It's hard to pick up a newspaper (yes, some people still read the morning news in print form) or listen to the news these days without hearing stories related to gay rights. The saddest stories involve the death of tormented youth such as 18-year-old violinist and Rutger's freshman Tyler Clementi Clementi who jumped from the George Washington Bridge in NY after his roommate posted a video of Clementi having a sexual encounter with another male student. This tragedy and so many like it are evidence of a nationwide problem involving gays, bullying, and intolerance.
It is strange to contemplate the juxtaposition of people flocking to the Northeast to rejoice in the pageantry of colors which is Autumn, and our inability to rejoice in the diversity of humanity. One way we keep a lid on hostility is to veil it as the US military has done with its ‘don't ask, don't tell' policy. However, on Tuesday Oct. 12 U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips took the wraps off the 17-year-old policy. Judge Phillips said ‘don't ask, don't tell' violates due process rights, freedom of speech and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances guaranteed by the First Amendment.
How can we, as adults, promote an atmosphere of tolerance? Well one way is to read the full post on my blog Living in the Heartland and to watch Dana DeYoung's "It'll Get Better" video. Then step away from the violence, be involved in conversations and be part of the answer.