A rant…

Posted: June 4, 2012 in friends, gay marriage, rights
Tags: , ,

I’ve been known to rant from time to time. I once read that it can be good for you to get things off your chest. I don’t normally listen and tend to internalize, but this time, I’m pissed.

Wondering what is pissing me off? This. Seems that the fine folks that run the newspaper here in cow country feel that publishing a same-sex engagement announcement would suddenly give everyone gay cooties. We have the following non-answer from Harold E. Miller, erstwhile CEO of Lancaster Newspapers:

“Our readers have come to depend on our judgement, taste, tone and discretion in publishing advertising to be admitted into their homes. They select our newspapers because of these qualities and we believe we are obligated to uphold their selection by declining to publish advertising announcements and notices which, in our opinion, are not consistent with prevailing community standards.”

Miller went on to add that the prevailing community standard is “what we believe to be the most typical behavior in the entire Lancaster County community.”

I call bovine scatology.

All this high and mighty talking about how they are the arbiters of deciding which good, wholesome content makes its way into the Lancaster County home is kind of funny when you realize it comes from a paper that routinely prints advertising from the local titty bars.

News flash, folks. There are gay people out there. I know some of them. They are good, decent hardworking people in committed relationships who just want the same rights and freedoms as everyone else. It’s not some kind of vast gay conspiracy. They are not out to turn the world gay. Really.

Now, were you to go back a few years, I might have felt differently. That’s before I met anyone who was out of the closet, so to speak. I knew the stereotypes… all gay men had a severe lisp, all lesbians wore Birkenstocks and listened to the Indigo Girls, etc. As so often happens with stereotypes, they simply are not true and it’s a relief when they are shattered. When we moved into our house, we met our next door neighbor, a single gay man with an adopted son. I challenge any one who says that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry and have a family to watch him interact with his son and then compare that with the hetero folks you see at Walmart screaming at their neglected kids. No contest. Not to mention the fact that he’s a great neighbor, very friendly, quiet, takes good care of his house. What more can you ask for?

When The Management and I first got involved with the Disney fan community we met a couple of the most caring, big-hearted and genuine people we’ve ever had the honor to be associated with. They are a same-sex couple and I’ll go right on the record saying that I consider their friendship something that I am incredibly honored to have been given and something I will continue to treasure. It infuriates me that these people, very much in love and committed to each other for years are not treated the same under the law as Kim Kardashian and the chump she “married” for 71 days. (As an aside, does it disturb anyone else that this woman, whose primary claims to fame are having a large butt and making a sex tape with a third-rate rapper, is still around? I was hoping she’d go away soon. Alas, no such luck.)

I’ll take heat from certain circles for this post. I know this, but I don’t care. What’s right is right and if you say to a certain group that they can’t get married, what’s to stop the haters from saying that blacks can’t get married, or Jews can’t get married, or whatever population subgroup you want to discriminate against can’t get married. That’s just ignorant and hateful. This is 2012, not 1912, and while I would like to think that humanity has evolved, that’s apparently not the case here.

I wouldn’t go so far as to urge a boycott of the paper, despite what I tweeted earlier, as that wouldn’t get the point across to the powers that be. A boycott hurts the people at the bottom a lot more than those at the top. In addition, I sincerely doubt Mr. Miller would feel the heat. He’d just start laying off employees who depend on the company to provide for their families, all to save his profit margin. Instead, burn up the phone lines, fill up the inbox, even resort to snail mail. Get your displeasure on record and let them know that this discrimination has no place in the 21st century. Mr. Miller likes focus groups. Let’s see what a lot of people focusing their ire squarely on him can do to bring about change.

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. ~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ~ Margaret Mead

BREAKING NEWS!!!!! In an encouraging development, Mr. Miller has announced that the company will reverse the policy, the decision driven in part by reader response. It’s nice to see that clearer heads have prevailed and the couple in question will have their engagement announcements in next Sunday’s paper. Mr. Miller apparently contacted the couple personally to tell them of the change and to apologize. It’s a shame that it took the outcry it did, but it’s very nice to see LNP move forward. For more details, the story can be found here.

Comments
  1. […] a topic that many feel so passionately about… I had posted a rant specifically on that topic here. As such, I didn’t feel the need to bring it up. However, kudos to Maine and Maryland for […]

  2. […] a same-sex engagement announcement. I took them to task at the time… you can find that here. The landscape has certainly changed… and for the better. Justice Kennedy has written a great […]

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