I just came across this news story about the most challenged books of the year: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080506/ap_en_ot/challenged_books
This is a quote from the article:
This is a quote from the article:
"The complaints are that young children will believe that homosexuality is a lifestyle that is acceptable. The people complaining, of course, don't agree with that," Judith Krug, director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
What is wrong with people? All these arguments about homosexuality being "unnatural" and this story being inappropriate for children do not stand the test of real life . This is a true story for crying out loud! No matter how much people don't want it to be true, it is and nothing can change that. What is so inappropriate about love? About family? A happy ending? I simply don't understand people who hate gay people (and penguins!) so much that they are willing to go out of their way to write a letter to protest a book, much less willing to deny their children the joy of learning about different kinds of families. These kids then grow up to be completely unprepared to face real life as adults and often fall back on the only thing they know: hate.
I have not had a single job in San Francisco where I didn't have gay co-workers, most often in supervisory positions; I haven't once been to a hospital where there were no gay nurses or doctors. Some of my doctors are gay and lesbian. Many teachers are gay. If you go into any store or coffee shop you will see gay men and women working there. It is a part of life and turning a blind eye to it will not make it magically disappear. And why would anyone want it to disappear? Gay people are everywhere, they are our brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, best friends, co-workers, and our parents too.
All I am saying is this: if you are going to hate anyone, do it because they are a bad person; hate them because they abuse their loved ones, they beat them or molest them; hate them because they take advantage of others; because they lie, cheat, or steal. But do not hate someone because they can't help who they fall in love with.
I am especially baffled by people who use their religious beliefs as an excuse for hatred of any kind. What kind of god/goddess would hate their children? Don't most religions teach love? How can anyone deny that? I am not a religious person, I do not attend services of any kind, but I did grow up in a mostly Catholic country and went to church many times. I went to school in Georgia and was exposed to Southern Baptists and methodists. I am speaking from my own experience, not just criticizing for the sake of it. I saw so much discrimination and so much fear in the people suffering it that I know how dangerous it can be once people convince themselves that the Truth, like that, with a capital T, is theirs. Some girls I went to school with would never hold hands in public, much less kiss. They knew they could become victims of violence and possibly risked being killed because of their love. How incomprehensible.
I don't look forward to the day that I have to explain to my daughter who Matthew Shepard was. But I will take it as yet another chance to pass on to her my belief that there is no excuse, no valid reason to hate anyone for being who they are.
So please, go out and buy this book for your kids and yourself and enjoy it together! It is a small step in the right direction to a happier world for them to live in!