All posts edited by Madeline Ricchiuto.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gay Rights in the Wrong Places?

Gay Rights. Whats the first thing you think of? If your in the US, I'm betting its either 'marriage' or 'bullying' and if you're in the UK, I'm sure it's 'marriage'. Marriage, an important issue for sure to many people; but more and more I have hear rumblings of discontent from those in the community. Don't get me wrong, most I talk to think marriage is something that homosexuals ought be able to do, but many are starting to question whether or not that should be the priority or where we put the spotlight for our movement/community.

Nathan Sparling is an activist from the UK and writes:
Nathan Sparling - Activist - Read More Here
"I think our community has its sights on the wrong priority...Across the UK there is a crisis. A health crisis within our community that needs to be addressed – yet campaigners focus on marriage as the final step to enshrining LGBT equality in the law. Rates of sexually transmitted infections have never been higher, whilst the statistics of self-harm and suicide amongst our community are frightening. Why then does the health of our peers take a back step, whilst marriage legislation is nodded through Parliament?"

Granted this only applies to the United Kingdom really, but I think the sentiment is the same in the US as well. Marriage is of course important, and its great that the public and politicians seem to be taking it seriously, but aren't there more important issues to be dealt with?

I am one of the biggest advocates of marriage equality (I have been waiting for the opportunity to marry my partner) so this comes as a sting to me. I think I can understand the struggle some might have when faced with this critique. It would seem that maybe in favor of our own selfish desires we have relinquished a 'duty' to deal with issues that are vital those who make up our movement.

Its true that there are still a great many health issues surrounding the LGBTQ community. There is still a staggeringly high preponderance of STI's and particularly HIV/AIDS among the gay male community. Mental health, bullying, and bullying are all still pervasive problems amongst all communities in the movement and those not specifically part of it.

Should issues like these take the priority or spotlight over issues such as marriage? Its an interesting question and one I'm not sure about my own answer. At the very least I think it's safe to say that these issues are just as important as, and should not be forgotten in the face of, marriage equality.

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