A sixth grade student stunned the Rhode Island Senate judiciary committee with a profound speech on same-sex marriage.
Twelve-year-old Matthew Lannon, who says he has two moms and two dads who have been together for 14 years, told the crowd, “My parents, and all the other gay and lesbian people here, just want to be happy.”
Photographer iO Tillett Wright grew up between genders and sexualities. She’s shot 2,000 people who consider themselves somewhere on the LBGTQ spectrum and asked many: can they assign a percentage to how gay or straight they are? Most people consider themselves to exist in the grey areas of sexuality, which presents a real problem when it comes to discrimination. Because where do you draw the line? (Filmed at TEDxWomen.)
This isn’t simply about marriage. Shocker, right? It’s extremely frustrating that same-sex marriage is the great continental divide. People are judged according to how they stand on this issue, as if no other issue matters. Did you know that a person can be for same-sex marriage and still be homophobic? Did you know that a person can be against same-sex marriage and be gay? We all get categorized very quickly based on the marriage issue and maybe that’s not fair. But here’s what you should know:
- In 29 states in America today, my partner of 18 years, Cody, or I could be fired for being gay. Period. No questions asked. One of those states is Louisiana, our home state. We live in self-imposed exile from beloved homeland, family, and friends, in part, because of this legal restriction on our ability to live our lives together.
- In 75 countries in the world, being gay is illegal. In many, the penalty is life in prison. These are countries we can’t openly visit. In 9 countries, being gay is punishable by death. In many others, violence against gays is tacitly accepted by the authorities. These are countries where we would be killed. Killed.
- Two organizations that work very hard to maintain this status quo and roll back any protections that we may have are the Family Research Council and the Marriage & Family Foundation. For example, the Family Research council leadership has officially stated that same-gender-loving behavior should be criminalized in this country. They draw their pay, in part, from the donations of companies like Chick-Fil-A. Both groups have also done “missionary” work abroad that served to strengthen and promote criminalization of same-sex relations.
- Chick-Fil-A has given roughly $5M to these organizations to support their work.
- Chick-Fil-A’s money comes from the profits they make when you purchase their products.