A few weeks ago, my daughter came home with a list of topics and an assignment to do some sort of project about something related to San Francisco history. She had been instructed to pick one that her parents knew about so she could get help with it. I scanned the list of possible subjects and spotted The Gay Rights Movement. That was a no-brainer. I grew up in San Francisco and remember the assassination of Harvey Milk as if it were yesterday. I spent a lot of time — for a straight kid with straight parents — in the Castro because it was close to where I had rehearsals and not too far from the Opera House. It was a neat place to hang out on the way home. So, it seemed obvious which topic would be best. After all, what do I know about cable cars?
Posts Tagged ‘equality’
In 2004, newly elected mayor of San Francisco Gavin Newsom threw away his political future when he directed the county clerk to begin issuing marriage licenses to all couples, regardless of their genders. This kicked the fight for marriage equality into high gear and here we are, almost ten years later, and we are well on our way to universal marriage equality in this country. And that’s not acceptable. Or, rather, it’s not enough.
Marriage is an abstract concept that, frankly, most young children don’t fully understand. For them, it’s usually good enough to know that when grown-ups love each other very much and want to be a family together, they get often get married. There’s no need to discuss the tax implications or workplace benefits or hospital visitation rights with a three-year-old. But is it necessary to limit the concept to the traditional one-man-one-woman definition just because you’re talking to a three-year-old? Even if you, personally, are okay with the idea of same-sex marriage? Even if you live in a country where same-sex marriage is legal? Lisa van de Geyn, writing in Today’s Parent, seems to think so, because talking about same-sex marriage is hard.
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day here in the US, a federal holiday. That means that the kids don’t have school so, because I don’t have to get them up and out the door, I get an extra hour of sleep while still heading off to work at the usual time. But I worry about that. I worry that, for most people, that is the extent of the meaning of this day off — a holiday in honor of some dead guy that did something at some point in history. Is that enough, however, or do we, as parents, have a responsibility to our children to make it something more than that?