This week is a big week here in NYC. It's Pride Week, a week full of pro-LGBT activities and events, a week full of public displays of love, a week full of hope. It's also a week when the NY Senate is likely bringing same-sex marriage to a vote. They need 32 votes to allow it. Right now, there are 31 confirmed votes in favor. There are a few undecided voters, who are being bombarded with urging from both sides and the rest are Republicans, known to vote against such, who are likely considering what vote fits with their beliefs and their career goals. Needless to say, love and what defines love is on the minds of many here in New York City this week.
And then I stumbled upon this; http://www.thekidsarelistening.org/
This website sums up everything, in my opinion. In addition, there is a place on the main page for people to sign a pledge. The pledge reads:
"Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I'll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I'll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that "It Gets Better."
From there, a person can sign this pledge, identifying themselves as a legal/court professional, a social service provider, an adult, or an LGBT youth. There are also options to become more involved in your community's equality movement.
I don't know what each of you readers believe and I feel that we're all entitled to whatever beliefs we hold true, as long as they don't harm others. I also believe in the NASW Code of Ethics. In both cases, this lends only to equality. We cannot believe that it does not harm youth to say bigoted words, we cannot believe that it does not harm society to have laws making a group of people less than another group, and we cannot sit back and do nothing when we know this is happening.
Our Code of Ethics says this;
Social workers should obtain education about and seek to understand the nature of social diversity and oppression with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, and mental or physical disability.
(NASW Code of Ethics, 105.c.)
I hope that you will stand with me in the promotion of equality and of speaking up for the LGBT youth whose voices aren't yet strong enough to speak for themselves.
EDIT at 10:56pm, 6/24: NY becomes the 6th state to legalize same sex marriage. May there be 44 others close behind.
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The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.
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