Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Outside voices

The FCKH8 little video floating around facebook and twitter, dealing with repealing Prop 8 and advancing the legalization of marriage for all Americans has caused a stir. I reposted it on my Facebook because I think it is savvy and clever and spot on.

Since 2008, I have been clear that I see marriage as a social contract and ergo it is a legal convention of the State and under the US Constitution,  all Americans must be afforded the same rights and protections under the law. (Here are two of my blog entries which deal with marriage: Contract of Marriage and Marriage is a Social Contract)

That said I am equally opposed to the casual use of the F-word and HATE is a banned 4 letter word in our house. In this case I think the words are being used with the gravity and brevity they both deserve. I think that the time has come to use an outside voice and speak up and speak loudly.

Let's call it as it is. Nothing short of prejudice is stopping marriage from being legally allowed for all couples who meet a baseline set of standards. It is illegal to disciminate for jobs based on a persons sexual orientation so it is not a magic leap to say it is illegal to disallow some couples from availing themselves of all the perks of marriage under the law.

Politically speaking, I think the government's job is to manage the business of running a nation and provide for smooth international relations and commerce. I think less government is better and I think the prudent management of the US check book is in order. At the moment I am disgusted with both parties and I think the lot of them should be sent packing and we should start over. A multiple party system is in order. Accountability and what not.

That said, I find it objectionable that both parties say they are defending the Constitution and clearly having marriage being the litmus test for 1000s of rights and privileges and then limited those who can participate in said Unions goes against the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. Sexual Orientation should not be a valid reason to prohibit a couple from all the tax perks (and penalties), insurance benefits, the right to transfer property with tax advantages and the right to be at a loved one's bedside in the event of a tragedy.

I shan't belabor my stance on marriage, go forth and read the links I referenced above.

That said, I think it is time to use an OUTSIDE VOICE. Being nice gets one no where and make no mistake we are at a social crossroads. Our rights are being eroded at every corner and basically we have forgotten that we are a melting pot. There should be some base line social niceties and the rest of our private lives should be that, private. If people want to practice their faith, I am fine with that, I just don't want to hear about it, be roped into participating in it and be subjected to that faith's arbitrarily designed rules. The government is secular, was designed to be secular and should remain so.

Harvey Milk said "“More people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than for any other single reason. That, my friends, that is true perversion.” The celebration of love, family and the American dream should know no color, race, gender or sexual orientation. Family units look and feel differently for everyone, but what cannot be disputed is families are the bedrock of society. We already live in a society where those units are a myriad and various as makes of automobiles, now is the time for the law to catch up with the social reality.

The other reason I thought this campaign was worth discussing is I am a MBA geek. I love thinking and writing about business and specifically marketing. I find marketing to be fascinating. I also am currently writing and thinking about social media. I attended a workshop on the use of social media in one's business model.

This campaign in the short 12 days it has existed as raised over $100,000 and has done so through the use of social media. Facebook, Twitter and You Tube. This is cutting edge. Whether you agree with the message or not, you have to admit that it is an example of what viral marketing is capable of generating. Social media, for now, is free. Set up a Facebook Fan page, a Twitter ID and You Tube channel and you are off to the races. Free.

Twitter is like a large chat room with a huge bulletin board. It never sleeps and the beauty of all social media, I think is the content is user controlled. I can say whatever I like (withing reason) and only the people who follow me or are #hastag watching will see my content. It is searchable. If you want to troll for information, it is there and totally searchable.

If for example you think I am a mouthy good for nothing blowhard, you have options. You can unfollow me, block me and go about your merry way. On the other hand, if you think I am intelligent, confident and thought provoking, you can encourage your friends to follow me, by re-posting (called retweeting) my posts or doing a follow Friday post and include me in your list.

Twitter, I think is an example of free speech at its best.

Less than 100 years ago, I was property. African American men had the right to vote before women did and in the 60s, a black man or woman could not legally marry a white man or woman. It took some loud talking to effect those changes.

When I was in college, being gay was rarely talked about.

Times change and we must change with those times. We grow in our enlightenment. Look ye across the pond. Europe, while rife with their own issues, are examples of societies which trace their roots back to Roman occupation and then further back yet. They aren't still governing the way they did 1000s of years ago. They have grown and evolved. Beheading your political opponent and enslaving his followers, is so passe.

We now must learn to grow and evolve.

Fancy that. A movement advancing the evolution of marriage and the definition of family is embracing the new marketing tool.

Ponder that.

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