Gay rights in society: still a taboo issue?

Marina Budd, staff

Few topics have been more discussed and more controversial over the past decade than the conversation surrounding gay rights.

However despite this controversy, the LGBTQ community is starting to become more accepted by society. Laurel Davey, 57, has a son who is gay and shared her feelings about society and homosexuality.

“Gays are recognized as legal partners in many areas that they were not in the past,” Davey said. “Tolerant people have raised their children likewise and the media especially has made a big difference in getting through to people about equality for all, not just for gays and lesbians.”

Davey noted that discrimination against LGBTQ will never be completely eliminated.
She also commented about her son being comfortable walking in British Columbia with his partner more than he’s comfortable walking in Toronto.

When asked about her feelings when her son told her that he was gay, she felt that he had “gone over to the enemy.” Not because he was gay, but because as a child he was teased about not being interested in sports. He was called “queer” and his mother would simply tell them that kids are cruel.

Davey herself experienced some sexual orientation discrimination. She was at a co-workers home when some co-workers started “gay bashing.” She didn’t want to make a scene but left in tears. Later, the co-workers found out about Davey’s son and apologized for their inconsiderateness.

Jayme Gilby, 18, showed a great compassion for the LGBTQ community.
“They deserve to be treated like everyone else,” she said. “Why can’t a man love a man, and a woman love a woman?”

Gilby is a strong believer in gay rights and noted that this generation is more accepting of different lifestyles, but older generations might still see homosexuality has a “taboo.”

For example, the southern parts of the United States still criminalize homosexuality and according to Debra DeLaet, author of Global Struggle for Human Rights, some countries, such as Iran and Iraq, will never decriminalize homosexuality.

DeLaet said that in these countries the government may send an individual to death for being gay. As a result, citizens are fleeing to countries that are more accepting of homosexuality.

However, more students are showing their compassion for this issue.
Shonnie Stevens is a journalism student at Carleton University and was an active member of LGTBQ club in high school.

“I feel that the government needs to stop labeling them.” Stevens said, “If we all want to be equal, then we need to stop separating them.”

She was questioned a lot about her being a member of a club when she is not gay. Stevens claimed that she felt that if she were a part of the club she’d be showing the community that she supports them and hopes that everyone else can too.

Canada was one of the first on the wagon to accept same-sex marriage under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, however recently it was announced that if the partners married in Canada came from countries where same-sex marriage isn’t legal, then the marriage is nullified in Canada. This gross step backwards has the LGBTQ community across the world up in arms because it is only same-sex marriage that is being targeted. They ask if a woman is from Iraq, will her right to vote and drive be taken away because that’s the laws in her homeland? A valid question considering this is one of the worst attacks on the community in Canada is recent history.

As a society, we have become more accepting of homosexuality, but there are still some people who see this as a sort of “taboo.” However, there will unfortunately always be discrimination against gays, but there will also always be people who believe in equality for everyone and will continue to fight for their rights.

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