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With the current events of the case in review before the Supreme Court, I was not surprised this week when I came across a YouTube music video making a gay rights statement. It did surprise me though, which artist was making the statement. Like many others, I have heard Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" single all over radio stations. And I doubt many would disagree with me when I made the generalization that rappers are seldom pro-gay rights.

My generalization does not stand though, not with Macklemore. As it turned out, I discovered Macklemore's "Same Love" collaborative work with Ryan Lewis and Mary Lambert. And while the controversial issue of whether or not the federal and/or state government has the constitutional right is what is being focused on in the Supreme Court, I took away a different issue that the song brought up. 

I've actually been giving it a bit of thinking. The other issue that was brought to my attention was the language surrounding what is currently being brought up in the Supreme Court. I can't help but think about how much it has been bothering me recently. 

It is just that while the discussions on marriage quality and gay rights surface on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on the news, I wonder how it is we go about discussing the very people - individuals - most central to the issue. 

But it hardly seems we're talking about the same people. Because in the middle of it, it is discovered that group of people mentioned in such great numbers, have little to do with what many people say. 

It common to hear,"Bro that's gay."

Or even complaints on how, "gay" this or that is. 

And while I know that in pointing out this issue within the language we hear and may also inadvertently speak, I might have shied away from the issues the Supreme Court may be dealing with, I believe this too should be dealt with.

Because as much as I know it is a high school thing to hear this, I don't think it should be. I know there are plenty of other words we could use. And to me it does not matter what my beliefs are on same-sex marriage. What matters is that we realize that giving negative connotations to terms used in describing people, is not right. 

Say that the math homework your teacher gave you was terrible, tear-inducing, ridiculous, evil, or disgusting. 

I believe that if you just pay a little bit closer attention to what you are saying, what others are saying, and how others respond, you'll do better in life. People notice after all. And it takes a toll on people who have to hear you describe every object, situation, or person as "gay" just because you fail to find another word in a language of thousands of other words. That's just a thought of mine.

Here's Macklemore's "Same Love"

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Comment by Adriana Ramos on April 2, 2013 at 6:56pm

It's definitely an issue our generation needs to confront. And though I'm not too sure even about where I stand on same-sex marriage, I just had to say something about Macklemore's lyrics. I don't know what I would decide if I were to be a Supreme Court Justice. I do however know that I take issue with how the LGBTQ community is characterized, especially through the language many use, whether intentionally or not. It's great to have conversations about this though. I appreciate your perspective! 

Comment by Yesenia Treviño on March 31, 2013 at 8:01pm

We really do need to have more meaningful discussions about same-sex marriage and issues regarding heterosexual privilege and the marginalization of homosexual people in our society. I agree with you–the language people use to hurt or dehumanize others must be change. I also focus on language and the words people use when reinforcing social hierarchies. Equality is something that many people tend to see as desirable, but may not like when it is pointed out that equality is fully comprehensive. It includes equality between men and women, 'white' people and people of color, heterosexual and homosexual people, and many more categories. Thank you for posting about same-sex marriage!




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