Marriage

There has been a lot of debate about a particularly touchy subject in modern American culture, gay marriage. It has recently seen a surge of support and seventeen states in the USA have legalized it. Some of the arguments against gay marriage are as such: It is bad for families and the children of gay parents, that gay relationships will be taught in schools and become accepted, and that gays and gay marriage are against God’s will. However, there are fiscal, social, and moral reasons in favor of gay marriage that in my opinion trump the reasons against it. By legalizing gay marriage the economy stands to gain from taxes, licenses, and additional revenue from weddings. I have also found evidence that contradicts the fears from the opposition about gay parenting. There is also the issue of bullying of gay teens and children of gay couples that, with the legalization of gay marriage, might very well disappear.

As marriage is a government sanctioned union, there are tax benefits, visitation rights, and many other benefits allotted to married couples that aren’t afforded to unmarried people.  This also means that the government needs a financial reason to legalize gay marriage, and that’s where the Williams Institute, a Think Tank for UCLA Law School, comes into play. They recently did a study on the economic benefits of legalizing gay marriage, using Washington State as an example. It explains that roughly 9,500 same-sex couples will get married in the first three years of legalization alone, and that the revenue from that could be as much as eighty-eight millions dollars to the local and state economies. This economic boost could increase tax revenues by eight million dollars, a much needed increase. Those numbers could be even bigger on a national level, increasing federal tax revenue and a general boost to the economy all over. In the meantime, the seventeen states that have legalized gay marriage enjoy the benefits of marriage tourism, where people come from out-of-state to spend money to get married there. While millions and possibly billions of dollars might not save the country from the current debt, it is a much needed revenue increase that can’t be denied.

Several anti-gay groups tend to use the argument that gay marriage is bad for the children who will be born to or adopted by gay parents. This is based on the assumption that children require both a mother and father figure to succeed. They also tend to compare lesbian parenting to single mothers because there is no “father,” and some statistics show that kids of single mothers have higher delinquency rates due to not having a father.  This same argument is used against gay male parents because there is no mother figure. This statement is nonsensical, a single mother is only one person, just because there isn’t a male father figure does not invalidate the fact that there are two parents, each capable of taking care of the child financially and emotionally. The argument that there would be a lack of a male role model in the case of a boy child is also illogical, as an uncle, brother, or close friend can also serve to fill these roles if need be.

I have found an article published by PubMed, the online branch of the US National Library of Medicine entitled Gay marriage, same-sex parenting, and America’s children, by William Meezan and Jonathan Rauch that indicates that gay marriage isn’t harmful to children of gay parents. According to the article, “First, marriage may increase children’s material well-being through such benefits as family leave from work and spousal health insurance eligibility. It may also help ensure financial continuity, should a spouse die or be disabled.” It goes on to say that gay marriage might increase the stability and durability of gay relationships, thus creating a stable home environment. It also says that legalizing it would also create more acceptance of gay people, thus reducing any bullying that might be endured by the children of gay parents.
One other issue that I will touch on briefly before I present further evidence is the moral issues that religious groups bring up in regards to gay marriage. Some religious groups say that being homosexual is against God, and that gay marriage just normalizes being gay. They continually cite religious reasons as to why gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed. They claim that marriage is a tradition based in religion, and though it might be based in religion, it is in fact a legal matter. Separation of church and state exists for a reason, so that in regard to legal issues the churches cannot affect the decisions. There are gay citizens whether religious people like it or not, and they are requesting the right to be legally married, which requires government consent. The benefits of marriage are strictly legal ones, and thus any argument against it based on religion is false reasoning, and subject to dismissal.

The other concern that is brought up against gay marriage is that gay relationships will be taught as normal in schools and grades as young as kindergarten. I have always found this to be an absurd assumption, as when I was in school I don’t recall ever being taught about straight relationships except in second hand form, such as the letter Abigail Adams wrote to her husband John Adams regarding female liberation after the Revolutionary War. However, even if gay relationships were talked about as being equally as valid as straight relationships, this is not a problem. It creates acceptance and tolerance where previously there was none. I think that the fear is that kids will be taught about sex in regards to gay relationships, but that aspect of relationships is not taught until sex education starts in most cases. The fear that kids will be taught about gay sex in school is, in my opinion baseless, as straight sex isn’t talked about now, as such gay relations wouldn’t be explained either. Fearing that a child will be taught about sex in school is almost laughable in an age when most kids have cell phones, computers, and internet, and are able to look these things up on their own.

The real problem with schools regarding gay people is bullying and the general lack of acceptance. If gay marriage was legalized there is a good chance that acceptance of gay people would increase. I found some statistics on bullying of gay students and found some surprising numbers. The article I found was called Bullying in School, Harassment Puts Gay Youths at Risk, and was taken from the website Mental Health America. Gay students are two to three times more likely to commit suicide than straight students, and four out of five gay students said that there are no supportive faculty members at school. Another distressing statistic was this one, “One survey revealed that 22 percent of gay respondents had skipped school in the past month because they felt unsafe there.” Schools clearly need to be safe for a student to learn well, and with gay marriage illegal, being gay becomes taboo. If gay marriage is legalized it is my firm belief that acceptance in schools will rise, and lessen the amount of bullying that gay students receive, thus ensuring future success.

The reasons against gay marriage are easily countered by facts, and the moral reasoning against gay marriage is actually immoral as it denies basic rights to loving, consenting adults.

– Prometheus

 

Sources:

Angeliki Kastanis, M.V. Lee Badgett, and Jody L. Herman. “The Economic Impact of Extending Marriage to Same-Sex Couples in Washington State.” Williams Institute. Williams Institute, Jan. 2012. Web. 10 Apr. 2013. <http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/research/economic-impact-reports/estimating-the-economic-boost-of-marriage-equality-in-washington-state-sales-tax-2/&gt;.
William Meezan, and Jonathan Rauch. “Gay Marriage, Same-sex Parenting, and America’s Children.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2005. Web. 10 Apr. 2013. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16158732&gt;.
“Bullying and Gay Youth.” Mental Health America. Mental Health America, n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2013. <http://www.nmha.org/index.cfm?objectid=CA866DCF-1372-4D20-C8EB26EEB30B9982&gt;.

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