By Stephfon Guidry
State Legislatures are battling for or against bills and lawmaking that will transform the future for the lives of many supporters of Equal Rights. Whether being taught in schools or giving protection under the law for the unions of marriage equal rights for all is a major political issue.
High school students stood in the streets of Nashville, Tennessee wearing purple shirts or purple tape over their mouths to let their voices and views heard on the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. Conservative Rep. State Sen. Stacey Campfield introduced the bill that would silence any education professional in elementary or middle school from speaking, introducing, or teaching any material other heterosexual; and schools would only teach about ‘natural reproductive science’ e.g. no homosexuality in sex ed courses. Change.org posted a statement in lieu of this, “This bill would tie the hands of school counselors, school psychologists, teachers, principals and other school employees in protecting our children. If a child is experiencing issues relating to their sexual orientation or identity, they would be unable to discuss those issues with the adults who are supervising and teaching them.” Tennessee is a state with very little LGBTQ support other than having a Hate Crimes statute which does include sexual orientation and the state representatives are adamant about keeping their traditional views.
Meanwhile, the gay newlyweds in New York are gaining a surprise in the veto for their neighbors in New Jersey. Governor Chris Christie recently vetoed Same-Sex Marriage on Friday. The Advocate reports comedian and host, Bill Maher, strongly saying, “The one thing we had is we are from the sophisticated state of New Jersey from the Northeast. We’re not some yokel, car-on-the-lawn state.” Gov. Christie adopted the decision from his belief that ‘an issue of this magnitude and importance, which requires a constitutional amendment, should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide’. While Senate President Steve Sweeney boldly went on record saying, “He had a chance to do the right thing, and failed miserably.” (Edge Boston.com)
Gay Rights whether on a marriage issues or in the classroom seem to be heating up the national headlines and debates. Soon Political Candidates will need to speak on their stances of equality and end this era of Silence.