Brave enough to teach my kids about human rights?
I watched a movie the other night on the History Channel called The People Speak that reminded me that our country has been changed by its people, the ones brave enough to speak up, over and over again.
It left me wondering if I am brave enough to stand up for something. I came to the conclusion that I may not be because I often question my own opinions-worried that maybe I don’t have all the facts or that what I think might offend.
As a parent, this luke-warm attitude or fear (call it what you will) makes me feel terrible. My job is to teach my children to stand up for what is right, even if it’s hard. I have made a resolution, no matter how hard, to start modeling this for my kids. A funny series of events has happened in my life recently. In my new state, there was a bill before the Senate about same sex marriage. The weekend before the vote, there were kids standing on the corner of my town with signs asking us to honk if we were "for love". I saw them walking home from Mass at my Catholic Church (irony or just bad timing?) and really wished I was in a car so I could honk. That same day I went to an open house for a charter school in the town where we live. I sat next to two moms. I felt, literally felt, my heart hurt at the thought that my kid is currently in a school that probably doesn’t have any sets of two moms. Finally, I read an article in Parents magazine about raising equality minded kids. One important idea was to raise your children in a diverse environment and then speak openly about what you value.
These events were like a series of lightening bolts, each stronger than the next. They reminded me that I do feel strongly about something and without question, I know it's right. I have even gathered the counter arguments and all the information, and still I have not wavered-not for a second. I can no longer be quiet, even if it means I risk hurting people's feelings or alienating those around me. This is the issue that is too important to risk letting my children watch me stand quietly by.
I believe with every fiber of my being that every citizen of this country deserves equal rights no matter what. I believe we have proven that separate but equal is not equal and I think almost the same falls into equivalent territory. A union is not a marriage. More importantly, a union doesn't always afford the same and thus equal rights as a marriage. People with a union are not recognized everywhere. They are treated different. Their rights are questioned. They are not seen as equal.Continued on the next page