Monday, March 22, 2010

Discussing Gay Marriage in the Classroom

Well I must be really losing it because this week I broke my "nothing that could be remotely considered political or religious" rule in the classroom. Don't get me wrong, we often discuss politics and the impact of religion, but I make it a habit never to relate personal beliefs. However, this week, during our regular discussion time, one kid asked what I thought about gay marriage.

I told them that I was in favor of gay marriage because of at least three things (I was trying really hard to keep it simple, but this is a hard topic for simplicity). First, because this issue shouldn't be left up to me or any other straight person. Why should I get to impose my opinions on somebody else when it doesn't really impact me if two gay people get married. I used the famous line "If you don't approve of gay marriage, don't marry a gay person." I was glad this got a laugh.

Second, I told them that all American citizens are supposed to get equal protections under the law according to the constitution. It seems to me that equal protections would extend to the rights that go along with marriage. We then discussed what "equal protections" really means.

Finally, I said that when I consider the issue of gay marriage it makes me think of my own marriage. I was so happy to get married to my husband, and it would have made me really sad if somebody had said I just wasn't allowed to marry him. In this country, where we pride ourselves on freedom and justice, that idea just doesn't seem fair. No parent complaints so far. Let's just hope it stays that way.

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