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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

LiveJournal Rebellion

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

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"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

LiveJournal Rebellion

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Well, we're all very active and idealistic on ye olde LJ today, aren't we? I logged in to find my friends' page overrun with posts about various causes. I'm not complaining. I've been known to do a bit of idealistic ranting myself some days. :)

Anyway, probably the most prevalent post today is the "Gay Rights" post. Because I agree with and like the quote, I am going to post it here as well, though everyone has doubtlessly seen it by now.

"Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?"
- Ernest Gaines


Most people have pasted the accompanying part about posting it to show your support or ignoring it to show your lack, but since this has caused problems on the journals of well-meaning people who inadvertantly offended those not prone to post-spam of this sort, I'm going to refrain from that. I don't think that there are any homophobics on my flist anyway. I can't imagine that they'd stay around long, what with me posting slash on a regular basis.

If posting the quote makes you feel as though you are making a positive difference, though, by all means, please post it! I certainly don't mind seeing it around more.

But I'd sooner hear people stop using "gay" as an insult, sooner see people make an effort to become more aware of how they stereotype others not alike to them, and sooner see people have the guts to speak up when some idiot starts their BS about gay people being somehow less of human beings because of their orientation. Perhaps this would lessen the perception that homophobia is okay.

Or maybe posting a thought-provoking quote is a place to start. :)

On a more frivolous--though equally heated--note, there is a petition on LJ to convince LJ not to allow companies to purchase "sponsored accounts" that would allow them to promote their products on LJ. I gave the debate on lj_biz a quick scan, and there seems to be a lot of questions and concerns over this. People fear the power of the Almighty Dollar trumping the rights and wishes of LiveJournal customers.

Having read all of the posts made by the LJ folks and a handful of comments by disgruntled LJ members, I do get the distinct impression that LJ was trying to slide something past us, dressing it up as something that will benefit us as users while really trying to ease past LJ's longstanding commitment to "no ads anywhere!" A commitment that was somewhat broken by instituting the "Plus" accounts that show ads. I know for a fact that sponsored communities were showing up on the front page of LJ for paid users because scienceofsleep showed up on mine for a couple of days as a "Sponsored Community," then disappeared. I remember seeing it and thinking, "Huh. What's this? So now I can get silwritersguild on the front page by handing over some bucks?" Never mind that 99.9% of LJ users won't give a damn about silwritersguild, but money talks more than customer interest, otherwise we would talk to real live people when we call our banks, Internet providers, and credit card companies and our IT concerns would be handled by people who at least spoke our language.

Of course, when the paid users began to complain that they paid not to see adverts--and this includes adverts cloaked as communities--scienceofsleep mysteriously disappeared from my front page. And suddenly, "No, no, no! Paid users won't see this at all unless they choose to see it!" and admission to poor choice of wording on the part of LJ staff (who did, in fact, say that paid users would not be able to avoid seeing sponsored communities listed). However, I saw it for several days, enough to wonder over it, so this makes me immediately skeptical of their honesty on this issue.

Slippery slopes are a dangerous place, but I think that a valid point is made by the folks pointing out the insidious introduction of advertisement onto LiveJournal. First the Plus accounts, now the "sponsored communities"...frankly, I am sick of advertisement, period. I am sick of not being able to go to "Ravens Stadium" but having to go to "M&T Bank Stadium." No, it's not the fucking bank that plays there, it's my damned favorite football team, the Ravens. Or the Republicans who wanted to open national parks to corporate advertisements on the sides of park buildings and buses so that Exxon can dump oil into the sea with one hand and pander to environmentalists with the other. Is there any place left to go where some eejit isn't trying to hawk something at me? I pay $9.25 for a movie ticket (well, really $8.00 since I still have my old UMBC ID card) to sit for the half-hour before the movie starts watching disgusting Sprite commercials of sumo wrestlers smashing a guy's head between their bellies and advert after advert for TV shows where the same startled-looking yuppies somehow go missing. Meh. Let them stay missing, I say.

Advertisement is a necessary evil; I am not so dumb to think otherwise. But as it fills the world more and more, it becomes more and more obnoxious to draw your eye from That Guy's ad to Our Ad. I won't even listen to the radio anymore because I can't stand the blaring, strident ads designed at getting my attention.

So anyway, I signed the petition because LJ, for me, is a community for sharing my thoughts and writing and striking up conversation with like-minded folks and keeping in touch with friends. It is not where I go to watch movie trailers or get free deals, and I think that a good point is made by the folks who bring up that LJ had proclaimed relatively few restrictions for these "sponsored accounts" until a shitstorm was made over the idea that didn't go over quite as well as planned. When companies start throwing big money into a service, those of us who pay our paltry 20 buckaroos per year start to feel understandably nervous of how our rights as customers will shake out next to theirs, and as someone with a fan fiction community, say "Children of Hurin" was made into a movie. Would silwritersguild be made to shut down to give monopoly to the childrenofhurin sponsored community? Surely, they can outbid me.

Anyhoo, those who agree with me or want to read further, check out the petition. And thanks to ithilwen for calling my attention to it! Additionally, the lj_biz community has the posts that have been made about this move and the literally thousands of comments mostly against it.
  • I read the after-quote gay rights blurb as "If you don't believe in gay rights, please just ignore this post and don't start a flame war". That could just be me though. And I see your point. It's like those email forwards that say "If you don't send this to 500 people, you will have bad luck forever."

    Hmm, interesting. I hadn't heard anything about LJ selling out. I have my plus account and thus, ads because I neeeeeeed more than 3 icons! Must look into this.
  • Hmm, after reading some comments on one of the posts, I don't get a good vibe off the whole deal. Even if LJ is not trying to screw us (basically), I agree with the people who are concerned about our little fannish corners. I definitely believe that, while before we were lying low, if the Tolkien Estate buys a sponsored community, we'll all be on their radar. Whether we get copyright trouble (of whatever degree) is much more likely. It's really a toss up as to whether the corporations will be reasonable (our definition anyway) or not. I can definitely see a corporation paying an intern to keyword search and look at posts/icons and list the violators...:(
    • That was precisely my concern the moment that "fandom" was mentioned.

      A couple people thought they were clever to say, "Well, you all are breaking the law so don't complain that LJ won't protect you!" But that assumes that fanfic/fanart is in fact a violation of the law. So far, I've seen convincing arguments for both sides, though I am not trained in law enough to make an expert assessment of either. But it seems that lawyers have found "proof" for both sides based on the outcomes that the want to see, i.e. a corporate attorney for a popular movie is of course going to find laws backing up their desire to have "destructive" fandoms removed. Whereas, if I was an attorney, I'd be able to find laws showing the opposite since--as a fandom community owner--I have a vested interest in seeing our rights to explore the story through fanfic preserved.

      *sigh*

      The big difference seems to be that corporations have the bucks to throw into these fights whereas a teeny-tiny group like SWG...what would my options be, even if I was violating no laws? I lack the expertise to defend myself on that point and lack the income to pay someone to do it for me. I could be strongarmed into closing SWG, even if I was doing nothing wrong. (I believe that I even make that point on the userinfo page!)

      Cease & Desist letters seem to have a powerful lure in this regard. And it seems very easy to do a search of "silmarillion" as an interest, see who pops up, who posts fanfic, and C&D them. Of course, they could do this all along, but as someone remarked, it's a lot easier when they're right in your backyard, and some companies have a legal obligation to do this (or so it is said) if they share the same space.

      Frankly, I think that we have far less to worry about in the Tolkien fandom than, say, Harry Potter, particularly the adult/racy/slash comms. Aside from the occasional Morgoth/Maedhros bondage tale, we don't do much harm (and someone shrewd could maybe even argue the canon of that? I know I'd like to try! :^D)
    • (no subject) - aramel_calawen - Expand
    • (no subject) - dawn_felagund - Expand
  • If posting the quote makes you feel as though you are making a positive difference, though, by all means, please post it! I certainly don't mind seeing it around more.

    I think maybe I should say something before folks start wondering why I haven't posted this to my lj. I support Gay Rights, and I'm not a homophobe. People can do whatever they want with whomever they want, and I got no problems with it. Fine, dandy, I'll live my life like I always have been. ;-) But as you've said, there are likely folks out there who will refrain from posting this in order to keep from spamming their flists, and I'd be one of them (though I am just as guilty of spamming in other cases). In fact, I'd go as far as to say that I'd rather be left alone about it, as it's one point of contention that I'd happily avoid. If that sounds bad, or makes me into a bad person, then I guess that's how it is. *shrug*

    People will do what makes them happy, and I'm all for that, because I'll do what makes me happy. Read romance novels, hang with friends (online and offline), and write. And do whatever else that comes along and sounds like loads of fun! *grin*
    • And that's exactly why I left the second bit off of it. :) Because while I recognized that lots of well-intentioned folks were pasting it as-is into their LJs, others were taking the last bit to be offensive. And I can see where that comes from. :)

      There's nothing wrong with not posting it. Living a tolerant lifestyle with the sort of outlook you describe is far more important, imho!

      I tend to be funny about mass emails/forwards myself. I get some from friends and family at times that are really quite lovely, beseeching me to forward them to all of my friends, including the person who sent it to me. I never do that. Sometimes, an email might include something that I know will appeal to one or two people. Like cute cats: I will send them to my sister and mom because they like cute cats. But my entire address book? Nah....

      I don't really think that forwarding or copying something into LJ shows much of anything. I'd sooner show my love for my friends by reading and commenting on their journals, cheering them when they need it, maybe writing the occasional gift story or sending along a picture that will make them smile. I'd sooner show my support for gay rights by behaving in a tolerant manner and setting an example in my own behavior.

      Not that such "spams" offend me in the least, but I just don't think that it's the productive way to create change!

      Or--maybe for some people--it is. I liked the quote and so wanted to remember the quote. But not making my flist feel bad for not following the masses who are likewise posting it. :) And I think it's sad that the quote has created such an environment where you feel that you must justify, "Hey, I'm not one of them!" I don't think that's what any on my flist posting the quote intended, but it does give that feeling.

      Have I rambled enough? :^P Shutting up now.... ;)
  • But I'd sooner hear people stop using "gay" as an insult, sooner see people make an effort to become more aware of how they stereotype others not alike to them, and sooner see people have the guts to speak up when some idiot starts their BS about gay people being somehow less of human beings because of their orientation. Perhaps this would lessen the perception that homophobia is okay.

    I think the quote is incredible touching & relevant in the light of the recent shooting in Pennsylvania, yeah. There are many things which amaze me about the States...

    Anyhow. I am one of the persons who replied to nienna_weeper entry and I was incredibly put off by the last sentence. Before I get my ass flamed off... I'll try to explain again. I said there:

    But well because of this it feels as if I would post it, I would be closing my eyes for other, equally important rights which deserve the same amount of spotlight. The right of children to go to school, civil rights over the globe ect ect. It also implies that if I don't choose to post it, I am a gay basher, which is obviously not the case as you (& others) know, so I fully agree with Maldy here. I hope you are not mad at me.

    I am more for giving more attention to children's rights to gay rights. I am a big supporter of Warchild (their motto: you can take the child out of a war, but how do you get the war out of a child) because year in year out children (besides women) are victims of wars, riots, border troubles and so on. So instead of seeing one of those posts again, I rather would see posts about that. But yet I won't do it. Because whatever cause you are supporting: everything is equally important. Here gays rights are accepted, constitutional even, people are seen as part as the community, can marry, can adopt, can join the army and what more. The battle has been won. Maybe in the States it is completely different. But I do think this post that went around does singles them out again, place them on an isolated spot and the last sentence is just wrong. Especially for those who are very weary of the whole thing because by now ... it feels so overhyped by now (for me it most certainly feels that way). Is it a cause worth fighting for? Of course it is, but be careful the way how. You can overdo it.

    As for LJ, I was the second one in that initial thread to ask what would happen if there would be a conflict of interests if a user or a community posts fan fic. (I am on page 13 or something like that).

    I just read this:
    So ultimately, our existing policies on copyright and trademark aren't going to change if a sponsor is on LJ; if they want to report icons or screencaps, the copyright holder will always have a legal right to do so. We're neither going to encourage them to do that, nor are we going to discourage them, either. LiveJournal needs to remain neutral in this type of situation, due to existing United States laws. We still have to enforce these laws whether or not we have sponsored communities.

    In the case of the Tolkien estate, Addleshaw Goddard is very active in shutting down sites, so I am very doubtful about what is stated above. If you write fan fic, there is always the rule of fair use. If you build a site and your knowlegde database of characters contains more than the actual percentage of the fair use... yeah be careful. Ask the estate for permission first. So I am still worried. The good thing is though that as a paid user there won't be adds to see, but yet again I remain sceptical because they said things before they would never do, but it happened anyway.
    • I was incredibly put off by the last sentence. Before I get my ass flamed off... I'll try to explain again.

      I specifically removed the last sentence so that you wouldn't feel that you had to explain. :) I am not in the business of making my flist feel that they have to follow what I say or label themselves in an untrue manner.

      I also took issue with the last part of the post, though I know that others have interpreted it to mean "if you don't agree, just ignore it and don't start a flame war over this." To me, it read rather black and white: If you agree, you will repost. If you don't, you will ignore. As someone who rarely returns or posts "forwards" in either email or LJ, I can understand how some people were made uncomfortable by this. And as I said in my post and told Isil in the comment above yours, living a tolerant lifestyle is equally or more important than participating in "chains" like this.

      At the same time, I do not mean to imply that people who pasted the whole post meant to be hurtful or make this an "either you're with us or against us" sort of issue. There seem to be two ways to read the last part of the post; I walked on the safe side and cut it out entirely. :)

      Because whatever cause you are supporting: everything is equally important.

      True that. ann_arien said that the post for her is not about gay rights but human rights. For me, my specific support of GLBT issues comes back to your next point:

      Maybe in the States it is completely different.

      It is. It is very different here. We had a Congresswoman not too long ago stand in front of the nation and say that the biggest threat this country is facing is gay marriage. Because being involved in a ne'erending war, having an economy in the toilet, an administration that routinely lies...none of those things are threats. It's the idea that people of the same gender might be extended the same rights to marry as hetero couples. Really?

      So while I am so pleased to see the huge steps that have been made in Europe and elsewhere in the world, for me, the issue is far from over. My own country remains a nation trying to legalize bigotry.

      Also, this issue is very personal to me because of my sister. One of the people whom I love most in the world cannot even live freely in her own country right now because of the person that she is. She has to fear holding hands with her wife because if she gets beaten or killed over it, it isn't considered a hate crime and is treated the same as a bar-fight gone bad. She can't marry or adopt children. And there are many jobs where she wouldn't even be allowed to reveal her "identity" as a bisexual woman.

      So, yes, I will admit that I will shout louder about this issue than almost any other. And I will probably get on the nerves at times of my European friends who live in more progressive nations. But I ask everyone to keep in mind that, for me, this is an issue very close to home. Someone I love is being attacked every day in this country because of narrowminded views of a few, and so yes, I will speak out, and I do think that it's important. When Sharon can move home if she wants to and live with her wife as a married couple, then maybe I will shut up. But until then, no.

      Of course it is, but be careful the way how. You can overdo it.

      Well, I'm not really sure that I agree that posting a quote in my journal that totals twenty-one words (including Mr. Gaines' name) and asking people to be aware of how they treat human beings different than themselves is exactly "overdoing it" but okay....

      Children of war is an important issue for me too, btw. It was actually my specialty in uni: post-traumatic stress disorder in childhood victims of political violence. I will check out the organization you mentioned. :)
      • If you don't, you will ignore. As someone who rarely returns or posts "forwards" in either email or LJ, I can understand how some people were made uncomfortable by this.

        I know, but I see it coming back and it made me wonder if I did something wrong.

        It's the idea that people of the same gender might be extended the same rights to marry as hetero couples. Really?

        And therefore 'threatening' a corner stone or basic foundation as a society... to their beliefs. Don't forget that politicians will twitch and turn to follow trends. Just a nice example:

        Rep. Dennis Kucinich “This bill is everything we don't believe in.” No Republican spinmeister could have put it better.

        http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20060928/1041359.asp

        Spinmeister is the correct term here.

        We see it here now too with the upcoming elections because the reign of this cabinet has caused a lot of misery. Anyhow. It is brought as a threat, it looks like a threat so it must be a threat? I don't think so. What is wrong with people loving each other? What's next, mixed marriages based on race? I think, honestly, that this reign of fear must end. Because when you look at it from the outside, it is a reign of fear. The new terrorism act is there because as 'Bush says: "We do anything to protect America." The emergency rule or constitual order has become a rule & norm in life and I do think this administration will do anything to stretch the presidents power or even go beyond that. Separation of church and state? Is it there honestly?I think when a state wants to approve gay marriage, then they should allow it but not act from the presidential office because personally the president doesn't like it.

        Montesquie and Locke had reasons to come up with that, because: "the separation of powers constrains rulers (be they constitutional monarchs or elected executives) and thereby guarantees, according to Montesquieu, the "tranquillity" that is the political liberty of the individual; the second is secured thanks to the first."

        Let good parenting (whether they are gay, straight, bisexual, signle, married, divorced) be the cornerstone/foundation of society. Parents who are happy, content, upbeat and such just make good parents. An economy will thrive if people are optimistic and not when they feel opressed by the 'own' commander in chief. But in order to achieve that, give people the right to do what they believe in and do not set a norm based on your own standards. Being a moral leader of a free country... I think Mr Bush report card will have a 1 regarding that.

        My own country remains a nation trying to legalize bigotry.

        Which makes it so sad, you know. Dr Martin Luther King would turn around in his grave.
        {edit: LJ thinks I am rambling]
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    • Oops, ran out of room! :^P

      The good thing is though that as a paid user there won't be adds to see, but yet again I remain sceptical because they said things before they would never do, but it happened anyway.

      I was put off by the way that the whole thing came about, having spent most of last night reading the lj_biz comm and some of the comments left on posts. I think that if LJ had come right out and said, "Look, it's economically feasible for us to start this, but we want you to know that we have implemented this, this, and this to protect our userbase and we are taking measures to limit the exposure paid users will have," then they would have been a lot better off.

      But they came out and said, "Hey guys, here are these awesome features that you're going to love and they're being paid for by these companies that you're going to love too!" as though we were expected to simply go along and say, "Yay! LJ says we're going to love it, so it must be okay!" No. When you bring big bucks into what has always been a free or low-cost community, people are going to get scared, kind of like finding out that a WalMart is moving into the neighborhood. Yeah, there might be lots of good to go with that WalMart, but how many little guys are going to be closed or suffer to make way for it?

      Secondly, scienceofsleep did appear on the LJ homepage to me for several days, and I am a paid user. What this says to me is that they didn't take their promise to paid users of "no ads evah since you pay" into account and tried to slip it beneath the radar. Only when hullabaloo was made was it removed from the page when I am signed in. This makes me distrustful right off the bat.

      Thirdly, all of the rules--some of which are very good--were put into place only after thousands of posts complaining and protesting. These things should have been taken care of right away, before the plan was even announced to users. While I am not sure that I agree with the people insisting that LJ should have polled their userbase first (since a business sometimes must act in a business's best interest and a customer can't possibly know all that goes into that), I don't think that it would have been a bad idea to discuss it with some users and community leaders, sort of a focus group. The issues that they are only now addressing seem like no-brainers to me, and it--again--leaves me wondering: Is LJ really that naive or were they really trying to pull something over on us?

      I can't believe that they could be so naive not to set rules in place, for example, for sponsored comms spamming users and regular communities with posts.

      Or maybe I'm just getting old and cynical. :)
  • While chain mails and passive-aggressive guilt tripping into memeage is annoying, I think it's kind of ridiculous to turn a meme like this into lj-drama.

    Posting a meme like that - or even only that quote - may be an easy, idealistic way to make a stand. But... I don't think that it's completely useless or without any positive effects at all. I'm thinking of all the kids growing up with MySpace and LiveJournal - if they see such things on a regular basis, that there are so many people out there who are ok with homosexuality, who support human rights etc, well, I think it might make them think about how they'll vote.

    And not everyone can be an activist. I guess those little things are maybe even more important to get things into the heads of the masses. It's not a quick or spectacular method. The beauty of it is that it turns open support for gay rights (I agree about the labelling issues, I just can't come up with a better word right now) into something completely ordinary.

    If something's ordinary, unthreatening, then someone who tries to make a big deal about being against it will eventually look ridiculous to more and more people. So... in spite of my misgivings against chain letters and guilt tripping...

    I think it's a good idea to post such things.

    (Oh, and yes: I rather had the impression that the explanation was more of a "please no flame war" than anything else... I guess certain phrases have become so standard with memes like this that ppl who make them don't really think about what they are really writing in those explanations?)
    • I think it's kind of ridiculous to turn a meme like this into lj-drama.

      So do I. Which is why I removed the last part of the post since it seemed to be inspiring its fair share in some places. ;)

      And not everyone can be an activist.

      I don't expect that everyone should. I have been for half of my life now pursuing one cause or another. I have participated as an activist in marches, boycotts, telephone/letter-writing campaigns...and I have come to the conclusion that these sorts of activities do less good for the cause than simply educating and informing the public.

      I believe that sitting and talking to people is one of the best ways to go about things. An interesting "case study," if you will, of this point involved myself and my best friend in our freshman year of high school. We were both animal activists and started an animal rights' group at our high school. Now my friend was very in-your-face; she was the type who would say, "Ewwww, you're eating a ham sandwich; do you know what was done to that pig??" or make a point of looking at slaughterhouse photos at lunch. I was the sort to sit quietly and wait for someone to ask me why I was a vegetarian, then attempt to discuss it with them. Not attack them or throw something that they were not ready to see in their faces but stand on equal ground and just talk.

      The result? Many people became vegetarians because of me, and many more cut back their consumption of animal products. The result for my friend? She was frequently mocked and despised for her attitude, and she ended up driving our group into the ground because she was the only one radical enough to stomach what she was doing.

      I believe the same for GLBT issues.

      I post things like this because I believe that getting people thinking and opening the conversation in as many places as possible is never a bad thing. And your point about creating an attitude that it is okay to be gay--rather than the often-prevalent (in the US anyway) attitude that gays are dirty or stupid--is effectively done this way too. Social psychology research has shown over and over again that people will go along with what they believe to be wrong simply because they believe their dissenting voice to be against popular opinion. I hear kids slinging around the word "gay" like it's an insult, and they all do it and no one thinks anything of it. Or the people that stereotype. Or the people who don't say, "Hey, that's not appropriate here," when their coworker makes a "fag" joke that makes them uncomfortable. Someone taking a stand against any of these things are not activists, but all are making more of a difference than the silent majority.

      But if we change the direction from anti-gay to okay-to-be-gay...well, social psychology applies to the idiots too. ;)

      Oh, and yes: I rather had the impression that the explanation was more of a "please no flame war" than anything else...

      I can see how it could be read this way, and while the phrase never sat quite right with me, I was far from outrightly offended, recognizing that the folks I saw posting this meme were not the sorts who would take a "with us or against us" attitude. So I went the conservative route and cut it entirely when I decided to repost the quote. (Dawn? Conservative?? I know.... ;^D) Because the point for me is less about labeling my friends as with or against a cause than opening a discussion or encouraging people to to take a stand against what they feel is wrong.

      But I understood people's discomfort with it because I often feel the same when I receive a forward from a friend along the lines of "If you love me, you will send this back to me!" I love my friends...but I don't generally forward emails. I'm not against receiving them, just not apt to forward them along. It's just not my thing. Just as it's not many people's thing--people who do in fact support GLBT rights--to forward along these sorts of posts.
  • I basically agree with you, period.
    But this LJ statement that floats about here these days pisses me off, not only because is gay right such a matter of course to me that I´m having difficulties understanding it´s actually a matter of discussion anymore, but the statement indicates that if you chose NOT to put it in your LJ, you do NOT support gay rights.
    I´m easily provoked, I know. I´m also stubborn and I do not intend to spam my journal with that post, but I really do dispise the way it was presented, no matter how good the cause is.
    • But this LJ statement that floats about here these days pisses me off, not only because is gay right such a matter of course to me that I'm having difficulties understanding it's actually a matter of discussion anymore

      Well, yes. It is. :)

      While I am so pleased to see the sorts of progress being made in many countries around the world--particularly European countries--not everyone in the world is so fortunate yet.

      I live in the US, and only a short while ago, a Congresswoman stood before her peers and nation and claimed banning gay marriage to be the most important issue at stake now in our country. Not the war that we can't seem to end, not the fact that we have made asses and enemies of ourselves all over the world, not the faltering economy, crappy education system, lack of healthcare...but gay marriage.

      Legislation is constantly being introduced here to limit the rights of homosexuals in regards to marriage (or even cohabitation), adopting children, or being able to be honest about their identities in the workplace. For every tiny step we make, it sometimes feels that we are pushed back three.

      So, like I said, I am so happy to hear that many places in the world are no longer like this.

      But for me, this is my reality, and until my sister Sharon can come home and live with her wife the same as any married couple, then I will be raising my voice against such discrimination. Because it is still an issue throughout much of the world.

      but the statement indicates that if you chose NOT to put it in your LJ, you do NOT support gay rights.

      Which is exactly why I cut that part of the post off when choosing to share the quote in my own LJ. :)

      Because I do not believe this. People have a wide variety of reasons for posting or not posting something like this, and their actual support of the cause in question is only a small part of it.

      If I am a homophobic but don't want to lose half of my flist when they find out, I will post this quote.

      If I am a GLBT activist but not fond of "forwards" or memes such as this, then I will not post this quote.

      So is the first a better support of GLBT rights than the second? I don't think so.

      Yet, idealist that I am, I agree with satismagic in the comment above yours when she said that such memes are important steps for a lot of people and can make an difference, albeit in small and subtle ways. Obviously, for folks lucky enough to live in places where this is no longer an issue, it is likely to feel a bit like overkill. But for those of us living in a nation where our own leaders tell us that gay people are less-than-worthy human beings, it does feel good to see popular opinion swaying in the opposite direction, even in as small of a place as an LJ flist.
      • I think this is a typical example of what I read in an article once, that the American level of converativism is ten times higher than in Europe. What we define as "conservative" you´d probably define as "liberal"!
        And it´s rather strange that such a vast country with such a varied background (people-wise) is like that.
        The article also said that in Europe, Bush would likely never have been elected president. Of course, half of us are constitutional MONARCHIES, but you know what I mean... ;o)

        Anyway, America is lucky to have people like you, I think and we have to keep hoping that these idiots (pardon my French) in your country who sit on their high horse and decide that some people are less worth and should have less rights than others, will eventually be overcome.
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